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The Greatest Commandment

The Greatest Commandment

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Published by Mark
Many people do not realize which commandment Jesus said was the greatest one of all. This commandment is greater than any other commandment, and is the foundation for all the other commandments.
Many people do not realize which commandment Jesus said was the greatest one of all. This commandment is greater than any other commandment, and is the foundation for all the other commandments.

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Published by: Mark on Jul 05, 2008
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09/06/2012

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Painting: Moses and the 10 Commandments, by Rembrandt
The Greatest Commandment
Many people do not know which commandment Jesus said was the greatest and most important one. Somepeople who have gone to church for many years do not know “the greatest commandment,” and some who knowit would honesty admit that they are not following it.Knowing and following this commandment is extremely important for us because if we follow all of the other commandments and moral precepts God has given us and yet neglect or fail to keep the most important one, weare no better off than someone who breaks most of God's commandments! What is the greatest commandment?One of the scribes came to Jesus and asked, "What commandment is the foremost of all?" Jesus replied, "You
 
shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength" (Mark 12:28-34, Matthew 22:35-7). This is the greatest commandment. Loving the Lord your God withall your heart, and all your soul, and all your mind, and all your strength is more important than your family,friends, job, country, hobbies, or anything else you could possibly think of.Many people think that it is enough to follow the second commandment, which is, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself" (Mark12:31). They think trying to live a good life, trying to help people, and expressingkindness and love to others is enough. However, if someone tries to do all of these good things, without having apure and deep love for his Lord, he has indeed failed to keep the most important commandment of all.You may think that if you "love your neighbor," live decently, and don't kill anybody or steal from anybody,that that is enough for God to accept you into heaven. But what if you haven't loved God with all your heart? Heis the source of all goodness and purity. On the final day you would find yourself standing before him saying,“Well, I kept your other commandments, but I never kept the most important one. I never loved you with all myheart or soul or mind or strength."What if you realize that you have failed to live up to the greatest commandment? Is the answer to just tryharder and to try to love God with all your heart? No. It is something far better. God knows that in ourselves weare not capable of keeping His greatest commandment, or even His second commandment, that we love our neighbors as ourselves. When we realize that we have fallen short, we put ourselves in the position to receiveGod's greatest gift, which we cannot earn.What is this gift? The Bible says, "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent HisSon to be the payment for our sins" (1 John 4:10). God knew that we would be absolutely incapable of lovingHim with all our heart, unless He loved us first. So that is what He did! He loved us first, with a compassionateand forgiving love. He gave His most precious gift of love, His only-begotten Son, to suffer and die for our sins.He did this because of His great love for us. By receiving Jesus Christ as the only Lord and Savior of your life,ou receive forgiveness for all of the times you have failed to fulfill God's commandments, and you receive the
 
precious gift of God's love. This gift of God's love is something you cannot earn or deserve. You must simplyreceive it, by putting your trust in Jesus Christ as your Savior and surrendering your heart fully to Him.When you put your trust completely in Jesus Christ, He begins to live within you and begins to pour out Hislove within your heart. He gives you His pure love, and then you can begin to love Him in return. The Scripturesays, "We love Him, because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19, KJV). As you open your heart and receive moreand more of God's love, you will love Him in return, not because you have to, but because you want to. Inaddition, you will be motivated to follow God's commandments out of the pure motive of love for God. Godill guide your life and will show you His love in many real ways, until loving Him becomes the most naturalthing in the world for you to do. The love of God truly satisfies the human heart like nothing else can.You were chosen for this love relationship with God. He wants you to know how high and deep and wide hislove is, until you are filled to overflowing. His love is like the sun shining in its full strength, far above theclouds and temporary circumstance of this world. His love is constant and unfailing. His love extends to theheavens. It is only the “storm clouds” of this world and your own lack of openness and trust that can hinder youfrom receiving all the love he has for you.Knowing that you are deeply loved is what enables you to love God with all your heart. Knowing that youare deeply loved is what enables you to love people freely. Knowing that you are deeply loved enables you toaccept and love yourself, as well.One additional quality of love is important to mention here: Love "endures all things" (1 Corinthians13:7).If you truly love the Lord , you will continue your relationship with Him through the good times and the hardtimes. You can be assured that God is faithful, and He will be with you to comfort you and strengthen you in thedifficult times. He will lift you up over every obstacle and roadblock that comes into your life. He will cause allthings to work together for your good (Romans 8:28). His love for you is constant, powerful, and unfailing,shining like the bright sunlight above the clouds.
 
M. A. Erickson

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