Thursday, October 27, 2005
The Greatest Commandment
“I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”
On one occasion a scribe came to Jesus and asked, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus said, “ ‘And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30–31).
That must have been somewhat troubling to this scribe: Of all the commandments, there is none greater than these? But when you get down to it, those two commandments sum them all up.
If you really love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, then you will not want to break the other commandments. If you really love God as you ought to, then you will not take His name in vain, have other gods before Him, or make images that you bow down before. And if you really love your neighbor as yourself, you will not steal from him. You will not covet what belongs to him. And certainly you will not kill him. So if we get these basics down of loving God and loving others as we ought to, then obeying the Ten Commandments will come naturally.
Augustine said, “Love God and do as you please.” It is a provocative statement, but it makes sense. If you really love God as you ought to—with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength—then you will naturally do the things the commandments teach.
Copyright © 2005 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000.