Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.” This is the most important, the first on any list.
But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’
These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.” Matthew 22:37-40 MSG
Think of all the people, in your life, that you love. I mean, really love. Like your spouse. Your child. Your mom. Your very good friend. Your sister. Those people you would do anything for. You’d give away your life for them.
This kind of love is sacrificial. Unconditional. These loved ones don’t have to do anything but exist…and you love them to pieces. Even when they wrong you, love wins out. THAT kind of love.
Now think of how The Lord commands you to love Him.
With all of your heart, soul and mind. Or in The Message, “with all your passion and prayer and intelligence”. That pretty much covers your whole being.
And, it’s not if you feel like loving Him that way. No. It’s a command from The Lord. That means to do it. Obey His command.
How can you love Him with every fiber of your being? Be with Him. Spend time with Him. Know Him more intimately. Read His love story. (It’s a Best Seller, you know.) Talk to Him. Then take time to listen to His response. You will fall madly in love with Him and as you do, your desire will be to please Him…to obey Him. Obeying His commands become second nature. Loving Him passionately, prayerfully and mindfully becomes your default.
It’s a process. Just like it is with anyone you love. Your love grows deeper as your relationship grows deeper. It takes work. But the reward is heavenly!
Plus, as your active love enlarges for The Lord, it enlarges for others around you. Not just for those in your intimate circle anymore…but for others. Your love expands as His love expands in and through you.
You are now fulfilling the second command, “Love others as you love yourself.” You are able to love others because He first loved you. You see others through His lens.
This is how Jesus summed up all the commands in the Law and the Prophets. He says its first on any list. LOVE. UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. Given by Him, through Him and to you. For you to accept and give away.