The Great Commandment
Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
Love one another should seem to be a no brainer right? We as Christians were literally commanded by Jesus to love each other. As a matter of fact, He called it one of the greatest commandments.
According to scripture, there are three focuses on the love we strive for. These are completely different focuses but at the same time are totally dependent on one another.
The Three Types of Love
The first is to love God. I don’t have to say this is the greatest commandment because Jesus already did. Here’s the thing. God’s feelings for us won’t ever change, so that has nothing to do with it. But, how close we are to him is completely dependant it.
God is a gentleman and won’t ever force Himself on you, but the closer you try and get to him the closer he will come to you. He thinks about you every second of every day and the very moment you turn your attention to him he is there.
The second is to love your neighbor. No matter who you talk to or have interaction with that person was fearfully and carefully made by God. Jesus has a distinct purpose in the world for that man or woman.
He’s just as fond of them as He is of you and it’s His great desire that we as his children love one another. On the night Jesus was betrayed he literally commanded us to do that.
“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this, all men will know that you are My disciples if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35)
Jesus told us that the whole law and all the writings of the prophets were given to help us do this commandment. That is, they were written to help us unselfishly seek the best and highest good of others.
Can I Hate Anyone?
“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” (1 John 4:20 NIV)
So here we find the first sign of dependance we have in our relationship between God, others and ourselves. We literally cannot hate someone and be devoted to God at the same time.
In his sermon on the mount Jesus even told us to love our enemies. What? Love our enemy? That can’t be right. Yep, it sure is, Check it out.
You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Do not even tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even Gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5: 43- 48 NIV)
The truth is every single relationship you have with every other person who enters your life matters to God. The truth is Jesus cares about how you treat everyone, family, friends co-workers, acquaintances, strangers and even those who make themselves your enemies.
If you truly consider yourself to be God’s child then you want to be more like him. If you want to be like him you must do as he does. Here’s the fact which cannot be disputed. While you and I were his enemies, Christ died for us. That is LOVE!
But What About Me?
One of the major places the devil attacks us all our lives is our self-image. Satan knows if we hate ourselves, we can’t have a relationship with others.
And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Matthew 22:39)
The Command is to Love your neighbor as yourself. It’s a fact that our relationship with others is a reflection of our relationship with God and ourselves. This is why the careful reflection of what I truly think about me is important.
If you have issues around self-image it is vital to take it to God and let the Holy Spirit work in your heart. Some good Christian Counseling by a pastor or a strong brother or sister could be of great value.
Most importantly read the word to renew your mind on the matter because If God loves you like He does, (AND HE DOES) you must be worth a lot, (AND YOU ARE).
Love God, Self, Others,
And now these three remain faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV)
God is love. It’s who He is, what He is, and what He does. If we are His children and we are then we want to please Him. To please Him we must be like Him. To be like Him Love Him, others and ourselves
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Jesus said, “You must love the Lord your God with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” – Luke10:27
If one had to choose a single verse in the Bible that is a formula for successful living, this would be the one to live by, says Joyce Meyer: love God, yourself and others – in that order.