“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
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 22:36-40).
Many of us have heard this famous bible passage. It can be boiled down to the following: Love God and love your neighbor. This sounds simple until you start to really think about the meaning behind these two commandments. The first has to do with loving God. What does it mean to love God? How do we love God with all our heart, soul, and mind? See, once you start to unpack “loving God,” you realize that the commandment is nearly impossible. Nearly — which means that there is a way. The only way we can love God is by being 100% committed to God. When people see us, would they know that we love God? When people see us in our worship services, would they know that we love God? We do not have to act in anyway when we are truly in love. Our actions are a result of us loving God. Our love for God must be our highest priority, which means not only showing up on Sundays, but also worshiping God. What about loving our neighbors? Just as loving God requires sacrifice, loving our neighbors require sacrifices as well. Are we giving to the point of hurt? In 2 Corinthians, we learn that the Macedonian churches gave beyond their ability on their own. They understood love as sacrifice. In order to love God and our neighbor, John Piper says that “something unbelievably powerful and earthshaking and reconstructing and overturning and upending will have to happen in our souls.” I believe this is true — we need the Holy Spirit to transform our heart, soul, and mind. The Well Church, let us understand God’s love for us and seriously ponder what it means to love God and our neighbor. Let us not “play” church, but let us “be” the church by trusting in Jesus with our time, talents, and treasures — not just on Sundays but between Sundays. May we demonstrate genuine love to God and our neighbors through the power of the Holy Spirit.