What is the Greatest Commandment?

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.”

Luke 10:27

We can sometimes glaze over this verse and say, “Yes, I love the Lord.” However, sometimes we only love with a part of who we are. We find ourselves compartmentalizing God, just like we see in society, meaning you can profess God in the church but don’t dare speak about God in the school, at work, or in a public setting.

To love our neighbors as ourselves is dependent on the value we see in ourselves, our self-esteem, and how secure we are with who we are on the inside. We can only be secure within ourselves when we co-exist with the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God who leads and guides us.

A person who is absent of God’s presence bottles up contempt, bitterness, and prejudice within his or her heart and allows it to take root. In such as state, how can they love themselves much less love others? The answer: They cannot.

This verse, spoken by Jesus, comprises the two greatest commandments and the formula, so to speak, is to set our focus on loving the Lord our God with the totality of who we are, the essence of our entire being. When we do so to the very best of our ability with the unsurpassed help of the Holy Spirit, loving our neighbor as ourselves becomes a natural byproduct of our love for God.

Therefore, let us set out each day to genuinely love God with our entire being–our heart, soul, mind, and strength, and in so doing, extend that love to our neighbors without any reservation or conditions attached. Let us love as God so loves each of us.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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