Bible Reading: Matthew 22:34-40
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:37-40)
We have heard Jesus’ Great Commandments many times. In concept, we understand that we must love wholly and perfectly. In justification, we understand that we are sinners, unable to love. But, we are redeemed in Christ, who was the perfect author of love. However, in sanctification, do we understand who and what we are called to be in our everyday lives today? Do we genuinely love God and our neighbours?
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:3, “If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing”. So, likewise, if we do not love God and our neighbours, our lives are meaningless and useless.
God calls us to love Him with all our hearts, soul, and mind. What does this look like in practicality? Loving God with our heart, soul, and mind means loving God with all we’ve got. It means making loving God the ultimate pursuit of our existence. This will show in our daily life.
If we love God, we will spend time with Him. We will spend time reading His Word, praying to Him, and spending time in fellowship with fellow believers. If we love God, this is not a do or don’t. Those won’t even cross our minds. We want to spend as much time as possible with God because He is our lover! We enjoy His company!
Moreover, we will listen to what God says and do what pleases Him. He hates sin, so we will put the active effort in our daily lives to put sin to death. He loves holiness, and so we will strive to walk in holiness. In practicality, this means sacrificing our games or YouTube or entertainment and picking up a spiritual book. In practicality, this means turning from earthly things to focus on heavenly things. Think about it. If you had a boyfriend/girlfriend and they asked you to go out for dinner one night would you reject and say you have games to play that night? You wouldn’t think twice to go out because you love them! So why do we think twice about spending time with God in His Word, sacrificing our earthly wants for a more intimate relationship with Him?
God also calls us to love our neighbours as ourselves. We want ourselves to be treated with dignity and respect. We want people to care for us and reach out to us. We want people to be friends with us to laugh and cry and live life together. Above all, we want people who will lead us in the truth and the way of life that is truly valuable. We want people to look up to who won’t look down on us but walk with us and lead us to a better way of life. If God calls us to love our neighbours as ourselves, we ought to treat others the way we want to be treated. In practicality, look around at the community you have. Who can you reach that no one else can? Who needs love that only you can give? Have you ever intentionally prayed for a particular person and tried to love them? Most of the time, we only love others to get something back. We need to learn to love others because God first loved us.
Reading all this, you will probably realise that love is not easy. It requires a radical change in the way we think and act every second. It might make us feel overwhelmed. However, this is God’s gentle call for us to obey Him and love Him. God calls for us here and now to devote our whole heart, soul, and mind to loving Him and loving others. If we surrender all, He will surely lead us step by step and transform us to love Him and love others.
Lord, we surrender our heart, soul, and mind wholly to You. Take it all and transform us so that we may love You and love others. Lord, it is hard because we love the world, and we love ourselves. Please teach us Your ways and help us to follow them. Please have mercy on us. In Jesus’ name, amen.