TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Matthew 22:37-40
In the greatest command of Matthew 22, Jesus tells us how and who we are to love. Our primary love is to be directed towards God, our Father and creator. Jesus follows the who to love with the how to love. This description of how to love envelops the completeness of your heart, soul, and mind. There is absolutely no area of our lives with which these three do not connect. Loving God involves every bit of our lives.
In John 15:14, Jesus says, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” It is interesting that Jesus connects our love to our obedience. Love is not a state of being. Love is not something you fall into by chance. Love is an action to be practiced. Love is a decision to submit. It also interesting that the word for worship (proskyneō) literally means “to kiss towards,” and that certainly sounds like an expression of love. When we love, we obey and worship.
Likewise as we realize the power of that love, it leads us to share it with others. This is the first and natural response to the second command that Jesus gives in today’s text. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Service to others also is a natural outgrowth of a Christ-like love for people. Ultimately, our hope is that this service would lead people to the greater love that motivated it.
Often lost in this greatest command to love is a permission to learn to love yourself. This loving yourself is not an ego-driven arrogance, but rather a love of self that has experienced the amazing love and forgiveness of God. It is in experiencing this loving grace that we encounter the ability to love yourself and to share that love with others.
Today, I will…spend time lost in Your love, O Father. As I celebrate Your goodness, I will worship You with all of my heart, soul, and mind. Thank You for Your forgiveness and Your plan for my life that shows me that I can love myself again. In this love Lord help me to share Your love with one person today. May my love and my words point them to You.