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The Most Important Commandment

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The commandment to love God

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“The Most Important Commandment”

We’ve seen how the Bible is God’s word to us, given to help us grow in our relationship with God, telling us about who God is and what God desires from us. Our calling, as disciples of Jesus, is to obey the . commands that God has given. That’s a lot easier said than done however. We know there are the Ten Commandments, but there are a total of 613 commandments in the Old Testament. Then even more were added by tradition.
One mother tells the following story: One night our family was doing a devotional that included the story of the Ten Commandments. My husband asked, “How many commandments did God give to Moses?”
Seth, our five-year-old son, quickly replied, “Too many!”
It’s no wonder that even in Jesus’ day people struggled with keeping the law. Among the commandments, rabbis differentiated between what they called “heavy” and “light” commandments. The latter made less demand on one’s will or possessions, whereas heavy or weighty commandments concerned life’s uncompromising essentials. It was not uncommon to ask reputed teachers, as the scribe does in this instance, to declare themselves on the weightiest of the commandments, or to summarize the Torah in a nutshell. This probably accounts for the teacher of the law coming to Jesus in our Scripture for the day.
Mark 12:28–30 NIV84
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
He is asking, “What is the fundamental premise of the law on which all the individual commands depend?”
He is asking, “What is the fundamental premise of the law on which all the individual commands depend?”
Jesus is quoting . Known as the Shema (Heb. “to hear”), it was recited morning and evening by every pious Jews. As a creedal summary it was and is as important to Judaism as is the Lord’s Prayer or the Apostles’ Creed to Christianity.
This commitment to love God is personal, comprehensive, and wholehearted.
Love is more of a decision than a warm feeling.

Why love God

The Lord is one – God is unique, He alone is God, worthy of our love
God created us – to love and be loved
God loves us
1 John 4:19 NIV84
We love because he first loved us.
Demonstrated by Jesus
Demonstrated by Jesus
Demonstrated by Jesus
Given to us by the Holy Spirit

How we are to love God

All – the whole of our being. Repeated four times to emphasize the totality of our love for God.
Heart – will, center of our lives
Soul – conscious life, emotions
Mind – thinking, intellect
Strength – power
Our love for God is to be passionate, dominating all we do, the way we think. He is to be our highest desire.
Think of the ingredients of a cake. I am not a chef but I know that there are many ingredients that go into baking a cake. I also know that you get all these ingredients together and mix them up before you begin baking. If you tried to cook the parts separately I don’t know what you would get, but it would not be a cake. Yet when it is properly prepared, with all of the ingredients mixed together, it’s quite good. Like-wise, we must not attempt to live ‘part’ of our lives before God and the other ‘parts’ in some other way. That sort of life is not a life of love for Him and it is extremely distasteful to our Creator.

How do we show God our love

By asking, ‘How can I make God happy?’ It is not that our enjoyment of life is unimportant, it is just that it is a by-product of serving God, not the goal of life.
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“If you love me, you will obey what I command.
John 14:15 NIV84
“If you love me, you will obey what I command.
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