The Great Commandment
Simply put, the Church is the collection of Jesus followers. You were not called to follow Jesus by yourself. Watch the video to learn a practical and functioning definition and description of what the Church is suppose to be.
DAY 11| The Great Commandment
Welcome to week three of our devotional series, Experience Jesus, where we are helping you follow Jesus and giving you the ability to teach others how to do the same. In the first week, we discussed the importance of looking to Jesus for everything in your spiritual relationship with God. Next, we shared in our second week together the value and practical foundations to what it means to live like Jesus in our everyday life.
Today, we’re going to begin the conversation about what it means to love like Jesus. Let’s start our discussion by examining one of the most commonly known passages in the bible. These two verses are known as “The Great Commandment.” Jesus was asked a question by religious leaders, “What is the most important commandment in Scripture?” Did you know that the Old Testament contains over 600 commands for God’s people? You can see what being a religious follower could be confusing at times with so many commandments.
Imagine being in school and the teacher passes out notes that cover 600 questions for the final exam. You could see where a student might ask on behalf of the class, “Teacher, which questions are going to be on the test? What’s the most important question to know?” We find Jesus’ reply the leader in Mark 12:30-31:
30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
In a similar account found in the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus goes on to say the following:
40 upon these two commandments hang all of the Law of the Prophets.
When my wife and I moved into our first apartment, we starting hanging things on the wall. Most pictures went up with ease and I just hammered a nail in the wall and put the picture in place. I found trouble, however, when I tried to hang a heavy mirror in our living room. It kept falling to the ground and leaving holes in our wall.
I have since learned that heavy objects need anchors or studs in the wall to secure the weight of the object. In the same way, Jesus states that loving God and loving others are the two anchors upon which hang the rest of Scripture.
Anchor #1 – Loving God
Loving God centers around your vertical relationship with God. The fact that Mark mentions heart, soul, mind, and strength represents your entire being as a person. Just as you cannot “kindof” go ziplining or skydiving, you cannot “kindof” love God and call yourself a follower of Jesus. Following Jesus is involves loving God with your entire being.
When my son was first learning to swim, he use to stay on the steps of pool and splash around. Then, one day, he yelled, “Cannonball!” and took a big leap into the deep end. Don’t settle for splashing on the steps. Instead choose to jump into the deep end and love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.
Anchor #2 – Loving Others
Loving others centers around your horizontal relationship with others. In John chapter 13 we learn that Jesus demonstrated His love for His disciples by washing their feet, which was a job reserved for servants. Jesus humbled Himself to serve the needs of His friends. He would then go on and tell the disciples to love one another as He had loved them (John 13:34-35). Your relationships with people matter. They are an expression of what you believe. You cannot honestly say that you love God without truly loving people like He did.
13 For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.
Where are you today?
How is your vertical relationship with God?
How is your horizontal relationship with others?
Choose to set anchors in your life through following the Great Commandment to love God and to love others.