34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
When I read this passage the first thing that always comes to mind is a worship song that was popular back when I was a very young Christian. It’s engraved in my memory which is wonderful but it also has the effect of brushing over the impact of what Jesus is saying & how it should impact my life.
Jesus’ answer to the Pharisees question comes from both Deut 6:5 & Lev 19:18. I’ve been meditating on how exactly I live this out … loving God with ALL my heart, soul & mind & my neighbour as myself, I’m finding it’s easier to read (or sing) than to live, there always seems to be something, someone, some situation, attitude or motive that comes in and competes for that place in my life, which should be God’s alone. Then I realised that this is exactly how Jesus lived. This is how Jesus was able to live a sinless life.
I am so aware that the only way that I can attempt to love God and my neighbour as Jesus did is through the help of the Holy Spirit living in me, otherwise my sin nature will just take over, my selfishness will rule, after all, this world would have us think that this life is ‘all about me’. I know I need help!
Dear Lord, you know my heart better than I do, I need your grace and compassion, to enable me to love others as you do, I need your Spirit to keep me centred and focused on You and not myself, and walking in Your ways always.
Written by Suzie Hodgson