36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 And He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is much debate in the body of Christ about how we fulfil the great commission. There are conferences, sermons, books, endless blog posts about the relative effectiveness or ineffectiveness of the church in taking the good news to the world.Methods, means, strategies, various different means are all hotly debated.
What is far less popular a topic to debate, preach, write on is found in verse 37 above. How we love God.
If we take the words of Jesus seriously, the first priority we have as believers is to love God above all else, with all we have. This is the greatest command.
Could it be that our failure to fulfil the great commission stems from our failure to first fulfil the greatest command?
Jesus actually goes on a put these two great callings together in verse 39. He says the second command is actually like the first, to love your neighbour as your self.
What does he mean the second is LIKE the first? He is linking the two together. He is saying if you get the first one down – love your God above all – then you are ready to go do the second – love your neighbour. The first is the pre-requisite for the second!
Loving your neighbour is the outworking of the first and is the first step to fulfilling the great commission of making disciples of all nations.
Perhaps the reason the great commission has been poorly fulfilled at times, is because we have become to concerned with the commission of Jesus and not concerned enough with these two great commands of Jesus.
When we first put God in first place, it is amazing how often other things begin to fall into line.
PRAYER: Father, I thank you that you love me and that you showed that love by giving Jesus for my life. I ask you to fill me with your love. I ask for a love firstly for you and secondly for those people you’ve put around me. Use me to show your love Lord. In Jesus name, Amen.