Love is the Greatest

Do you love or hate your neighbor?

Matthew 22:35-40 NLT 35 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” 37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

The man asking the question was an expert in religious law. In other words, he knew how to follow the law and he probably did it as perfectly as he knew how. We know that many religious leaders at the time were trying to trap Jesus into saying something they could arrest him for; and this man was no different. These leaders didn’t like the fact that he was cutting through their religious rules with the true heart behind his commandments.

It’s All About Love

Jesus answered the question from this leader. He knew the true nature behind the law. He knew the true heart behind the commandments and that is love. If you love God and you love your neighbor, then you will love God by having no idols in your hearts, you will not use God’s name in vain, you will also honor the Lord with a sabbath day to the Lord. Those acts show our love and desire for him.

If you love your neighbor then you will honor your mother and father, you won’t murder, you won’t lie, you won’t steal, you won’t covet, commit adultery etc. You see, if you truly love, you wouldn’t do those things.

When it comes to the Gospel, do we truly love God and love our neighbors as ourselves? Sometimes we think that by sharing the gospel with our neighbors that they might be offended and then not want to talk to us anymore. That could very well happen, but do you realize what is at stake? We are talking about eternity. The choices we make now will affect us forever. Do we love God and love people enough to risk it?

If You Had the Cure for Cancer…

If you had the cure for cancer and your neighbor was dying from the disease, would you share the cure with them? If you didn’t, wouldn’t that be hating them? You didn’t love them enough to share with them. It was their job to accept or receive the gift or not. It is out of our control what they choose.

Do we hate our dying neighbors that much that we won’t share the cure that will lead their souls to eternal separation from God in hell? We could have excuses that we don’t want to offend them, or bother them, or intrude into their lives. Yet we are totally fine talking about the weather or grabbing a beer to watch the game with them. That is not love.

Three Things Will Last Forever

1 Corinthians 13:13 NLT – 13 Three things will last forever–faith, hope, and love–and the greatest of these is love.

Faith. If you have given your live to Jesus, you have placed your faith in him and the redeeming work of Christ on the cross. Your faith rests on what Christ did on the cross to pay for your sins. He took away the debt that you couldn’t pay. He canceled it on the cross. We can’t always see everything, that is why we walk by faith, not by sight.

Hope. If you have given your life to Jesus, you have hope. You have hope in the promises and the inheritance that is stored up for us. What is awaiting us is so great, we can’t even wrap our minds around it.

Love. Do we have love? Do we have enough faith to act out in love, and share the hope we have inside of us? Do you think God will work through you to share your faith? Yes, he will. Ask God to give you more faith and more love to share the hope in what Christ did on the cross for everyone.

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