Matthew 22: 37–KJV
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is a subject of the greatest importance (loving God above all), and should be well understood, as our Lord shows that the whole of true religion is comprised in thus loving God and our neighbor.
Jesus’ answer is far more than a clever summary of all the commandments. It is the fundamental commandment underlying the whole economy of redemption. Above everything else, God desires and commands his human children to love him totally and completely. That is why Christ came. That is the purpose God had in saving man, that the Father might be loved for his own blessed sake. Such a plea for love was lost upon people like the Pharisees. A bleeding child might have pleaded for the affection of a mad dog with the same results!
In a technical sense, all the law and prophets do hang on the twin injunctions Christ named before the Pharisees. The first five words of the Decalogue deal with man’s relation to God, and the second five have to do with man’s relationship to men. The fifth commandment might go in either group. A profoundly significant deduction required by Christ’s words on that occasion is that man’s heavenward duties are more important, ranking higher, than his man-ward duties. The first commandment is to love the Lord; the second is to love thy neighbor. This, of course, is utterly different from the prevailing concept that lays great stress on human obligations such as “Thou shalt not kill,” etc., but makes the other class of religious obligations secondary.
But what is implied in loving God with all the heart, soul, mind, strength, etc., and when may a man be said to do this? It is said that he who loves God with all his heart, who loves nothing in comparison of him, and nothing but in reference to him: it is he who is ready to give up, do, or suffer any thing in order to please and glorify him: – who has in his heart neither love nor hatred, hope nor fear, inclination, nor aversion, desire, nor delight, but as they relate to God, and are regulated by him
It now appears from this summary that, in the commandments of the Law, God does not look at what men can do, but at what they ought to do; since in this infirmity of the flesh it is impossible that perfect love can obtain dominion, for we know how strongly all the senses of our soul are disposed to vanity. Lastly, we learn from this, that God does not rest satisfied with the outward appearance of works, but chiefly demands the inward feelings, that from a good root good fruits may grow. The famous song how deep is your love pales in comparison to what Christ is telling us we need to do! The real question is, ‘how deep is YOUR love for God?
Have a great and God filled day!