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 the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22: 37-40 KJV)
In these verses Christ is distilling the words of the Old Testament into two forthright commissions that usher in a new age of clarity and communion between God and man. Our modern lives are so fragmented it is hard for us to consider having heart, mind and soul of one accord, synchronized into a cohesive whole in our love of God. It takes a healthy spirit to do so and the only way to achieve such good health is to feed on a steady diet of God’s word. Even then it isn’t enough to just take the word in, we must digest and then act on it.
We may catch a glimpse of the kind of love expected of us in our love for family. Indeed this is the very reason God created and encouraged the family unit. But God’s love for mankind far outshines what we have come to accept as love. In a demonstration of this He saw no other way to achieve balance between justice and mercy, His immutable laws, than to sacrifice His beloved Son in our stead. Christ became a martyr for this cause in order to bridge the gap between fallen man and the divine, to offer us the unimaginable gift of eternal life, among other benefits.
But to fully claim our inheritance means setting aside self-interest. This entails venturing into an unknown, sometimes frightening world where trusting that God is working in our best interest is essential. Otherwise we will lead timid self-contained lives which fall far short of the glorious potential Christ sees in each of us. To do so is to deny ourselves the rich tapestry of life intended for us.
Dear Heavenly Father, Please help us to realize our potential for love, not only for You, but for our fellow man.