An Affair Of Priorities
“. . . What command is the foremost of all?” Mark 12:28
Love God, love others. It’s more than a catchy phrase for bumper stickers, t-shirts and mission statements. When Jesus joined two aspects of the law, He created a radical shift in our relationship with God.
The emphasis of the old covenant, the one the Pharisees and Sadducees held onto deeply, was about our love for God. The religious leaders had calculated that the law contained 365 restrictions and 248 commands, all based on the ability to perform and keep every rule. However, under Jesus’ new covenant, the focus is on God’s love for us.
Jesus’ whole teaching was that life was an affair with priorities and power.
The commanding priority is faith in God and God’s love for us. Life without submission to God results in moral and spiritual chaos. The truth here is tremendously strategic to thoughts and choices of life. Jesus makes it plain that no amount of behavior can make us better, more loving people. God asks each person to accept His will as the rule of life.
When we give God a mere fraction of ourselves, God Himself becomes a mere fraction of what He might become to us. Implicit in Jesus’ words is a revelation of God’s love. Only a God who is love would make love the highest demand for His followers.
The main hindrance of loving God has been oversimplification. God has been presented so vaguely to us that loving Him is little more than loving a concept, symbol or energy. Our love is flattened and robbed of its real emotional power because God is pushed to the periphery of our thoughts.
Our love becomes thin and empty of power when it’s not sustained and made real by grace in our actions toward others. Love becomes anemic and dies unless it’s poured into our love of others. As we receive God’s love afresh, we are given the power to love others.
What does the love of God do for loving your neighbor?
What does loving your neighbor do for the love of God?