Love.  It is a small word that carries a big thought.  Love is so important.  Love is crucial.  In Matthew 22:34-40, Jesus is approached by a lawyer, who asked Him a question.  He asked this question “tempting” Jesus.  In other words, he did not sincerely want to know the answer to his question.  His question was, “Master, which is the great commandment in the law?”  Jesus answered his question as He answered all questions by answering in the greatest  possible way.  He says, “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 neighbour as thyself.  On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”

It is clear.  Love takes care of everything.  If we would have more love for God, then we would be more obedient.  We must grow in our love for Him every day, and this is no hard task, because with every day comes more blessings, and those blessings truly encourage us to grow in our love for Him.  Love for God equates to obedience to God.  We owe everything to God.  He is totally worthy of our complete and total obedience.  When we completely and totally obey Him, then we truly love Him.  Jesus says in John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

This word “love” in Matthew 22:34-40 is “agape love.”  This means “to have a preference for, wish well to, and regard the welfare of,” also.  It means to put another before ourselves.

We must put God First in everything (Matthew 6:33).  Everything that He says for us to think, say, and do, we must simply comply with all of His commands.  We should want to do this out of love.

Also, we must love others.  Love leaves out selfishness and pride.  I John 4:21 says, “And this commandment have we from him, that he who loveth God love his brother also.”  Jesus says in John 13:34-35, when He says, “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”

The love that we have for one another must be the kind of love that causes us to put others before ourselves and to even risk our own lives to help save others.  I John 3:16 says,

“Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.”

-Jason Gann