Tag Archive for greatest commandment

The Essence of Life

By current U.S. standards, my financial means are modest. I’m comfortable, but my lifestyle isn’t lavish. I’m a typical middle-class American.

Yet compared to other times and places, I am pampered beyond measure. My luxuries far outstrip what the world’s wealthiest could imagine just a few years ago.

I live in a comfortable, climate-controlled environment.

I enjoy virtually instant communication with almost anyone, anytime, anywhere.

With careful planning, I can travel nearly anywhere in the world. And compared to earlier years, travel today is quick, comfortable, and reliable.

I live in relative safety – the best civilization can provide. I live in a strong, stable country where the government works to protect its citizens from a wide variety of dangers.

I have ready access to virtually any educational information I desire.

I have a comfortable home, meaningful work, a wonderful wife, and healthy, intelligent children.

I am in good health and have affordable access to excellent health care.

A wide variety of nourishing foods is always at my fingertips.

Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom to go where I want, leisure time, a whole range of entertainments, a strong, active church—all these luxuries and more surround me every day. I have virtually every good thing the human imagination can conceive.

Yet with all this, my happiness is determined not by what I have, but by what I give. It is measured not by what I possess, but by the love I give out and live out day by day.

I look at my life. I look honestly at my daily happiness, and I see that it is so.

Specifically, my happiness is determined by my response to what Jesus called life’s two greatest commandments: 

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
Love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30, 31, NIV).

Love shapes my happiness. Not material goods. Not comfort. Not the finest luxuries. Love.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: The Rich Young Ruler
Printed Music & Lyrics

Let Me Love You in Others

One day a Pharisee asked Jesus a question in order to test Him:

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 

[Jesus] said to him, “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. 

“The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
(Matthew 22:35-40, NASB)

Lord, as I grow to love You more,
as I rejoice in Your personal presence we me,
help me recognize in those around me
Your Spirit,
Your likeness, and
Your love, so passionately poured out.

let me always treat them
as those most precious to You.
I love You;
let me love them the same.

Listen and sing:
Hymn: The Greatest Commandments
Printed Music & Lyrics