Summary: To focus on the most important commandment that is to Love God with everything you have


George E. Crumbly SUN 2/12/2006 AM

Humphrey UMC Humphrey Arkansas

MATTHEW 22: 34-40

Matthew 22

Tuesday will be February 14 which we all know as “Valentine’s Day”. Looking back over so much tragedy that happened last year I do believe the majority of our nation does indeed understand what LOVE is. I started the week off praying for the message for today, thinking too about Valentine’s Day.

(Illustrated Bible Dictionary: Love is the high esteem which God has for His human children and the high regard which they, in turn, should have for him and other people.)

One of the Pharisee’s which happen to be an attorney questioned the Lord about the commandments, as a matter of fact he was actually tempting the Lord trying to get the Lord to contradict himself.

Matthew 22: verses 34-40

Jesus tells us the greatest commandment is not one of the ten it is not it is not some self righteous rule for life, but it is an emotion that we are called to share with the world the Greatest commandment is love

(”You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind) and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

I want us to focus on the first part of this commandment (Re-read). This is something that ALL Christians should focus on…..should LIVE by. The thing that should set Christians apart the thing that the Church should be know for in our society is Love

* Love that leads to forgiveness (Unforgiving spirit is worse than a cancer)

* Love that forces us to care

* Love that urges generosity

* Love that will not allow us to sit by as others suffer

* Love that recognizes what Christ did on the cross for us and calls us to share that story

I do not want to take away from the second part of this commandment I just believe that If WE SHOULD FOCUS on LOVING GOD WITH EVERYTHING WE HAVE!!!!! When we do this, I mean truly, truly DO THIS then everything will fall in place. We don’t need to concentrate on any one commandment…..Just this one here the Lord gives the Pharisee’s. No need to add to it – JUST DO IT!!!!

If we are not careful the church will become a “religious” place rather than a church. (We had a singing group come to our church several years ago that one of the singers said instead of trying to fill the church first we need to be the church) If we aren’t careful we will begin to become “religious” and focus on things that will begin to distract us from the love God intends for us to have. The Church then because of our Love will become a place where people become very religious but never really become very godly or very Christian (Christ-like) it’s sad today to go out into the world where you will find congregations that are not known for their love. Christianity is not about following rule and regulations:

it is about living out our faith,

it is about helping our neighbor

it is about welcoming all

it is about love

(it is like the old saying God does care how much you know God knows how much you care)

I’ve seen churches that were mean….bitter…I’ve seen churches that would give themselves away in Love. How? Is it the type of songbook used? Is it the kind of translation of the bible used? Maybe the kind of songs we sing? How about maybe the style of building we build? You & I make up the church.

(I like to use McDonalds for example. Everywhere you go you will find the food the same. You see occasionally the McDonald truck delivering the food, the same kind of French fries, meat & drinks as all of the others. Therefore the food being the same what makes the store different? The workers. Whether the store is fast, slow, or the workers are mean or rude or if service is great. The people make the store what it is)

The same in the church. We serve the same God. Yet, some churches I have known were the lovingness churches I’ve ever seen, this being the fact the people are the ones that are loving. The same with the church being mean & rude, it’s not the building but the people, because we are the church.

The church is needed in this world now more than any other time in history to stand up and be the church that God has called us to be!! Look at what Paul tells us about Love here in Corinthians:

Love is patient;

love is kind;

love is not envious or boastful

or arrogant or rude.

It does not insist on its own way;

it is not irritable or resentful;

it does not rejoice in wrongdoing,

but rejoices in the truth.

Love bears all things,

believes all things,

hopes all things,

endures all things.

Love never ends.

That is what the Greatest commandment is today………First & Foremost to LOVE GOD WITH EVERYTHING YOU HAVE & everything will fall into place………….We need to focus on Loving God first, when we do this then we will not commit adultery, we will not steal, lie, cheat or even commit murder.

Let’s concentrate & focus on Loving God.