Summary: Message deals with loving God and our neighbor.

Put Into Practice - Love - Part 2

Matthew 22:36-40

Pastor Don Jones

Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law? Jesus replied: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.

Loving God

We began our look last week with the first part of the great command. When asked what the greatest command was Jesus said,

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.

I hope you did not go home hoping that so and so heard the message. Each one of these messages is directed at you. As Jesus was taking about dealing with others He said,

Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother¡s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, Let me take the speck out of your eye, when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother¡s eye.

As I said last week this command from Jesus begins with "you love the Lord." We are not allowed to point our finger at others but we must direct out attention inward. Each of us is responsible only for ourselves. When we one day stand before Jesus He won’t ask you about anyone else but you. You are to give account of your actions.

I also hoped you took the time to ask yourself if you were worshipping the Lord with all you are and all you have. If you haven’t taken the time, then you will be given the opportunity to rededicate your life at the end of the service. If you are holding something back, give it to the Lord. We are to give all of our life to Him.

What’s the first step? We must first love and receive His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus is the way, the only way to a relationship with the Father, Almighty God. He said in John 14:6,

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Through Christ and Him alone we love God by receiving the gift of His Son and thereby obey the first part of the Great Commandment. How can you possible say you love God and reject His Son? You can’t, it is not possible. If you have not demonstrated your love for God by receiving His Son I urge you to do so today.

There will be a time of decision at the end of the service today and I urge you to make that decision public. Why? Jesus always called His disciples openly and publicly. There are no secret agent Christians.

How are we to love the Lord our God after we receive His Son? We are to love God with all we are and all we have. This is what is meant by heart, soul, and mind. All of it, everything is His. We are to sacrifice our desires, our will, and our lives before Him to do with as He pleases through Jesus. He is to be absolute first in our lives.

Do you remember when you first loved another person? I do. I couldn’t wait to spend time with her. I was completely selfish when it came to her time. I wanted to spend ever moment I had to be with her. When I was with her I forgot about everything else. I was in a daze where she was the only person in the world. I didn’t even care if we talked. I just wanted to be in her presence. I was in love and I had it bad.

Remarkably, I still want her to get home as fast as she can to be with me. Just to have her near still calms my mind and spirit. Long ago the oogy feelings went away. I made a conscious choice that from that day forward she was to be the only one.

Our love for God must be a conscious choice. It is a commitment forever. But there also needs to be an intense desire to be with Him. There needs to be passion. We need to love God passionately, putting everyone and everything aside and doing what He desires. Does that conflict with my relationship at home? No, He commands me to love her as Christ loved the church.

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