Summary: Jesus says that the greatest commandments were to love God with all your heart and to love others as much as you love yourself. How you doing with that?
The Greatest commandments
Turn to Matthew 22:34-37
Matthew 22 is the discussing of the two greatest Commandments that Jesus spoke to His believers.
Before He does that, He has a conversation with the Sadducees. The Sadducees believed that there was no resurrection, so they came to Jesus with a hypothetical question. Moses taught that if a man died without having children that his brother must marry the widow to keep the family blood line going. Seven brothers, one married and died, this same thing happened to the second, third, and all the way to the seventh. Then the women died.
The question they were tricking Jesus with was, at the resurrection, whose wife would this women belong to? She had been married to seven different men.
“You are in error because you don’t know the scriptures, nor the power of God. At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage, they will be like the angels in heaven. But about the resurrection of the dead- have you not heard what God has said to you. I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”
There will be a resurrection, contrary to what the Sadducces believed, and at that resurrection, believers will be united with Christ. I believe that we will know each other, but united with Christ first, not each other. The dead are those that are without Jesus as Lord. They will be dead in their sins and face the judgment of God instead of the mercy of God.
Text- Matthew 22:34-37
First the Sadducces about the resurrection
Now, the Pharisees want to challenge Jesus- an expert of the law trying to corner Jesus with His own words.
2 greatest Commandments
(1) Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul.
(2) Love your neighbor as yourself.
Jesus says everything hinges off these two commandments.
The two things that most people have the most trouble with, loving God the way we should and loving others because most are selfish and only live for themselves.
In the Old Testament, there are many passages that tell us to love God and to love others.
The genius is that Jesus put these two together.
I do not believe that many will be argued into the kingdom of God, but I do believe many will be there by showing the love of God.
Commands - love God, love neighbor and love yourself.
It is the vertical for the relationship with God and horizontal that stretches to others around us and us taking care of ourselves.
Let’s start with loving God
I. Loving God
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”
That is very fiber of your being- heart, soul, and mind.
We want to give Jesus our souls, but our heart and our mind is where it gets tough.
We know that Jesus wants to have an active relationship with us.
“Come near to God and He will come near to you.”
Jesus made the first move toward us by His death, resurrection on the cross. He
actively is wanting and desiring and providing a way for us to have that relationship and tells us to draw near to Him, and he is ready and willing to respond.
What does it mean to love God with all your heart, soul, and mind?
It means that we have to give Him our all!
Not only your soul, but your heart and your everyday life belong to Jesus.
People look at church as a place that keeps a bunch of rules and a place that says if you love Jesus we will take things away from you.
Church is a place to worship God!
A place that you unite with other believers and tell Jesus what He means to you.
Our focus is on God!- not rules. We obey God out of obedience not out of fear or legalism.
Legalism focuses on the rules. Relationship with God focuses on the character of God and our desires to be more Christ-like.
We love God’s Word because it is His word.
We obey God because we have a desire to praise Him.
We draw near to God every chance we get because it is at His presence that our lives are changed. The more we respond to Him, the more He will respond.
One of the struggles in Church is trying to get many types of people in an attitude of worship. Some are uncomfortable doing that. It’s biblical, but tough for some. My point is that if we are to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind, it is not limited to giving him our soul, it is every aspect of your life.