What does Jesus tell us about the two greatest commandments?
Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12: 29-31.
I could expand on this passage for quite a while, but that’s not what I want to do here. Jesus tells us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. And then love our neighbor or fellow man/woman as ourselves. NO other commandment is greater.
My friend Ed is in county jail serving time for a huge mistake he made. That mistake cost another man his life and altered the lives of many others. That mistake also brought him to an incredible and deep relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. I too am living the consequences of mistakes I have made in the past. Those mistakes caused the breakup of my family and other friendships/relationships as well as some ministries. But because of those mistakes, God brought me to a place to where I had nowhere else to look but to Him and He has come through time after time in the past almost three years. Along with the deliverance of the past, came blessings I could never think of, as well as a deep constant relationship with Jesus. So when I visited my friend Ed in jail recently…we discussed why we were so on fire about what God has done in our lives. The story that came up was from Luke 7 when Jesus was having dinner at a Pharisee’s home and the immoral woman came in…
Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t greet me with a kiss, but from the time I first came in, she has not stopped kissing my feet. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume.
“I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love.” Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.” Luke 7: 44-48
So both Ed and I know how much we have been forgiven and love much. We have acquired the fire so to speak. But really, if anybody truly knew how much they had been forgiven…I mean REALLY understood it…they too would have the fire. Perhaps that’s a challenge for you.
So here’s a quick question…when was the last time you spent more time praying for others than for yourself? Now don’t get me wrong here I’m not saying we shouldn’t pray for ourselves. Even in the Lord’s Prayer Jesus uses the words… “Give us this day our daily bread…” So we are to pray for our needs. And in the prayer of Jabez he asks that he would be blessed and his territory enlarged:
He was the one who prayed to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and expand my territory! Please be with me in all that I do, and keep me from all trouble and pain!” And God granted him his request. 1st Chronicles 4:10
And how many times in the Psalms did David ask for blessings, protection and destruction of enemies? Plenty!
The Lord wants to hear our heart and that includes our desires, needs, concerns, hurts and praises!
However, to look at the most important commandment from Jesus, I think we need to look at how we love God and how we love others. If we make God our first and foremost priority in life by just inviting Him in EVERYTHING we do and say, then our heart will burst with the desire to love and serve and pray for others. I know this is easier said than done. And please understand I’m not saying to DO anything in our own power…because we can’t do it! It can only be by the power of the Holy Spirit. But to have that fire…will put others on our minds and in our heart to pray for their needs. Whether it be healing, deliverance, salvation or simply for God to reveal Himself to them.
I think it’s important to look beyond ourselves and into the lives of our families and others to see what God can do in their lives and how He can do it. And what a blessing we will get out of it. We may or may not see the results of our prayers, but that won’t be up to us.
So here’s a challenge…for a week how about praying for those you know who have great needs. Maybe even those you don’t know…but know there are needs. Whether they be relational, financial, spiritual or physical…pray that God would intervene in their lives. See what He does. If there’s nothing visible that goes on, just know that God never sleeps and He’s always working. Have the confidence and knowledge that God will answer those prayers…someday…in His way.
May you acquire the fire as you come to know how much, dear brother or sister, that you have been forgiven!