What is the great commandment in the Law? A man asked Jesus this question. He responded, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37, NIV). “This is the first and greatest commandment” (verse 38). Hence, the overarching commandment of the Law is for us to love God with all that is within us.
Yes, Jesus was responding to a question about the Law. But under Grace, this has not changed. God still wants to be first in our life. He still wants us to love Him with all our heart, soul and mind. He has earned the right to be first in our life. We were lost and without hope. No one on earth was qualified to redeem us. God came down in the person of His Son and died for us. “We thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again,” Paul the apostle wrote (2 Cor. 5:14-15).
Based on these words from the pen of Paul, we are flawed in our thinking if we believe that under grace we are free to do and live as we please. On the contrary, we are indebted to live for the one who died for us. He has purchased us with His own blood (see Acts 20:28). There is but one way for us to fulfill this obligation, and that is to make God first in our life.
When God is first in our life, our relationships with others will fall into their proper places. We can’t love God and hate our brother at the same time. Or should I say our love for God is not complete when that’s the case. Why? Because the same God we claim to be first in our life is also the God who calls us to love our brother. And we don’t willingly live in disobedience to someone who is first in our life.
I believe that one of the reasons some Christians are so sour toward other Christians is because their relationship with God is seriously lacking. The more we love God the more we will love His people and others. In fact, the Bible says the person who does not love his brother is not of God (1 John 3:10)!
God will not become first in our life by happenstance. Such a relationship with Him is not incidental to being a Christian. We must be intentional. It starts with a firm decision that we will make God first. My hope is that you are of that conviction already. If not, why not make that most important decision today?
Copyright © 2017 by Frank King. All rights reserved.