The Greatest Commandment

All the commandments that I am commanding you today you shall be careful to do, that you may live and multiply, and go in and possess the land which the Lord swore to give to your forefathers. - (Deuteronomy 8:1)

Jesus said in Matthew 4:4, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” Life itself is tied to biblical authority. If you rebel against it, you’re rebelling against life.

Since life and death in God’s kingdom are tied to the issue of biblical authority, you need to know God’s commandments so you can do them and live.

You may be saying, “Tony, the Bible is a big Book. It takes a lifetime to understand the Bible. How can I possibly do it?”

Let me suggest that the Bible is not quite as hard as you may think. Yes, it’s so inexhaustible that theologians take a lifetime to try to understand it. Yet it is also so clear that children can grasp it.

The Bible has relatively few core teachings. Now it may talk about them in a thousand different ways, but the Bible only has a handful of foundational truths.

Exodus 20 contains what Moses called literally the “ten words.”We know them as the Ten Commandments. They are the summary of life. So if you understand the Ten Com- mandments, you will have the core of what God expects from you.

But even better than that, Jesus summarized the essence of these commandments for us in Matthew 22:36- 40. A lawyer came to Jesus and asked Him a lawyer-type question: “Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus told him,“‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind’. . . . The second [commandment] is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself ’” (vv. 37, 39). There you have the very core of how you are to live out God’s kingdom agenda.

Reflection: How are the Ten Commandments distilled in the two commandments given by Jesus? Read Galatians 3. What does God say is the purpose of the Law? Can we keep it?

To love You with all of my heart, soul, and mind is my highest calling and my deepest joy. To love others as I love myself is Your purpose for me as well. Place Your love within me each moment so that I can be a conduit of love in return.

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