Matt 22:34-40: “But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ 37 Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets."
The greatest command that God has given to people was simply to love Him. Out of all of the things that God could have included, such as destroy the infidel, achieve inner peace, serve others, or proselytize the nations, God chose for us to simply love Him. God wants His creation to love Him and acknowledge what He has done for us. The greatest thing that we can do is to love Him for who He is.
Jesus answered the Pharisees by saying the one thing that will make the most difference in your life, and that is to love God. He said the love that God deserves is one that comes from our heart, soul, and mind. When we love Him that way we seek to use all our senses and our entire being. A love like that will acknowledge the good gifts that He has given us. John 3:16-17 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” This is the love that God has for me and you. When we recognize this love in our hearts, soul, and mind, we return that love to Him.
The rub of course for many is showing God love with our mouths and following through with loving God with our entire being which is a requirement. Jesus said that loving God with your entire being was the greatest thing one could do. When you do that, you will be submitting to Him and His purpose. You would be recognizing that Jesus is God’s love offering to this world.
The second greatest command Jesus said is to Love your neighbor as yourself. Jesus said that you could wrap up all the law and the Prophets teachings on these two commands. A life that is pleasing to God is one that is seeking to show love to his creator and showing love for your fellow man. This is the life of the Christ-follower. The list of priorities that we are called to follow is this formula: God + Others = the obedient Christian life. When we put God first, and then others before our own interest, we are then fulfilling Matthew 16:24, “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.’”