Here's what we're wondering about: Matthew 22:37-39
Jesus said. . .
He was answering the question of a person who wanted to trick him. But Jesus had a perfect answer, one that scholars would recognize as sound teaching, and everyone would hear and wonder about. Jesus said:
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.”
These words not only come from ancient teachings, they are for us - today.
How do I love God with all my heart? My heart feels all the feels.
How can I love God with all my soul? My soul is everything that makes me, me.
How should I love God with all my mind? My good brain tries hard to know God!
This is the greatest and first commandment.
The greatest and first!!
This commandment is Number 1; the one to always remember and put first - in every way. When are some times you might find yourself needing to remember these Greatest & First words? Is this commandment easy or hard - or both?
And a second is like it: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
How would you say this second commandment is like the first one?
What is the connection between God, and you (your heart, mind, soul!), and everyone else?
Hint: think about these words from 1 John 4:7-21 (a lot of words! read them slowly) -
"Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.
God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.
No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.
By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. And we have seen and do testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. God abides in those who confess that Jesus is the Son of God, and they abide in God.
So we have known and believe the love that God has for us.
God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them. Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness on the day of judgment, because as he is, so are we in this world.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear; for fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not reached perfection in love.
We love because he first loved us.
Those who say, 'I love God,' and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also."
Brothers, sisters, neighbors, friends, enemies, folks who need things, folks you kind of like, and folks you'd rather not like. If you're going to love God, you must love all of these people, too.
And love them exactly the same way as you love yourself! How do you feel about you? We can love one another, because God loves us. What would the world be like if everyone loved everyone?
What is love?
God is love!