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July 23, 2022

Our greatest two commandments on earth entail love. First, we are to love God and, secondly, to love others.

In his farewell address, Moses gave this commandment from God to the new generation of Israelites. He said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” This needed to be said because when God first gave the commandments to them in the wilderness, many of them had not been born. They did not hear when He told their forefathers He was a jealous God and that He did not want to share their love our devotion with other gods. Lest this new generation follows in the footsteps of the old and commits idolatry, they were cautioned not to by Moses.

Jesus reiterated this requirement in Matthew 22. He said to a lawyer questioning Him, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.“

If you read the Psalms, many of which were written by David, you would get the impression that it was right to pray for the downfall of your enemy. Additionally, if you were to follow in David’s footsteps, your prayers for those that opposed you would not adhere to the instructions of Jesus found in Matthew 5:44, “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Furthermore, Jesus explains it is easy to love those that love you and treat you kindly; however, God requires more from believers. He wants believers to love everyone, for in so doing, all men will recognize them as His followers.

It is crucial to learn everything written in the Bible is factual; however, everything in it is not a pattern for believers to imitate. When you want to please God, look for examples of people loving Him and others. These are the individuals to emulate; when this is done, the greatest two commandments will be fulfilled in your life.

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