The Preeminence of Love

Matthew 22:36-40 “Master, which is the great commandment in the law? [37] Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. [38] This is the first and great commandment. [39] And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. [40] On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Biblical love is one of the most important elements of the Christian life. The response Jesus gave when asked about the greatest commandment of all gives us insight into that importance. We are to love God with every fiber of our being (with ALL our hearts, soul, mind, and strength); and we are to love others as we would ourselves (selfless and sacrificial).  Every commandment contained in God’s Word and every teaching of the prophets hinge on this love.  It should be the priority and heartbeat of every church, ministry, preacher, and believer.  We should cherish and long for an environment where this kind of love is preeminent, displayed, and encouraged.  If we are not careful we can lose touch with this mandate; and our lives, ministries, church services, and leadership can become shallow, scripted, and cold.  The love described by Christ in these verses impacts every area of life.  It affects our worship, motives, behavior, priorities, teaching, preaching, giving, and treatment of others.  It is a love that motivates; and it is a love that can be seen and felt.  This love must be made a priority.  May the God of Heaven help us as believers not to simply go through all the motions of church and miss out on the most important thing of all: truly loving God and loving others.