Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38)
The Holy Spirit is Restoring the First Commandment to First Priority
The Holy Spirit desires to impart two things to our spirits in order to bring the first commandment into first place in our busy American lives.
- He desires to impart an understanding of the first commandment. He will give us insight into how to live this out in our day-to-day lives. This is really important to Him, obviously above everything else.
- He desires to impart faith into our hearts – a confidence that in our brokenness, God is able to impart His fiery love into our weak human frame. He will empower us to walk out the first commandment in this age, and the ages to come.
- Jesus spoke the words of Matthew 22:37-38 as part of His last public declaration in Jerusalem before going to the cross. Mark 12:30 adds, “…with all your strength.”
Jesus said to him, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.” (Matthew 22:37-38) And you shall love the LORD your God…with all your strength (Mark 12:30)
- Jesus was quoting Moses’ prophecy over the nation of Israel from Deuteronomy 30:6. Moses said that in the last days of the final generation, though Israel will go astray, they will return to the Lord.
- Jesus gives the first commandment not only as a prophetic declaration, but as a promise for the whole Body of Christ. We shall do this before He returns!!
- Jesus defined the commandment as the first commandment, and also as the great commandment.
Why this Commandment is First
- It is the first priority to God. The number-one thing God wants to do in your life and in your ministry is that you would love Him as the highest priority in your life.
- The Church in the earth that is paying attention to the Holy Spirit will carry this as the first priority.
Why this commandment is Great
- It is great in terms of its impact on God’s heart. The small movements of love in your heart greatly impact God.
- It is great in terms of its impact on your own heart. It changes your emotions. It prepares us to impact the nations of the world and the unbeliever.
Why God Calls us to love Him with all
- God calls us to love Him with all of our heart and strength because He loves us with all of His heart, all of His soul, all of His mind, and all of His strength – this is the foundational premise of our relationship with God. He wants us to love Him in exactly the same way He loves us. He wants a relationship in which we are equally yoked in love.
- What about loving others? The ministry impact we have on others is dynamic, but it is secondary. If you love God, you will love others far better, and your ministry toward others will be far more consistent.
- Lovesick worshippers make the best intercessors. Lovers will out-work workers, every time. The lover carries a sense of the reward in their heart – the pleasure of feeling loved by God and the anointing to love Him in return.
The Ministry-oriented Church
To the angel of the church of Ephesus write… “I know your works, your labor, your patience, and that you cannot bear those who are evil… and you have persevered and have patience, and have labored for My name’s sake and have not become weary. Nevertheless I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works…” (Revelation 2:1-5)
- Jesus spoke of the Ephesian church as laboring in ministry for His name’s sake without growing weary. Yet His charge against them was that they did not love Him in the way they used to love Him. He describes them as having fallen from a place of love toward Him. He calls them to repent and return to their once-fiery, devotional focus upon Him.
- The enemy wants to lead our mind astray from the simplicity of a pure devotion to Jesus.
But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:3)
- Pure devotion begins with an understanding of how God feels about us.
- Understanding how God feels about us is not enough. We must set the first commandment as the highest priority of our heart, our soul’s primary focus. God will not force us to have this focus in our lives. Love must be voluntary, or it is not love. He will woo us, and bring messengers for this in these last days, but we must choose this, and choose to schedule our lives to make this priority first. Many say yes to making their lives a display of this, but do not actually followthrough, Jesus values our steps in laying hold of ‘entirety.’ Giving ourselves to Him fully in love and obedience. Time management is key, scheduling helps.