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Mark 12:28-31 (KJV) And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all? 29 And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 30 And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 31 And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

A Scribe was someone who copied Scripture back in the days when there were no Xerox machines, no copiers, no computers, and in many cases no paper. Scribes worked within the Temple to take a copy of Scripture – usually in a large scroll – and make a copy of that Scripture as perfectly as possible. Scribes worked with primitive writing instruments and primitive inks, often making both ink and paper themselves. And Scribes were taught to be meticulous about copying Scripture. I have been told that Scribes often checked other Scribes work and, if any error was found, the entire scroll was destroyed. Scribes were methodical, careful, and through repetition had memorized large sections of Scripture.

A Scribe came to test our Jesus. He had listened to Jesus being questioned by the Sadducees and,

..perceiving that {Jesus} had answered (the Sadducees) well

decided to ask Jesus a question, to put the Lord to the test. So the Scribe asked Jesus:

Which is the first commandment of all?

The Scribe was not asking what the FIRST of the TEN Commandments were. He was asking what was the πρῶτος prōtosthe very first Law that God ever gave mankind. What was the Law that was binding on Adam and Eve, and that our foreparents broke bringing sin into the world (Genesis 2:17)? What was the Law that caused Noah to build an Ark, the Grace of God saving him and his family from the flood (Genesis 6:8)? What was the Law in the heart of Enoch who walked with God until he entered eternity (Genesis 5:21-24)? What was the Law that Abraham followed, leaving his family and friends? This Law is:

Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God …

This Law is the most ancient of Laws. This Law is also the Law from which all other Laws grow. Jesus called this Commandment GREAT because from it all other laws are formed. From out of this First Commandment comes the Second:

Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.

Treat your neighbor the way that you wish to be treated. Why? Because you love the LORD your God. My God told me to do this. Am I to love only my friends or to love only those who do good to me? No. Jesus said:

Matthew 5:46-47 (KJV) For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? 47 And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?

The hated Tax Collectors portrayed a false love, doing good for those who would benefit them. But if I love the Lord my God then I will recognize that God created each person with purpose, and made each person in His image and after His likeness (Genesis 1:26-28). Every person is my neighbor. Every person has worth because my God demands it so. How shall I love my neighbor? Jesus said:

Matthew 5:43-45 (KJV)43 Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbor, and hate thine enemy. 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; 45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

God shall one day judge the wrong done to His children. But if I love the Lord my God then I will do as He says, trusting that He will cause all things to work together for my good (Romans 8:28). I am to do love – God is to judge.

The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel;
The Lord our God is one Lord:

This love that I am to have is to be to the ONE Lord our God. I am not to compromise with the foolish darkness of this world. The world declares things like:

There are many ways to God”, or
“We are all children of God”

This is not true. When Jesus started His reply with Hear, O Israel He was quoting the Holy Bible, a text which reads:

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (KJV) Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: 5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8 And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9 And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.

The God Whom we worship is not revealed in the Qumran, the Rig Veda, the Apocryphal writings. The God Whom we worship is revealed in the Holy Bible. This is the God Whom we love. We obey Him and His Word – this Scripture – because He says so. We are not …

children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, by cunning craftiness …(Ephesians 4:14)

One of the preeminent tests of our love is to ask ourselves “What has the Lord our God said by His Word?”. If it is clearly written in His Word then we are to do it – that is, if we love God.

What Is The Quality Of This Love?

We live in a day when the word “Love” is tossed about like candy at a parade. What is the quality of love that God demands of us?

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart

I may be passionate about many things for God has made me so. But my chief passion is to be for the Lord my God. I should not have to be forced to love God, but I should love Him passionately because He first loved me. As an unsaved man I loved many things and many people, but never did I love God. Yet one day God opened my eyes. He showed me how much He loved me on the Cross of Calvary. It was to that terrible Cross that …

John 3:16 (KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Jesus was no mere man, but He was the very Son of God. Numerous times God spoke saying of His Son:

Matthew 3:17 (KJV) …. This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

The Father was well pleased with His Son, but not well pleased with the world. The world …

1 John 5:19 (KJV) … the whole world lieth in wickedness.

And yet the Scripture declares that the Father sent His Beloved Son to die for the sins of the world.

1 John 2:2 (KJV) And {Jesus} is the {payment} for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

The Bible says that (Romans 5:8) God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

And that (1 John 4:19) We love him, because he first loved us.

He died for me and died for you before we ever knew Him. Should we not love Him with all our heart? Should we not be passionate about our Lord? Yes, we should. But there are times when we neglect Him. We eat without thanking Him. We live our lives without remembering Him throughout the day. Oh, but when we remember Him we should also become more passionate. Though we forget Him at times has the Lord our God not said:

Hebrews 13:5-6 (KJV) … I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me.

Deuteronomy 31:6 (KJV) Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul

We should not only love God passionately, but our entire identity should be focused on loving Him. The Soul is that which gives us life. God made the human soul, and every soul belongs to God. The Bible says:

Ezekiel 18:4 (KJV) Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.

You belong to God, and to God you will return one day. You do not belong to yourself. Jesus says of the Redeemed:

1 Corinthians 6:20 (KJV) For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

You belong to God, dear Christian. It is amazing to me how some believers will acknowledge this, but knowingly and willingly reject the clearly written command of God in order to please others. You, dear believer, are to live your life as to please the Lord. I belong to God. You belong to God. The unbeliever as well as the believer belong to God.

Hebrews 9:27-28 (KJV) And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: 28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

We all have an appointment with our Maker one day soon. Let us make certain that our hope is firmly placed in the sin bearing Jesus. Let us live for Him, for He died for us. I saw a sign the other day that said:

Jesus died for you. Shouldn’t you live for Him?

I like that. Especially because it is scriptural.

2 Corinthians 5:15 (KJV) {Jesus Christ} died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind

The Mind is what drives our bodies. We are to serve the Lord and love Him with all our understanding. As we seek Him in prayer and meditate on His Word we let Him influence what we do, where we go, and what we say. No believer should be ignorant of God. The Lord has given us of His Spirit and of His Scripture. Jesus said of the Spirit:

John 16:13 (KJV) Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength

My efforts should be expended in loving the Lord my God. “Strength” speaks of DOING. Many people say that they love God, but are you doing for Him? If not, then you are missing the mark.

Our God is good. He preserves us, and loves us, and saves us. God expended effort – great effort – in coming to this earth. He left the glories of Heaven to become incarnate, a baby in a manger in Bethlehem long ago. God became man. The Son of God became the Son of Man so that we who believe on Him can become Sons of God. What a glorious Savior we have. I fail Him daily, but He loves me still. Thank You, dear Father, for loving a wretch like me.

About bibleteacherorg

A searching Pastor, I am looking for a people who love the Lord and love one another. Daily I pray for the Church. Most of what the world sees today is not the Church, but clubs pretending to be the Church. God is calling to Himself a people willing to be righteous, not self righteous, serving not served. I am called to pastor God's people, those who want to change the world by willingly and willfully following Jesus Christ. Only God is able to change the world, and we must follow His Christ. He is able! Praise His Name! Come quickly Lord Jesus!
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