June 27, 2024

Rhonda Patterson
“The entire law is summed up in a single command: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
Galatians 5:14

This command was given by Jesus as the Sadducees and Pharisees were attempting to test him. One asked him which commandment was the greatest in the Law. Jesus replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 22:37-39

Most couples who’ve been married for a long time will tell you their love for their spouse has grown over the years. My husband and I began dating in high school, married at twenty, and the journey began. There’ve been many highs and lows, but I can definitely say that my love for him has deepened over these forty-four years. My love has grown through knowing him more and more. Our relationship with God is the same. As we navigate highs and lows with the Lord, the longer we walk with Him, the more we grow in our knowledge and understanding of His ways. As we allow Him to peel away layers of things that aren’t best for us, we learn to trust Him more. As in marriage, sometimes we hit obstacles that make it hard to lean into Him. But in His kindness and mercy, He is constantly wooing us in. As we allow Him into some of the most challenging places, we learn more about this ever-faithful God, and our love for Him continues to grow.

We took time to look at the first command to love the Lord because everything flows from it. Loving our neighbor as ourselves is simply impossible without Christ’s love flowing through us. Sure, we see lost people doing kind things for others. But genuine agape love can only be extended through our devotion to the Lord our God and desiring all to know His love for them.

Lord, as we sometimes struggle to love as You commanded us with neighbors, co-workers, and such, we ask that You would give us eyes to see them as You do and fill our hearts with Your compassion and love for them.