The Verse of the Day for February 25, 2016 sets forth words from the Lord Jesus:
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.’
To understand more fully his response, we need to determine “What was the question, and who asked it?” Looking closely at the verses preceding the Messiah’s reply, we learn this:
Matthew 22:34-36 (NLT):
34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. 35 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the Law of Moses?”
Here is Jesus’ complete response:
Matthew 22:37-40 (NLT):
37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
In the Lord’s answer we find the foundation upon which all relationships are built. Once again, we acknowledge that “It’s all about relationships,” beginning with our relationship with God, our heavenly Father, and extending to how each individual relates with one another in a variety of contexts.
This often quoted passage, including the summary statement found in verse 40, was the inspiration, in part, for the following poem that expresses the ultimate reward of building and sustaining our relationships with God and with one another:
Building Godly Relationships
God sets aside and keeps for Himself a remnant
Of beloved daughters and sons, whom He foreknew
And thus predestined them to keep His covenant,
His righteous ones, called and chosen, faithful and true.
In Christ is defined a Godly relationship,
But we must submit to Jesus and make him Lord
To understand the essence of this true friendship,
Unfolded in these two commandments of God’s Word.
May we renew our vows and never violate
The trust God placed in us but ever seek to find
In Him the strength to walk in love and never hate
But to love God with all our heart and soul and mind.
No longer called servants, may we now be called friends
Who know firsthand that God’s faithfulness never ends.
Israel Houghton summarizes the message and offers this lively reminder: “Love God, Love People”: