What is the most important rule in your house? What do you think God’s most important rule is?
One time a man walked up to Jesus and asked him, “Jesus, what do you say is God’s most important law?” The gospel of Matthew records how Jesus answered that question:
Matthew 22:37-40. 37 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
When he was asked which of God’s rules was the most important Jesus could answer without hesitating – Love! Love God and love your neighbor. But why is loving so important?
First, because God is love. Everything God does flows from his love for us. Even when he gets angry it is because he loves us so much and wants what is best for us.
Second, loving is so important because we were made by God to love. God made us to image or reflect his own love when we choose to love others. Everyone loves someone or something. Who do you love?
Third, loving is so important because when we love others we are also loving God. When we are kind to others we are being kind to Jesus. When we share with someone else we are sharing with Jesus. When we help someone who is weaker, it’s the same as helping Jesus.
Fourth, loving is so important because if we don’t practice loving others then we will become really selfish, caring only about ourselves. And if that happens it will be really hard for anyone to want to be around you.
So love is super important. Jesus is saying that loving our neighbor is God’s plan for our whole life. If we love others we are loving God. And if we love God we will love others. Simple right?
Well…if we’re honest we will admit that loving others isn’t always so easy is it? Especially when we think back to the Good Samaritan story where we learn that our “neighbor” is everyone – even our “enemy.” Even the people we don’t exactly like too much.
So how can we love others even though it’s really hard to do?
Always remember that Jesus lived life in your place and he came to earth and loved others perfectly for you. He loved God perfectly, and he loved his neighbors, even his enemies, perfectly for you. So now, even when we fail to love and share and be kind, we are forgiven by God because of Jesus.
And always remember how much Jesus loves you. How much does Jesus love you? He loves you so much that he would die on the cross for you and then change your heart so that you can live with him forever and ever. That’s a whole lot of love!
And when we remember how much we are loved it makes it way easier to love others doesn’t it?
Because of Jesus we will always be loved by God.
With Jesus we can choose to love our neighbors (and even our enemies).
DO SOMETHING TOGETHER
Focus on this verse together as a family (maybe hang it up somewhere visible).
John 13:34. love one another: just as I have loved you
Help your kids to see the order: 1) know Jesus loves you, 2) love others. Trying to love without first receiving love is impossible.
And watch this scene from Frozen together where Olaf defines love – putting someone else’s needs above your own – good stuff!
Thank you for loving God and others for me. And thank you for always loving me. Help me to love God and others too.
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