“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.” All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.'” — Matthew 22:37-40
Children want to run everywhere and often don’t understand why they can’t run on stairs and in streets. Therefore, loving parents, grandparents and caregivers find ways to teach children to run in safe spaces and walk carefully in other places. Even though rules are not fun to follow, most laws and regulations are designed to prevent problems, promote peace and save lives.
In the Old Testament, God delivered hundreds of regulations written out in detail by Moses. The rules spoke about marriage, family life, community relations, property, international agreements, religious ceremonies and the best food for health and long life. The Israelites didn’t understand or like every rule, but God set up a system for their own good and to teach them about their need for Him. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).
The Old Testament law was the precursor to the law of the Spirit, of life inaugurated by Christ in His love. “So the law was our guardian until Christ came that we might be justified by faith” (Galatians 3:24). When Christ draws us to Himself, then unselfish, sacrificial love is our way of life. We learn to love our friends better and also to love our enemies. Jesus said in Matthew 5:44, “I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”
If we live according to Christ’s law of love, then we live simpler and better lives, because loving God and others in an unselfish way is living in obedience to Scripture. Jesus said in Matthew 22:37-40, “‘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.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
— Bill Kent, Pastor of Memorial Baptist Church, Sylvania, Georgia
If you would like to submit a devotional, please email all submissions to