"THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT"
Intro. One day a lawyer asked Jesus as to what was the great commandment. Jesus responded with our text. thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all your heart, and with all your soul, all your might. Jesus then added Lev. 19:18
, and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.
I. HEAR O ISRAEL, JEHOVAH OUR GOD IS ONE JEHOVAH. YAHWEH ELOHEEYNUW YAHWEH YISRAAEEL SH'MA ECHAAD.
A. A couple of interesting notes.
1. Elohim in Hebrew is Gods plural. Singular is El. I believe that the use of the plural suggests the trinity.
2. Echaad in Hebrew is one, however it is what is known as a compound unity.
a. The same word is used when God spoke of marriage and said, "The two shall become one."
b. At the tower of Babel God said the people are one. They are united in evil.
c. There is another Hebrew word for one, that is Yacheed, that is an absolute one.
d. Should the sh'ma declare, Yahweh Eloheeynuw Yahweh Yisraaeel sh'ma yacheed, you would have no basis for the argument for the trinity.
II. YOU SHALL LOVE THE JEHOVAH YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART.
A. This has always been the problem of men. The divided heart. It is not that we do not love God, but our love for him is somewhere down on the list. It is not at the top of the list. The first commandment is you shall have no other gods before me.
1. David prayed, "Unite my heart to fear Thy name."
2. The heart has always been considered deeper than the emotions.
a. Emotional love is a variable.
b. Love from the heart is a constant.
B. With all your soul.
1. The heart has been considered the seat of the spirit.
2. The mind has been considered the seat of the soul.
3. God wants you to love Him with all your heart and soul.
C. With all your strength.
1. Back in the summer of '44 at Camp Radford a man by the name of Willis Shank taught us a chorus that went like this: "All my days and all my hours, All my will and all my powers, All the passions of my soul, Not a fraction, but the whole, Shall by thine dear Lord, shall be thine dear Lord. Willis died in a plane crash in Alaska the following fall, but I will never forget the impact this man's life made on mine.
2. This chorus expresses just what God wants from us.
D. Do you remember the complaint the Lord had against the church of Ephesus?
1. You have left your first love.
2. Listen to God's lament over Israel. He told Jeremiah:
Go and cry in the ears of Jerusalem, saying, Thus saith the LORD; I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth, the love of your espousals, when thou went after me in the wilderness, in a land [that was] not sown. What iniquity have your fathers found in me, that they are gone far from me, and have walked after vanity, and are become vain?
3. People often try to fill the void in their lives with emptiness, and they become empty.
4. It does seem strange that God who is love would have to plead for our love.
5. Mans love and ardor for God seems to fade so easily.
E. God commanded them to keep these words in their heart. We are to remember them whenever anything comes along that seems to attract us. I love the words of that chorus, To keep your lovely face, ever before my eyes, This is my prayer, make it my strong desire, That in my secret heart, no other love competes, No rival throne survives and I serve only Thee.
F. Teach them diligently to your children.
1. Do you sit down with your children and teach them to love God supremely?
2. I think that it is so tragic that so many of our children are lost to the Lord.
3. There are so many things in the world to vie for their love, unless you are constantly stressing to them the importance of loving God above all, you are apt to sadly see them turn away from God.
4. You are to talk about Him when you sit in your house, when you are driving in the car, when you lie down at night and when you rise in the morning.
a. I think that it is good to have good worship music playing during the day in your home and in your cars.
b. The world uses music to capture the heart of your children, we need to fill their minds with edifying music.
5. Write them on the door posts of your homes.
a. The Jews have what they call the mezuzahs, a little metal box that they fasten on their door post. In this little box is written this sh'ma. As they enter the house, they put their finger to their lips and then touch the mazuzah. They are saying, I love your law Oh Lord.
G. In His answer as to the great commandment Jesus added, "And love your neighbor as yourself."
1. He then declared that in these two are all the law and the prophets.
2. The Jews added to the law that God had given the oral traditions known as the mishnah, which was an explanation of the law. Later they added some 67 volumes known as the Talmud which was an explanation of the mishnah. Jesus reduced the law from the ten commandments to just two. Love God supremely and your neighbor as yourself.
a. The first table of the law would be fulfilled if you loved God with all your heart soul and strength.
b. You would have no other gods before Him.
c. You would not be worshipping graven images.
d. You would keep one day in seven as a holy day of rest.
e. You would not take His name in vain. You would respect it too much.
3. If you loved your neighbor as yourself,
a. You would honor your father and mother.
b. You would not murder your neighbor.
c. You would not commit adultery.
d. You would not steal.
e. You would not lie about them or to them.
f. You would not desire your neighbors wife or covet anything that belonged to your neighbor.
H. Basically the Bible teaches that love is the key to a good life and a good relationship with God and everyone else.
III. THE WARNING FROM GOD. VS 10.
A. When God gives you this land, and you are dwelling in good cities that you did not build. Your houses are full of good things which you did not supply, and you are drinking water from wells that you did not dig. You are eating fruit from orchards that you did not plant. When you eat and are full beware that you do not forget Jehovah. He is the one that brought you out of Egypt and gave you all these things.
1. Often in a person's life the time of greatest spiritual danger is in prosperity.
2. When we are struggling to make ends meet, we know that we have to trust God and lean on Him completely, so we stay in close contact. "Give us this day our daily bread."
3. The time of danger is when I think that I do not have to worry about my daily bread.
4. It is so easy to fill my life with the other things, and they become first, my love and devotion for God begin to move down on my list of priorities.
B. It is of utmost importance that we keep God first in our lives. The best way to do this is to love Him with all of our heart, soul, and strength.
1. In your mind make a list of things that are important to you in order of their importance.
2. What is at the top of your list?