“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” Mark 12:30
Love is a command. Astounding. How can love be a by-product of a command? A command to obey seems sensible, but a command to love? I did not hear an explicit command to love my children when they were born; love for them came naturally to me as breathing and blinking my eyes.
But the kind of love being “commanded” here goes beyond all dictionary definitions. It is a love that is to be practiced by all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength, permeating every warp and woof of my being. This is the first and foremost directive. Jesus says in Matthew 22:37 that “this is the first and great commandment.” The great commandment.
Even more astounding when I consider Who gives this command: God Himself. He commands me to love Him with every fiber, every imaginable strength I could muster, with all of my heart, soul and mind. God commands me to love Him.
But even if I were not commanded, I do love God; however, the kind of love I possess has to go several steps further — to follow the commandment as directed, to love God with the totality of my being. As God loves me, I am to love Him.
I believe the great commandment is about the quality of my love for God. The most important concern in my life, therefore, is my love relationship with God.