Updated: Jun 16
(Sunrise at New Smyrna Beach, Florida)
“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
Loving is easier said than done. Loving God, when you understand who He is, his heart, and redemptive plan for humanity, is easy. Loving people is another story. They aren’t perfect like God. They don’t love you unconditionally like God. They aren’t full of grace, like God. They aren’t patient like God.
Yet those two commands go hand in hand. It’s almost as if it’s possible to do both. That when you do love God, like truly love God, you have the supernatural ability to love others. You can see them as God sees them. Because you see them that way, you can love them. The fruit of the spirit is put into practice. You see yourself exhibiting love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Those that love the Lord their God with all their hearts can also love others in the same way. When that happens, it’s a beautiful thing. It’s almost as if the trinity gives us a glimpse of what they have experienced for longer than we can comprehend. And it’s a glimpse of what we will get to experience in eternity.
Imagining eternity can really mess with a person’s head as it is inconceivable right now, but when you get to experience “Heaven on earth” moments, the thought of being a part of that forever becomes less overwhelming. Something we can actually look forward to. Something that we can grasp when trying to understand eternity.
Jesus knew exactly what he was saying when he gave those two commands. If you love God, truly, with every fiber of your being, loving others will be a by-product of that through the power of the Holy Spirit. I am far from doing both of those perfectly, but the more I love God, the more I can love people well. I’m grateful for both.
(Photo taken at New Smyrna Beach, Florida by my sister, Danielle Welshans)