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The Weekly Word: The great commandment

By Mike Ott Jr., Elder at Bethany Alliance Church.

After my pastor, Coulter Page, asked me to fill in for him on this week’s column, I sat down to give some serious prayer and thought to the task. What would I write about? What Scripture would I use to make the point? Whatever that point the Lord would lead me to, would be?

As I mulled it over in prayer and searching through the Bible, my mind kept coming back to everything going on in our country and the world right now. Racial tensions. Political tensions. Economic troubles. Health concerns.

The Weekly Word: The great commandment
Mike Ott, Elder, Bethany Alliance Church

I realized that no matter the topic, both sides of each debate, in their own opinion, were just trying to make the world a better place. Which makes today’s Scripture all the more timely and relevant.

Matthew 22:36-40 says, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he (Jesus) said to him “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”

Jesus plainly outlines for us how we are to live our lives.

  • To love God with everything we have, with our heart, in complete obedience to Him. With our soul, with a deep longing to know more of God. With our mind, as we go to Him to learn how to best handle the situations around us.
  • To love our neighbor. Showing them compassion and empathy. Fully realizing that we are all God’s children. We are all each other’s ​neighbors.

All that is written in the word of God depends on these two commandments. If we are loving God and loving our neighbor, all of Scripture falls perfectly into place in our lives. In following these commandments, we have not the inclination to steal, murder, covet or quarrel.

Simply put, Jesus teaches us to Love God. Love people. Period. Regardless of skin color. Regardless of nationality. Regardless of ethnicity. Regardless of political views. Regardless of any health crisis.

Love God. Love people. Period.

Only then will the world be a better place. Because Jesus’ love will be seen in you, pouring from you. To a hurting world around you.