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What is the Greatest of All Commandments?

Love!

Jesus says that the greatest of all commandments is Love.

Love of God and Love of Neighbor.

If love of God and love of neighbor is paramount to keeping God's commandments, this love will prevent you from breaking the

other commandments.

Exodus 20:1-17 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Ten Commandments

And God spoke all these words, saying,

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery."

1. You shall have no other gods before me

The first and ultimate commandment is to love God beyond loving anyone of anything. Loving God first allows every other good thing to flow from this love. As we experience God's love, as we put God first in our lives, as we strive to achieve this love, our lives become clear and we become focused on pleasing God through obeying all of the other commandments.

2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.

Once again God is stating that love is the primary and ultimate commandment and that love is to be directed to Him. Do we choose other gods before God? "Other gods" does not only refer to gods that the ancients believed in. Other gods are things that we attach an importance to so much so that they may come before God, before family, or before doing good for others: money, success, television, video games, gambling, addictions, etc. Love of God, family and neighbors should come before these things.

3. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.

When we think of God, it should always be in prayer, praise, glory and thanksgiving for all that we have and all that we are. His name should never be used in a negative way. If we love God the way He should be loved, there should be no need to include Him in negative things. This is also true in relation to people that we love. If we love someone, we should not curse, swear, or negatively refer to them.

4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.

The Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. He says that you should labor for six days doing all that is needed but rest on the seventh day. The day that is to be devoted to God. On the seventh day spend time in prayer thanking God for all that you have been given. Acknowledge that without Him, you would not be who you are, you would not have the talents that you have, and you would not be loved with a love that has no boundaries, no end, and a love that is unconditional. He loves you!

5. Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you.

Honor your parents. Love your parents. Appreciate your parents. God wants us to love above all. Love is the ultimate theme in His commandments. Every one of us has a different set of circumstances when it comes to our family dynamics. Today there are many families that consists of one parent, divorced parents, or absent parents. I consider your father and your mother as those who were there for you, who care for your needs, and who love you. Whether this is your grandparent who is raising you, an adopted parent, or a foster parent, honor them and appreciate them. God has given them to you.

6. You shall not murder

Loving God and loving your neighbor beyond any thing else would make it impossible to take someone's life. Real love wants only good things for the people they love. We are to love our neighbor. Our neighbors include all people, all children of God even the unborn.

7. You shall not commit adultery

Adultery is often accepted by the community. Marriage is not seen as a lifelong commitment between two people because divorce is so rampant. God sanctifies marriage to be for "better" or "worse" till death do we part. It is so easy to end a marriage when we reach the "worse" that many do not try to keep their commitment. God wants us to work on our marriage and to make the compromises needed to get past the "worse" because there is "better" on the other side. Of course, there are exceptions where danger or harm may demand that a marriage end. But, you should do your best to keep your marriage vows for yourselves and for the benefit of your children. Remember your love for each other.

8. You shall not steal

Taking something from someone else is wrong. There are no excuses: "Maybe he/she does have too much of something; Maybe they won't even miss it; He/she should share their excess with others; He/she doesn't deserve it." We can make up many reasons to justify why we should have something that belongs to someone else but they will never excuse stealing. If you want something that someone else has, work harder to achieve that item for yourself. When you love your neighbor, you won't take things from them because you won't want to hurt them.

9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor

Read the headlines daily to see how this commandment is broken. God says that we are to be truthful always, that we are not to lie about our neighbors' deeds. This is so common, even among those in our highest levels of government, that we feel that no one can be trusted. To lie is wrong. To accuse someone of something that they did not do is wrong. If we truly love others, we would not bear false witness against them.

10. You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor's

We are not to want the things that are our neighbor's: his wife, his house, his car, his job, etc. We are to strive to achieve our own wife, house, car, job, etc. His is his and ours is ours. If you desire something that he has, it is up to you to do the things that would provide you with similar things for yourself. If any of these things are impossible for you to achieve then thank God for what you do have both in talents and material things, for God knows what is best for you. Love God enough to trust Him in this and love your neighbor enough to not covet his life.

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery."

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