What Jesus Did! 'Love God Through and Through' — Matthew 22:36-38

Saturday, October 23, 2021

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[A Pharisees asked Jesus:] "Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?"

Jesus replied, "'You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment."

— Matthew 22:36-38 NLT

Key Thought

Total love. That's what God wants. Anything less is not acceptable. Total love.

Total love is different from total obedience. While obedience is important and necessary, even if sometimes we don't understand why, it is not love. Obedience can show love, but it can also show fear. If we love God, we will obey him.

Total love is also different from total knowledge, which we will never have anyway (1 Corinthians 13:12). Knowledge is good. Knowledge can lead us to know more about God. But knowledge can never replace loving God. If we love God, we will be able to know him.

Total love is not feeling good about God. Some things that love asks us to do are not fun and do not leave us feeling good. But love does help us develop deep feelings for God — heart, soul, mind and strength. Jesus wants total love. Love from our emotions. Love from our spirits. Love from our knowledge. Love in our physical actions. Love that reaches in and combines all of who we are and hope to be. Love for God is eternal. It joins us to the King of Ages in joyful appreciation of all he has done for us, is doing through us, and will do for us in the future.

Today's Prayer

Lord God Almighty, I reverence your holy name. I want to obey your every commandment. I want to become a loving servant and bring glory to you for all you have done for me. But most of all Father, I want you to know how much I love you, and I want to show it by my life. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Exodus 20:1-7
  • Deuteronomy 6:4-7
  • 1 John 4:9-10


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Illustration of Matthew 22:36-38 NLT — "Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?"

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.