January 8, 2018
Hope Church has a motto, or tagline, that goes like this: Love God | Love Others | Share Hope. To love God is the first, and greatest, commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” To love others is the second greatest commandment, which Jesus always appended to the first: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” To share hope is the Great Commission, which Jesus gave his disciples before he ascended back to heaven.
In this message, Pastor Yogi addresses the greatest commandment, Love God. This command comes from Deuteronomy 6:1-6, also known as the Shema. Everyone that Jesus interacted with would have known this well, most likely having memorized it at a young age. To love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength meant to love God with your entire being. There is no part of you that is exempt from this command. We love the Lord with our will, with our emotions, with our thoughts, and with our actions. To leave anything out is to fail to love him as he wants to be loved.
We love God when we recognize our sinful condition and repent by turning back to him. We love him when we worship him both corporately and individually. We love him when we join a local church and use our spiritual gifts on mission with God. We love him when we share our resources with others in need, especially the poor, marginalized, sick, and outcast. We love God, perhaps most of all, by loving Jesus.