First-century teachers of the Law often attempted to summarize the entire Law, which they said contained 613 individual commands, into a single, unifying statement. Asked which of the commands was most important, Jesus not only answered the question, but he also summarized the entirety of the Law in two statements: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Mark 12.30-31). Love God and love people.
At the heart of this summary is relationship: God’s relationship with us and our relationship with others. God desired a relationship with us, and loved us so much, he sent Jesus to suffer and die for our sin, the supreme example of love (1 John 3.16).
Because of God’s love, when we place our faith and trust in Jesus, we’re adopted into his family and begin this relationship. From this relationship with God we can then begin to love others as we already love ourselves. A restored relationship with God through Jesus should lead to restored relationships with others.
As you welcome God into your day, use these two verses to remind you of these two “love” relationships. Write Mark 12.30-31 on a 3 x 5 card and use this visual aid as you memorize these verses. When one of your relationships starts to go sideways, recall these verses as a reminder of how God’s love for us, and our love for him, motivates our love for others.