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Jesus must be the Lord of your life — your audience of One

Diminishing Love
Who is First? – Part 2

Scripture Reading: Matthew 22:34-40

Key Verse: Matthew 22:37

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’

What does it mean to be first—top priority? If that is the essential element in our relationship with God and He wants to be first, we had better know what that looks like! Jesus used some strong language to explain it; shocking words: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26). Did Jesus really mean we must hate everyone else in our lives? The answer is obviously no—the second greatest commandment Jesus taught is to love our neighbor as ourselves. What Jesus was teaching is the high level of love we must have for God. In comparison to our love for God, our love for others looks like hate. Nothing and no one must even come close to rivaling our love for God. (Remember, the biblical definition of this kind of love is obedience to the teachings of Jesus, not the emotional feelings we associate with our modern definition of love.)

Practically, Jesus is saying that if obeying God and His purposes for you means your relatives turn against you, you’ve decided to follow Jesus. Jesus must be the Lord of your life—your audience of One—the only voice that truly matters! God loves us and wants nothing but the best for us. He asks for the same love from us.

Father, I have decided to follow Jesus—no turning back! In Jesus’ name, amen.