Devotion #185

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Matthew 22:37-39 ESV

Love your neighbor as yourself. When we consider how completely incapable we are of loving others as much as we love ourselves, we understand the order of these verses. It is only when God is in His rightful place in my heart that I can place others in their rightful place in my life. Without Him first, without humbly coming before Him daily and surrendering my own agenda for His will, I will continue to put myself first—and that will eventually get in the way of every single relationship in my life, most especially my marriage.

loving couple resting on floor together
Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on

Our lack of love for God is revealed in our lives by the lack of active love in our relationships. In other words, we can measure our love for God by the love we demonstrate in our most difficult relationships. Love for others really begins, continues, and is daily motivated by our love for God. Marriage is how God puts this on display for you; it’s how He holds up a mirror to your love for Him. 

When His purposes are more important to us than our desires, when bringing Him glory is more valuable than achieving our own victories or moments of glory, when His plan ranks over our own agenda, then we are truly freed from the bondage of self-love and can love others the way He truly intended for us to love. The reason these two commandments are linked is because one is impossible without the other. We cannot love our neighbor as ourselves if we do not love God first with all of our heart, all of our soul, and all of our mind.

Press on ~ you are loved ❤️

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