Steve Ellison: Love, The Greatest Commandment

Saturday, November 4, 2017 - by Steve Ellison

When a lawyer asked Jesus, what is the greatest commandment, He replied, "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 foremost commandment.  The second is like it, ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself’. On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."
(Matthew 22:37-40, NASU)  

We are commanded to love our Creator and those created in His image.  In the Old Testament, God gave us quite a while to get to know Him before He told us that He loved us and before He commanded us to love Him.  God revealed Himself in Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, and Numbers before He brought up the fact that He loved us, and that He wanted us to love Him. In the first four books, God revealed Himself as Creator, Provider, Redeemer, etc. and now in Deuteronomy as the One Who Loves.  Deuteronomy 4:37 lets us know that He had always loved us but now He is going to let us know, “Because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them.” (NASU)

Deuteronomy 7:7-9 describes the nature of God’s love toward us very plainly, “The Lord did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any of the peoples, for you were the fewest of all peoples,  but because the Lord loved you and kept the oath which He swore to your forefathers, the Lord brought you out by a mighty hand and redeemed you from the house of slavery, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know therefore that the Lord your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments”. (NASU)  Clearly there is nothing in you or me that merits God’s love. He simply loves us because He chooses to do so.  Just as clearly, God’s love is never ending.  Just 3 chapters later God makes this point again. Deuteronomy 10:14-15 states, “Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the highest heavens, the earth and all that is in it. Yet on your fathers did the Lord set His affection to love them, and He chose their descendants after them, even you above all peoples, as it is this day.” (NASU)  What a beautiful truth: “the Lord set His affection to love them.”

In the midst of the Balak-Balaam episode God declared His unfailing love once again, “The Lord your God was not willing to listen to Balaam, but the Lord your God turned the curse into a blessing for you because the Lord your God loves you.” (Deuteronomy 23:5, NASU)  God later declared the unconditional nature of His love when He prophesied that even though His people would desert Him, He would remain faithful. “Moreover the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:6, NASU) 

As the life of Moses and the book of Deuteronomy both come to a close, Moses declares, “Indeed, He loves the people.” (Deuteronomy 33:3, NASU)  God wants His people to know that He loves them. In no way do we deserve or merit God’s love.  He simply chooses to love us.  He loves us unconditionally and unfailingly.  There is no end to His love.  He loves us so that we can return that love.  We love because He first loved us.  Even our keeping of the greatest commandment is a direct result of His work in us.


Steve Ellison: Are You The One?

Ashlee Henderson To Be Black History Speaker At Greater Tucker Baptist Church

Jeremy Caris To Speak At Fairhaven Ministry And Counseling Center On Friday


Many times in the Bible the Lord directs questions to specific individuals. I find it interesting and helpful to pay attention to the context and the answers to those questions. David gets his ... (click for more)

Ashlee Henderson, co-executive director of Highlander Research & Education Center will be the Black History Sunday speaker at Greater Tucker Baptist on Feb. 24, at the 10:45 a.m. worship ... (click for more)

Jeremy Caris will be speaking at Fairhaven Ministry and Counseling Center, 1807 Blythe Ave. SE, Cleveland, on Friday at 7 p.m. Mr. Caris, founder of Caris Ministries is a seasoned prophetic ... (click for more)


Church

Steve Ellison: Are You The One?

Many times in the Bible the Lord directs questions to specific individuals. I find it interesting and helpful to pay attention to the context and the answers to those questions. David gets his share of them. Second Samuel 7 recounts a time when David is firmly established as a powerful king, the nation of Israel was at peace, and David had moved into his newly constructed palace. ... (click for more)

Ashlee Henderson To Be Black History Speaker At Greater Tucker Baptist Church

Ashlee Henderson, co-executive director of Highlander Research & Education Center will be the Black History Sunday speaker at Greater Tucker Baptist on Feb. 24, at the 10:45 a.m. worship service. Greater Tucker is at 1115 North Moore Road. Everyone is welcome to attend. (click for more)

Breaking News

Crews Searching For Missing 68-Year-Old Kayaker In Polk County

Crews are searching for a lost kayaker on the Ocoee Number Three Lake in the Tumbling Creek area. Those involved include TWRA law enforcement officers, along with Polk County Fire and Rescue, Polk County EMA, Polk County Sheriff’s Department, State Parks Crews and U. S. Forest Service Law Enforcement. The kayaker, a 68-year-old man from Polk County, was reported missing Sunday ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Area Could Get Up To 7 Inches Of Rain In New Wave Of Downpours

The Chattanooga area could get up to seven inches of rain in a new wave of downpours Tuesday through Sunday. Some streams are already swollen and under minor flood advisories, including Lookout Creek and Chickamauga Creek. The National Weather Service said, "A prolonged period of heavy rain is expected from Tuesday through Saturday. The heaviest rainfall will likely fall across ... (click for more)

Opinion

Questions About TVA And Controlling Water Levels - And Response

So in 2003 Chattanooga and Marion County and more people below Chickamauga Dam suffered a 100 year flood because TVA had not prepared for the amount of rain that fell. Since then up until 2018 they have done a great job with controlling the flooding problems. On Feb. 14 they started dumping water at Chickamauga Dam and raising the river, bringing the river level up. Feb 15 it's ... (click for more)

Confusing Racism And Racial Injustice - And Response

I guess many people confuse racism with racial injustices. They're only related in the sense when racism is used to make legal and physical racial injustices take place. Racism is an emotion anyone is entitled to. That's their cross to bear. Something the racist will one day have to give an accounting for. Racial injustices takes physical, emotional, psychological and mental actions ... (click for more)