One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 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.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
(Mark 12:28-30)

If we can condense what God desires of us into one statement, this is it. In Matthew 22:40 after referring to this concept Jesus states, “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

Love God

Love your neighbor.

This one statement is to be our aim, but we cannot fulfill it. And yet, he fulfills it for us because we cannot. Oddly enough, though I cannot achieve this goal, the more I pursue it, the more I plunge into the depths of his love for me. And the more I pursue it the more I see of Him.


In addition to blogging at Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind, Stefani Carmichael is a Graduate Research Assistant in Economic Development at the University of Southern Mississippi. She desires to pursue economic development as a way of loving her neighbors through economic growth and poverty alleviation. She is an author and member of The Springs Church in Collins, Mississippi.