There are a number of things that have their “natural order” or “course of events”, in that one leads to another and then to another etc, etc. It is especially true when each level is dependent on achieving a previous level or requirement. For example, when you build a house, the roof must find its support on the rest of the structure, the water supply cannot be utilized without drainage ability, or the effectiveness of a simple light switch cannot be counted on without a source of energy. Do you follow our line of reasoning?
In our study recently of the simplicity of God’s design and will it became apparently clear to me that God’s design is also building one element upon another… Simply stated the greatest command of all is to ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength’, a very simple, very basic statement. Jesus then followed that up with the second greatest command of ‘love your neighbor as yourself’. The man asking for this information was told that on these two commandments ‘depend all the Law and the Prophets’ (Matthew 22:40). One builds on the other and then they both manifest themselves in people who serve others.
In the apostle John’s first letter he writes that a man who claims to love God but clearly demonstrates a lack of love toward his brother is a liar. Unequivocally, John says that one cannot love God (whom he can’t see) when he cannot love his brother (whom he can see)! One love must come before the other, and I believe our love for God cannot help but lead us to love our neighbor wherein we will then seek to serve them. Do we see the Big Picture here? The picture I see is the life of Christ lived out. The one who came to ‘seek and save that which was lost’ loved His Heavenly Father and He loved all of mankind enough to offer Himself on the cross of Calvary, thereby manifesting the chain reaction of what He taught… Love God, love others and serve mankind! In our case, I believe one leads to another and then is manifested in the way we live our lives. That’s Jesus, and that’s the life of those who would be His followers.
Copyright © 2007, Nolan P. Rutter