Freedom to Love Over the last few days we have been looking at the ten great freedoms found in Exodus 20, and also in Deuteronomy 5. Yes, God told Israel more than once what His commands are. There is nothing wrong with that. How many times do we have to be told something more than once? We read our reloading manuals, and then re-read them, to get safe reloading practice well and truly stuck into our heads so we don’t have “accidents”. Now, very often, as we are reading through a complicated procedure or set of instructions, the author summarizes it with easy-to-remember phrases. That is what God has done for us. The Ten Commandments could be broken down into two sections: The first four have to do with our relationship with God. The remaining six deal with our relationship with people around us. He gave us two easy to remember phrases that summarize all these laws. I think God’s idea is that if we get our relationship with Him sorted out, the relationship with those around us will follow naturally. If we don’t love God, it is impossible for us to truly love our neighbor. 1 John 4 says 19 We love, because He first loved us. 20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also. So these two easy phrases to remember? Jesus had just won a debate with the Sadducees in Matthew 22. Now the Pharisees thought they would have a go at Jesus and this is when Jesus gave us the summary of the Ten Commandments in two easy to remember statements. 34 But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. 35 One of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” 37 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.’ 38 This is the great and foremost commandment. 39 The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.” Jesus was quoting from the Old Testament when He gave these two summary statements. We’ll glance at these in the next couple of days, although whole books have been written about these two commands. 1. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. 2. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. May God bless us richly as we learn to love Him with all we are, and then be conduits of His love to our neighbors, and even our enemies.