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  • Becky Carriker

Sunday sermon, 4/28/2024


MATTHEW 22:34–38 But when the Pharisees heard that he had

silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35  And one of them, a

lawyer, asked him a question to test 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 first commandment.

Mark 12:28–30 And one of the scribes came up and heard them

disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well,

asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”

29  Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord

our God, the Lord is one. 30  And you shall love the Lord your God with

all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all

your strength.’

What is it in life that is of supreme value and importance to you?

The word translated “silenced” literally means to “muzzle”.

The Jews loved to make distinctions among the laws of Scripture:

Our highest, greatest, most imperative and preeminent responsibility

is to love God.

If our highest and greatest duty is to love God, our lowest, worse and

most grievous sin is the failure to do so.

1 Corinthians 16:22 If anyone does not love the Lord, let him be

accursed, separated from God—lost forever!... .

Our love for God will only be as good and as deep and as intimate as is

our knowledge of him.

Every fiber and capacity of your being must love God. Your love for

God must be expressed in your thinking and choosing and feeling and

speaking and living out.

Our love for God must be complete.

Whereas love may be more than feelings it is by no means less than


For true love to exist in its highest and purest form there must be both

affection and action.

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the

desires of your heart.

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice.

Psalm 16:11 You make known to me the path of life; in your presence

there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

The proof of my passion is faithfulness. Love that isn’t loyal isn’t love.

James 4:4 “You adulterous people don’t you know that friendship with

the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of

the world becomes an enemy of God”.

You can’t love God and play the field.

My love for God reveals itself in the intensity with which I cherish his


Psalm 27:4 “One thing I ask of the Lord, this is what I seek; that I may

dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the

beauty of the Lord and to seek him in his temple”

Your love for God is measured by the depth of your communion with

him in prayer.

John 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command”.

John 14:23-24 “Jesus replied: ‘If anyone loves me, he will obey my

teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make

our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my

teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the

Father who sent me.

Jesus is not saying that loving him equals keeping his commandments.

He says that loving him leads to keeping his commandments.

Love is not synonymous with obedience; it is the root of it.

Matthew 5:44-45a But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who

persecute you! 45  In that way, you will be acting as true children of

your Father in heaven… .

Our boast is in God!

1 Chronicles 16:8 “Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make

known among the nations what he has done”.

1 Chronicles 16:10 “Glory in his holy name”.

The person who truly loves God will praise God.

Psalm 84:1-2,4 “How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord Almighty!

My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the Lord; my heart and

my flesh cry out for the living God. . . . Blessed are those who dwell in

your house; they are ever praising you”.

Love is more than merely “saying so,” but it certainly isn’t less than


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