The First Commandment

Monday, June 6th, 2022

This commandment to love God, it doesn’t start with us loving God with all of our heart.  It actually starts with God,  because God loves us with all of His heart first.
Mike Bickle


My name is Mike Bickle. I am the Director of the International House Of Prayer in Kansas City. A bunch of you have tuned in with us through the internet. We have a life webstream of 24/7 worship and GOD TV is showing it around the world. We are always so grateful for that, we want to say “Thank you” for a moment for that.

Anyway, here in Kansas City, one of the things we have done for the last 18 years of doing 24/7 prayer, is we have focused on the First Commandment. And that is such a significant statement that Jesus made. In Matthew 22:37-38, I’ll say it again. Matthew 22:37-38, He tells them, He says, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul, all your strength.”  We know the verse. And He said, “This is the First and the Great Commandment.”  Now, that was a new idea. The idea of loving God with all of our hearts.  This is what God wants. 

Now, if you go back to the original context, in which God spoke that word, you have to go back 1500 years before Jesus came in His ministry. It was Moses. You know, the children of Israel, when they were brought through the Red Sea, and now they’re in the wilderness, and they stand before God at Mt. Sinai, and the mountain is shaking and trembling, and there’s fire, and they are terrified of God.  They are thinking, “The Holy terrifying, powerful God.” They are bowing down and the Lord speaks later.  He said, “This is what I want from you, to love me with all of your heart.”  This must have been a shock.  They would have thought, “Serve you?”  “Yes.”  “Love you?” “What kind of God are you with so much power, so much majesty, so much might, and what you want first and most is for weak people like us to love you?” What a remarkable reality. 

Now, this commandment to love God, it doesn’t start with us loving God with all of our heart.  It actually starts with God.  Because God loves us with all of His heart first.  Because God loves with all of His heart, that’s who He is.  That is how He relates.  He is a saying to His people, “Because I love you with all of my heart, all of my mind. This is the kind of relationship that I want between us. Yes, I want your service, but way more than that, I want your heart.” 

And so, when Jesus stands before Israel and says, “This is the First and Great Commandment: to love with all of your heart,” it is giving us insight into how God thinks and feels and how He relates to us, and how we really function best as human beings. We are in this pursuit of loving with all of our hearts. Anyway, that is just a word of encouragement.  Lord, bless your people in Jesus’ Name.