Every year the federal government turns out stacks and stacks of new laws and regulations. Every year the state government turns out piles of new laws and statutes. The Jews had 613 laws, 365 of which were negative. (That is not surprising, most laws tell us what not do.) Those could be boiled down to the ten commandments. Those are basic and foundational.

One day an expert in the law come to Jesus to test, to trap. His question was, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:37-40, NIV)

Jesus boiled the law down to two large overshadowing commands: Love God and love others.

God loves us, because God is love. We love God, because He first loved us. Loving others—love can be given, it can be accepted or rejected. Loving people can be a source of great joy or a source of great pain.

Notice what Jesus did not say. He did not say love things. We are to love God and people and use things, but we often want to use God and people and love things. Remember. material objects cannot return love.

Dr. Wayne Shaw (R-Grove) has been a member of the Oklahoma Senate since 2014. Prior to that he served as the senior pastor at First Christian Church, Grove, for many years.