Rabbi Schneider - Why First Place Matters
Those of us that study God's word are very familiar with this scripture. I'm going to the book of Matthew, where Yeshua was asked, "What's the greatest commandment"? I'm going to read now the 22nd chapter, the 36th through the 39th verse. The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of the Lord abides forever. "Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law". And "He", speaking of Jesus. "He said to him, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, strength, soul and mind and you shall love your neighbor as yourself.'"
But I want to ask us the question: when Jesus said, "we should love the Lord our God with all our hearts, strength, soul, and mind," what type of love is He talking about? Because many of us think that loving God means that we're simply giving Him someplace in our heart, that we're giving God place in our life, that we acknowledge Him. Maybe that we attend services somewhere, maybe that we're giving some money. And Beloved, that's all good, obviously. But the Lord is talking about a love that far exceeds that. Because when Jesus talked about loving God with all our heart, strength, soul, and mind, what He was talking about was a love that so pure, that if there's anything in our life that's hindering us from putting God first, our love is unacceptable.
In other words, Jesus said, "He that loves father, mother, children more than me," Jesus said, "is not worthy of me". So when Jesus said that He's calling us to love God, with our heart, strength, soul, and mind, it's not just that we love God and then we have our lives, that we don't always include God in. It's not that we say we love God and we do certain "Christian" things but much of the time, we're not even thinking about God. No. Jesus wants to be Lord of our hearts and minds. Notice, He said, "...all your heart, soul and mind and strength all the time".
So we need to be continually cultivating the Lordship of Yeshua in our heart, our mind, our emotions, our actions, our lifestyle every day, all the time, always striving to put him first. You see, beloved, Jesus will not take second place. He'll not take second best. I mean, think about it. If you're a man right now, what about if you had been dating your present wife if you're married, how would your wife feel if you went in the last six months and proposed to two other people and they said no.
And now you propose to your wife and you say, "You know, I want to ask you to marry me". And she says to you, "Well, what do you mean? You proposed to Julie, you proposed to Priscilla in the last six months? Well, where does this put me"? And he says, "Well, you know, I really did love them but it didn't work out. So now I'm proposing to you". Would most women accept that type of proposal? No. Neither would Jesus. Either we're going to make Him Lord and put Him as the first lover of our lives or we're not. Because He loves us too much, and His love is too great. He's the best. He cannot. It's not within Himself to accept love from someone that puts Him in second place.