What is the Greatest Thing You Have Ever Done?

August 24, 2015 by cloften  
Filed under Bible, Church and Leadership

In the series we started at The Grove Church yesterday, we are looking at the Great Commandments and the Great Commission.  These are two foundational passages that should define what  a church is and what it means to be a follow of Jesus.

In Matthew 22:36, Jesus is asked this question:

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

As I was preparing this message, before I could even get to the answer, I found myself dwelling a lot on the question.  What is the GREATEST command?  Said another way, “What is the greatest thing that you can do?”  This led me to the more personal question, “What would I say is the greatest thing that I have ever done?”

There are so many ways to answer that question. My mind always goes to the time I hit a half-court shot in overtime to send our high school basketball team to the playoffs in the last game of the year.  (If only the internet had existed in 1990, I would so be linking to that article right now) Why is that great?  It’s incredibly difficult for one and incredibly rare.  It had significant consequences for the team.  However we all know how this falls short.  It was great but it’s impact was short-lived and small comparable to other great things someone can do.

Maybe the greatest thing that I have ever done is to adopt a daughter from foster care. It is definitely near the top of things that have made me the happiest.  It also has had significant impact in all of the lives of our family. It reflects God’s deep heart and love for the orphan which is reflected all throughout Scripture.

Maybe that’s too narrow though, maybe if I were to broaden it out.  Perhaps the greatest thing that I have ever done is to be a great husband and dad, or to be a pastor, or helping lead people to Christ.  All of those things have and will have great and deep impact in the lives of people and definitely feel great to me.

What all of these candidates for “greatest” have in common are they are things that I did or do to serve other people (half-court shot included, I suppose).  Jesus, on the other hand, had a completely different answer.  He didn’t give a do/don’t do command.  The command didn’t involve serving other people.  His answer was this:

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’” 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

When asked what the greatest thing that we could do, he gave a relational command.  We need to love God with everything that we are.  The greatest thing that we can do is love God.  That is so counter-intuitive to what we believe makes someone or something great.  However, God is the greatest, so connecting to him is great.  Also, it was what we created to do.  We were created for him and by him.

Even last night, after preaching on this 3 times, I was still thinking about this and this illustration came to me.   What is the greatest part of your house? Some might say the kitchen/dining room.  Wherever it is that you and connect with each other for dinner is the greatest place.  Perhaps it is the living room where the best family memories or made.  If you have small children, it might be the private solace that comes from the bathroom.  (Just me? Ok. Never mind)  It may be the bedroom (Uh.  Again, never mind)

The greatest part of the house is the foundation.  Without it, nothing else in the house can function properly.  It is the piece of the home, by which all other pieces are made possible and better and functional.  We take the foundation of our house for granted, and that’s ok.  Your foundation doesn’t care.  However, we cannot take for granted the foundational relationship by which every other part of our lives rests.  That is our greatest relationship and loving him is the greatest thing that we can do.

Why do you believe that loving God is the greatest commandment?