Like any other kingdom, the Kingdom of God is governed by spiritual laws. The first law is to love God with all that we are.
You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ This is the first Law. Mark 12:30 NLV
This is the first law of love or as I will call it, the law of First Love. If we want to live by the laws of the Kingdom, we must begin by understanding the law of First Love. But there are in fact two laws in the Kingdom of God.
The second Law is this: ‘You must love your neighbour as yourself.’ No other Law is greater than these. Mark 12:31 NLV
Now I am getting ahead of myself. Let us look at the first Law, which is to love God. How do we do this? We cannot merely think we want to love God. There is a process which must take place in our lives before we are able to love God. To understand how the law of First Love operates, we must go back to the beginning. We must go back to God.
In the beginning, God. Genesis 1:1 NIV
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. 1 John 4:16 NIV
So God created humankind in his own image. Genesis 1:27 CJB
God is love. And so are we. We are made in the image of God. We were created, made and designed in the divine image of perfect love. Every baby gets their DNA record from their mother and father. But there is a strange phenomenon which takes place when a mother gives birth to her baby, a record of the baby’s DNA stays inside the mother for her entire life. In the same way, we have been created from the DNA of our heavenly Father, the DNA of love. And the Father holds a record of our unique DNA inside His heart forever. But we have all lived with sin in our hearts and our lives do not reflect God’s perfect love.
This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us. 1 John 4:10 NIV
We love because He first loved us. 1 John 4:19 AMP
We cannot have love for God, unless we have first allowed His love into our hearts. We must experience God’s pure, divine, unconditional love before we are able to love Him with ALL of our heart, soul, mind and strength. So we are created in this perfect image of God – pure perfected love, and our journey on earth is to pursue the fullness of His image, perfected love. As we look at His radiant love, we are transformed into that image again.
All of us are looking with unveiled faces at the glory of the Lord as if we were looking in a mirror. We are being transformed into that same image. 2 Corinthians 3:18 CEB
As we look at Him, we are changed and transformed to be like Him. As we experience this perfect love, we are remodelled into the perfection of this love. Truthfully, we can only love God when we have personal, experiential knowledge of God’s perfect, unconditional love for us. The first half of the first law is to experience God’s love in our heart.
Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in and we will share a meal together as friends. Revelation 3:20 NLT
If we will open the door of our hearts to His love, He will come in and we will experience this divine love. If we open our heart to let God – Pure Love in, then He will open His heart to us. This is the second half of the first law, to return this pure love to God and step into His heart.
Then as I looked, I saw a door standing open in heaven, and the same voice I heard before spoke to me like a trumpet blast. The voice said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.” Revelation 4:1 NLT
We must have the first law of love in place or the second law will not be able to operate in our lives. To love our neighbour as ourselves seems innocent enough, until we realise that our tendency to put ourselves in a privileged positon comes all too easily. But the second law is actually the evidence that the first law operating in our hearts. Anyone who does not love others has never known God and experienced His love, as we need to love Him before we are able to have this love for others.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. John 13:34-35 NIV
Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:8 NIV
Even knowing about God is nothing without knowing and experiencing Him personally.
If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but I didn’t love others, I would be nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:2 NLT
If we are not living by the first law of the Kingdom, the law of First Love, our love for others will grow increasingly cold. One of the messages to the seven churches was a rebuke for leaving their First Love.
And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. Matthew 24:12 ESV
But I have this against you: You have departed from your first love! Revelation 2:4 NET
Jesus clearly states these laws of First Love and second love are the greatest laws. No other law is higher than these. In fact, Paul calls love the way of life that is best of all, the most excellent way.
But now let me show you a way of life that is best of all. 1 Corinthians 12:31 NLT
And yet I will show you the most excellent way. 1 Corinthians 12:31 NIV
Love is patient and kind, never jealous, boastful, proud, or rude. Love isn’t selfish or quick tempered. It doesn’t keep a record of wrongs that others do. Love rejoices in the truth, but not in evil. Love is always supportive, loyal, hopeful, and trusting. Love never fails. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 CEV
And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. Pursue love. 1 Corinthians 13:13 -14:1 NKJV
Eagerly pursue and seek to acquire [this] love [make is your aim, your greatest quest]. 1 Corinthians 14:1 AMP
Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it–because it does. 1 Corinthians 14:1 MSG
Eagerly pursue love. Make it your life’s greatest quest. Do or die. Go after a life of love with all that you have, all your heart, all your soul, all you mind, and all your strength. This is the most excellent way to live.