Jesus states that “the great commandment” is to love God with all of your heart in Matthew 22:35-40 of the Christian Bible. www.biblegateway.com is a nice web site that has different versions of the Bible online if you are interested in looking this stuff up. Jesus goes on to say that the second great commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:25-37 expands on this with the parable of the Good Smaritan that answers the question “And who is my neighbor?” My summary of the parable and the way that Jesus lived his life is that EVERYONE is your neighbor!
The Bible has a lot of laws or commandments in it. Many have contradictions within the Bible while others are just not followed by most Christians. For example, Exodus 20:13 says that you should not kill period. It does not make an exception. Yet God has his followers killing all the time in the Old Testament. Today our heroes kill others in war and we still have capital punishment. Then you have things like eating pork, divorce, women obeying men, stoning, etc. The whole New Covenant concept really muddies the water. I doubt if you would ever find two people that can completely agree on what God wants. However, loving God and your neighbor should be undeniable, especially for Christians.
Unfortunately, it seems that many people that claim to be “Christian” do not really love God with all of their heart and do not appear to love their neighbors. Love can mean many different things. The critical thing is that you express your love towards your neighbor in a similar way that you express it towards God. We all have neighbors that really upset us. How do you react to them? Do you post nasty things about them on FaceBook and tell everyone how horrible they are? When God does something that upsets you (divorce, bankruptcy, critical injuries, etc) do you react the same way?
Does it really matter that you pray five times a day if you really do not love God and your neighbor? I know plenty of people that say the most horrible things about their fellow man, do the opposite of almost everything Jesus preached, yet wear a cross around their neck and state that they are a Christian. Really? Is that all that you need to do to get into Heaven; say that you are a Christian?
I do not ask much of people. I do not even ask people to love God. I realize that it is tough to truly love something that you cannot see. If I physically met God I would certainly show my love quite a bit differently. I would probably have more pictures of him around than my wife, family, and friends. I would probably also talk nonstop about him. I may even become a monk. I do not know many people that do that. Neighbors are different. They are physical, like us, and much easier to relate to. That is why I ask people to love their neighbor. I also think it has a lot of benefits regardless of religion.
Regarding loving God and your neighbor, Jesus stated that “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” in Matthew 22:40. I think that everyone that wants to get closer to God should start there. Everything else will come in line after that.