Tag: Love God

The Great Commandment

Scripture reading for January 30th:  Matthew 22, Psalm 22, Proverbs 22

Key Scriptures: Matthew 22:35-40 “And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question to test Him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it:  You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.””

Jesus answered the Pharisee’s question concerning the most important commandment in the Law.  He stated plainly that it was all about love and relationships.  Loving God completely and loving one’s neighbor summed up all the Law and Prophets.  The Pharisees wanted to trap Jesus, but Jesus gave them truth that stopped their test.

Faith’s confession:  Lord, I love You with all my heart, mind and strength and depend on You to help me love my neighbor as myself.  Action step:  Seek a way to show love to one of your family or close associates that you may be struggling to get along with.

Psalm 22:22-23 “I will tell of Your Name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise You:  You who fear the Lord, praise Him! . .  .”

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Knowing God!

Scripture reading for November 20th:  Ezekiel 20-23, 1st John 2

Key Scriptures:  1st John 2:3-6 “And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments.  Whoever says “I know Him” but does not keep His commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps His Word, in him truly the love of God is perfected.  By this we may know that we are in Him: whoever says he abides in Him ought to walk in the same way in which He walked.”  

What does it mean to truly “know God?”  John, the beloved disciple, says that obedience to His holy Word is the best indication of our knowledge of God and our love for Him.  If we say we ‘know’ God, but live in rebellion to His Word, we are a liar and do not have the truth.  If we truly ‘know’ God through Jesus Christ, we should walk as Christ walked on this earth:  in complete obedience to the Father by depending on the Holy Spirit and God’s grace.

Ezekiel 20:44 “And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for My Name’s sake, not according to your evil ways, nor according to your corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, declares the Lord God.” 

Prayer: Lord, thank You for giving me the revelation of Jesus Christ to know You and Your great love and mercy.  Thank You for that mercy instead of dealing with me according to my evil ways.  Help me to live fully for You. Amen.

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Single-hearted serving!

Scripture reading for March 23rd:  Joshua 22-24, Judges 1, Luke 16

Key Scriptures: Luke 16:10-13  “One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much.  If then you have not been faithful in the unrighteous wealth, who will entrust to you the true riches?  And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own?  No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and money.”

Jesus warned his disciples about the danger of compromise.  To be faithful servants of God requires a single focus.  You cannot serve God and place something else in His place, vying for your affection.  It is impossible!

Joshua 24:14-15  “”Now therefore fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and in faithfulness.  Put away the gods that your fathers served beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord.  And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you well.  But as for me and my house, we will  serve the Lord.””

Prayer:  Lord, I choose again today to serve You Alone, to devote my life to You and love You.  Amen.

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The Great Commandment!

Scripture reading for February 23rd:  Numbers 21-24, Mark 12

Key Scriptures:  Mark 12:29-31  “Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel:  The Lord our God, the Lord is One.  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’  The second is this:  ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no other commandment greater than these.””

The scribes and Pharisees were seeking to trap Jesus with theological questions.  Jesus answered them from Scripture with God’s Truth.  The greatest commandments were not any of the Ten Commandments that Moses got on the mountain.  They actually summed them up with a positive call to love God and love our neighbor.  Love fulfills all the commandments because God is Love.  His love is like a well of water in the desert!

Numbers 21:17-18  “Then Israel sang this song:  “Spring up, O well!–Sing to it!–the well that the princes made, that the nobles of the people dug, with the scepter and with their staffs.”  

Prayer:  Lord, help me to keep Your greatest commandment.  I want to drink from the spring of Your great love each day!  Amen.

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Listening to Jesus

Scripture reading for January 30th:  Exodus 24-27, Matthew 22

Key Scriptures:  Matthew 22:35-40  “And one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question to test Him.  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”  And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is like it:  You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”  

Jesus was being tested and the Pharisees desired to trap Him with a question concerning the greatest commandment in the Law of God.  Jesus gave them His answer, in two parts:  Love God and love your neighbor as yourself.  Jesus stated that these two commandments summed up all the law and the prophets.

Exodus 24:12-13  “The Lord said to Moses, “Come up to Me on the mountain and wait there, that I may give you the tablets of stone, with the law and the commandments, which I have written for their instruction.”  So Moses rose with his assistant Joshua, and Moses went up into the mountain of God.”  

Prayer:  Lord, thank You for these great commandments.  Your love is shown to me by the careful instructions you give and the blood of Jesus that covers my disobedience and ignorance.  Let a river of Your love flow in my life towards You and my neighbors.  Amen.

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Rejoicing in Real Life!

Scripture reading for February 27th:  Deuteronomy 30-33

Key Scriptures:  Deuteronomy 30:19-20  “This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him.  For the Lord is your life, and He will give you many years in the land He swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”  

God invited the Israelites to choose life.  In doing so, they and their children would enjoy a life of loving God and hearing His voice.  He would be their life and bless them with long life in the land of promise!  This involved a faith choice, an act of their will.  If they failed to choose the curses of sin and death would overtake them!

Rejoicing in real life:  Jesus Christ calls all men to repent and choose eternal life through Him!  “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;  I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  “I (Jesus) am the way, the Truth and the Life.  No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  (John 10:10, 14:6)

 

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Rejoicing in Love for God!

Scripture reading for February 17th: Deuteronomy 3-6

Key Scriptures:  Deuteronomy 6:4-7  “Hear, O Israel:  The Lord our God, the Lord is One.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.  These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.  Impress them on your children, . .”  

The Israelites were admonished by Moses to remember that God is One!  He is the One and only God who is worthy of their love.  They must love Him with all that is within them.  They are to show their love by keeping His commandments and impressing them on succeeding generations.

Rejoicing:  Jesus set our example of loving His Father by keeping all His commands.  He sent His Holy Spirit to live in us.  “If you obey My commands, you will remain in My love, just as I have obeyed My Father and remain in His love.  I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.”  (John 15:10-11)

 

 

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Help in our weakness!

Scripture reading for June 23rd:  Romans 8

Key Scriptures for over-comers:  Romans 8:26-28 “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.  We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.  And He who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

The Father’s gift of the Holy Spirit is the best gift in many ways!   The Holy Spirit comes into us and gives us a new heart that now wants to do God’s will.  The Spirit brings the life and truth of God’s Word to life in us.  The Spirit helps us in our human weakness of both body and mind.  Paul says that the Spirit, through our prayer language, intercedes for us with groans, or spiritual language, that is beyond our ability to express in human words.  The Holy Spirit perfectly knows the mind of God and our heart as well, and His interceding enables us to understand that God is working all things for our good and His purposes.

Observations for over-comers:  Over-comers allow the Holy Spirit to pray through them at all times, empowering them in weakness and times of seeking God’s will.  This act of faith brings assurance that God is working for our good to fulfill His calling for us.  “Answer me when I call to You, O my righteous God.  Give me relief from my distress, be merciful to me and hear my prayer.”  (Psalm 4:1)

 

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The greatest commandment!

Scripture reading for February 25th:  Mark 12

Key scriptures for over-comers:  Mark 12:28-31  “One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating.  Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”  “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this:  ‘Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.”

Religious people like to discuss theology and God’s word.  It was no different in Jesus’ day. The teachers of this time had identified the ten Mosaic commandments and over 600 other commandment from the Scriptures.   Each teacher had their own interpretations of the various laws and scriptures.  One of these law teachers came to Jesus with an honest question:  “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”  Jesus did not hesitate for a moment, but identified two that comprised the greatest commandment:  Love God completely and love your neighbor as yourself.  Jesus taught that these two summed up all the laws of God.  In loving God, we eliminate idolatry and giving God second place.  We won’t profane His name or His day–the Sabbath.  In loving our neighbor, we won’t murder, commit adultery, lie, steal or covet and we will honor our father and mother.  This complete love fulfills the law.

Observations for over-comers:  Love involves relationship–first with God and also with our neighbor and ourselves! Love never fails!  “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not be in want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He restores my soul.  He guides me in paths of righteousness of His own name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:1-3)

 

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The most important commandment!

Scripture reading for February 25th:  Mark 12

As the earthly ministry of Jesus came to a conclusion, He was questioned by the Pharisees and teachers of the law.  Their goal was to trap him and Jesus knew it.  (Mark 12:15)  These religious leaders were hypocrites! They claimed to love God and love their neighbor, but they were seeking to kill Jesus.  He was the Son of God and their neighbor!   Jesus answered their questions and amazed them at His simple wisdom and ability to answer.

One of the teachers of the law asked Jesus, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”  “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.  Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.”  (Mark 12:29-31)  Jesus answered this teacher with simple truth and the man agreed!  Jesus told him that he was not far from the kingdom of God.

This man was close, but still could not get into the kingdom by keeping this great commandment.  Only Jesus Christ, the Son of God, perfectly loved God.  He demonstrated this love by keeping all the commandments.  He, alone, has loved God with all His heart, soul, mind and strength.  He, alone has loved His neighbor as Himself!  In faith in Jesus Christ we are given the righteousness that we need to enter the kingdom of God.  (2nd Corinthians 5:21)  Strive to love God and obey Him but believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved and given the keys to God’s kingdom!

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