Saturday, December 3, 2011
"AWESOME GOD, AWESOME LOVE"
Good Evening to All!
The one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him (Jesus) , "which is the first commandment of all?
(29) Jesus answered him, "the first of all the commandments is: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, is one.
(30) And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment.
(31) And the second, like it, is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
(32) So the scribe said to Him, "Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He.
(33) and to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." (Mark 12:28-33 NKJV)
This scribe, listening to Jesus, asked Him about a specific point of law. The scribes in Jesus time were lawyers, accustomed to mulling over and debating legal issues. This scribe probably viewed even God's law as a set of "rules" to be debated and argued about. The answer Jesus gave him was one of diplomacy. Rather than coming out with an answer that could have kept the scribe going and in a state of mind wanting to argue and debate, Jesus focused on love, not law.
He summed up ALL God's law in these two greatest commandments--love God first and completely, and THEN LOVE EVERYONE ELSE. If we look at these two commandments and think about them, they take care of every other commandment God has. If we have love for God first, then we would definitely put the second one into action. When we put the second one into action, that will cover the complete way a Christian is suppose to live and treat all others, as well as themselves.
Jesus' answer more than satisfied the scribe. He showed he understood, by his response. Under the law, offerings and sacrifices were made specifically made to thank and honor God, make amends for sins and accompany specific requests.
Love brings us to a deeper level and a deeper understanding with God. It strengthens our relationship with Him and makes it personal. Love makes living for God, obey His commandments much more important. We want to please Him.
Love makes having a relationship with God more important than just following rules and learning how to behave.
I think this is where a lot of people get mixed up. Tell me if this sounds familiar.
"I go to church every Sunday but I don't pay tithes because I need the money for my bills and the tithes just go to the preacher. I'm a good person because I don't lie, cheat or steal. I don't curse (that bad), at least I don't use God's name in vain. I help others when I can.
I don't like to read the Bible because I don't understand it, but I go to church and listen to the Pastor. I don't pray because God knows what's in my heart, so I don't have to say anything, but I love God, so I know I'm going to heaven.
This is just a little bit of what I have heard since I have become serious about my relationship with God. Believe it or not, I used to say some of the same things. UNTIL I got a hunger for God and His love. I started reading my Bible and realizing what He expects from me as a Child of God and as a Christian. He expects me to love Him the way He loves me.
He loves us ALL, because we are His creation, but that does not mean that we are all "Children of God". We are a child of God if we have a relationship with Him, if we have accepted Jesus as our Savior and been baptized in Jesus' name, and received the Holy Ghost. Now, before y'all get ready to "stone me" I am going by Acts 2:38, the Plan of Salvation.
God wants us to love Him passionately. We love our spouses with passion, and as much as I hate to admit it, there are times when our loves let us down. God will NEVER let us down. He will always be there for us. We should love Him with a passion ABOVE all others. I think a lot of the problem is we have the frame of mind, "out-of-sight, out-of-mind. If we will start looking at the world in a different light and start seeing God in everything He created, I truly believe we will have that passion.
I'm sure there are a lot of Pastors out there who know a lot more than I do, but the way I read and understand it, being a child of God, being a true Christian, and being saved should go hand in hand. If a Pastor reads this please let me know if I am wrong.
This being said, I must get back to my main thought. If we are to consider ourselves Christians then we need to do as a follower of Christ would do, and emulate Him. To do this we must read our Bible to get to know Him and find out what He wants from us. Which comes back to an intimate relationship with Him. If we will allow Him to be part of our lives completely and be part of His, meaning to want to do as He tells us, then adhere to the first two commandments will not be as hard as we suspect. Especially if we surrender to Him and let Him guide us. If we do this, then the other commands will fall into place.
We should focus on loving God and others with our thoughts, actions, and energy every day
Good Night to All and May God Bless!