Bible Reference: Mark 12:29-31
Translation: The Passion Translation (TPT)
Bible Text: 29 ….. “The most important of all the commandments is this: ‘The Lord Yahweh, our God, is one!’ 30 You are to love the Lord Yahweh, your God, with every passion of your heart, with all the energy of your being, with every thought that is within you, and with all your strength. This is the great and supreme commandment. 31 And the second is this: ‘You must love your neighbor in the same way you love yourself.’ You will never find a greater commandment than these.”
OBSERVATION: A religious scholar of Jesus’ day wanted to know, and I believe all of us would want to know, what is of top priority importance to Jesus? Of all the commandments and teachings that He shared through His Word, all of which are super important to us, it is so good to know what Jesus considers most important. So let’s take time to meditate on this today.
APPLICATION: I believe that if these things are considered ‘important’ to Jesus, then surely He is happiest when He sees His children making an effort to obey these commandments and putting these things at the very top of our priority list. So let’s really dig into what seems important to our Master: (1) Love the Lord your God deeply and sincerely – with energy and compassion of heart – I believe this means that there is nothing more important to us, than to make Jesus the priority of every part of our lives and of our day. For if He is Lord of our lives, then He will automatically be Lord of everything we do. There is no compartmentalizing, meaning that Jesus is only Lord at home, or will only be obvious in our actions at church. Friends, I believe that if He is the source of our Joy, then it will exude from us and rub off on those that we associate with. For us to say that we love Jesus, and that He fills our life with joy, then to act like the devil around our friends, it’s like living a double standard. It’s like thinking we could pack Jesus away in the back corner of our heart,while we return to our old self in order to tell a friend off. It just don’t work that way friends! Jesus is either Lord of your life and Lord of all, or you’re still searching for Him. I am not saying that a Christian won’t, or can’t sin, because as long as we are on planet earth, that will happen. But if we have invited Jesus to rule and reign in our lives, I have faith to believe that He will guide us in His ways and to act in ways that would be pleasing to Him. If we mess up on that, then we must quickly seek His forgiveness, for Jesus will not reside where sin abounds. And (2) Love your neighbor in the same way that you love yourself – I believe that Jesus is teaching us to treat that friend/neighbor at the same level as we are, not looking down on them, nor feeling intimidated by them. We would never hurt ourselves, so don’t even think of hurting a neighbor. You always want yourself to look best, be fed the best food, and achieve the best in everything. Help that neighbor achieve the same thing. Because you want them to be just like you; have everything you have; and act just like you in response to life, then you will work hard to love them unconditionally and help them connect with the source of your joy and your strength and your hope. Our Lord Jesus said that there are no other commandments as important as these two. Don’t you feel like that narrows things down to a manageable level? We can do this friends, with the help of the one who died for us, so that we could one day be with Him in glory!
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please touch my life today, and the lives of those who will meditate on these words that I’ve shared with Your help and direction. We want to be like You, and we want to be obedient children, but we need your help. I believe that You want us to follow in Your ways and according to Your commands, especially these two important commandments. Please enable us to hear Your will for our lives, and obediently follow where You will lead us. May others see Jesus today, begining with their encounter with us. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!