Daily Devotions from The Word Of God… From the heart of Ed Algreen

Archive for the ‘Commandments’ Category

Most Important Commandments

Monday, 2016-09-05

Scripture

Bible Reference: Mark 12:28–31

Bible Text:  28 …..“Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)

My Take

Many are caught aback by all of the commands in the Bible, and especially in the ten commandments, folks looking for a reason to whine and complain, tend to complain about the negativity in the commands. While we don’t see any of that in these verses, there was strong curiosity as to which one(s) were most important from Jesus’ perspective. Hearing the response from Jesus, makes this something that I believe His followers today really need to pay particular attention to, as I believe these contain very important demands for us still today. So here they are:

  1. “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone.[a] And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. Deuteronomy 6:4-5
  2. 18 “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord. Leviticus 19:18

There is an old pop song that included the words “All I need is love” throughout the song. I believe that the one characteristic that each of these important commands are built on is “LOVE”! In the first instance, we are told that we are to love our Maker, Creator, Savior and Way Maker with all of our being. Friends, it might strike some of you to ask, “well who wouldn’t”. Unfortunately there are many that don’t recognize our Master and Creator, so of course they have no reason to love someone who, in their opinion does not exist. May I remind you that many are looking at us to see whether we, who are called by His name, truly love God from the very depths of our being. What do you think? Would your family, friends, neighbors, coworkers, be convinced enough through the love they see from you for your God? As we look at the second commandment, I want you to reflect on the last time you really got mad, or upset at yourself. Now, what did you do to yourself? Did you seek to hurt yourself or deprive yourself from some special treat or event? Did you tell others how evil you were and unlikeable you were? Did you build up strong fences or defenses to keep others away? Then friends, why do we do these things to our neighbors? Remember, neighbors are ones who we come into contact with. Sometimes they are sweet as ‘pie’ to us, and sometimes we get really upset at the things they do. You know, similar to what we probably do unconsciously to others! Jesus wants us to love these neighbors in spite of their faults – as much as we love our very own selves. How are you doing with that child of God?

Prayer

Lord God, thank You for first loving us. You set the plumb line as an example for us. So often we fall so short on demonstrating the sincerity of love that You showed for us, for You loved us, even though You had no sign of love in return. Please use Your Word today to encourage, challenge and provoke us into loving You unconditionally with all our being. As we do this, I believe it will be a lot more natural for us to love one another, but please help us with that also dear Lord, for I believe that we will quickly brush others aside when they show no signs of love for us. Help us to love like You love us Heavenly Father, for I ask this all for Your ultimate glory, AMEN!

Footnote

If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. 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 could 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 www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, 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!

THE Most Important Things

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – Matthew 22:36-40): 36 “Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. 38 This is the first and most important commandment. 39 The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” 40 All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets are based on these two commandments.

THOUGHTS: In our fast-paced world today, I believe most of us like to set our priorities for the day so that we could make sure we don’t get side-tracked with all the other things that will be sure to bombard us and try to win our attention. Furthermore, we tend to try very hard to accomplish our top priority items more than anything else for that day. I believe that is good reason why this passage of scripture should be very important to us. Jesus knew that He and His Father had given us many commands over time, but here He chose to show us what constituted a priority for us. In fact, He teaches that these two particular commands will help us ensure that we are following all of the other commands given to us over time. Let us therefore examine these two carefully:

  1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind – Love comes from the heart, so to love the Lord with all of our heart means that we must love Him with all that we are. Also, that all other things, or people, that attract our love is below the level of love that we have for the Father. In fact, Jesus goes on to say that we must love Him from the very depths of our soul – our very inmost being. And from our mind – in other words, be thinking of ways to love Him more or ways to love Him better than anything else.
  2. Love others as much as we love ourselves – It is very natural for us to love ourselves. Often this love is corrupt, and often leads to our greatest sins (envy, boasting, jealousy, etc). However, there is also a sincere self-love that is expected, because of the mere fact that God made us in His own image, and He loved us enough that He sacrificed His only Son to make us right with Himself. So if He loves us that much, ought we not to also love our own selves? Of course we do, but Jesus is teaching here that with that same love, we are to also and always love others. In other words, love them because you recognize that God loves them in the same way that He loves you.

Isn’t it interesting that God added at the end of this revelation, that if we concentrate on these two important things, that we will master all other commands? I thought yes, I can see that, because I wouldn’t dare consider lying, or stealing, or murdering, or being envious, or any other wrongful act against God or against anyone else that I love as much as I love myself. So friends, I believe it all boils down to these two things, just as Jesus taught us. Can we put these at the top of our daily prayer list, and at the top of our to-do list, and at the very top of our personal priorities? If you are one to place stickers around the house filled with very important reminders, then these two priorities should probably be at the header and footer of each of those notes, so that you will be reminded of the most important things, before looking at the item you want to accomplish in addition to these. Can we do this? Can we do it on our own? Why would we try, when we have been promised that God is always there to help us achieve the desires of our heart? Lean on Him friend, and let Him be your guide and your help, especially with these things that He told us are key commands that He wants us to do.

PRAYER: Father please forgive us for being so anxious to set our daily priorities, with so little attention to Your priorities You taught to us. I know that You are Master, Creator, Almighty God, and Love in its truest form, so there is every reason for me to be obedient to Your teaching, knowing that You have my best interest at heart. Please help Your children who might meditate on this devotional today, and myself, to put our selfish desires aside and dedicate ourselves to following Your commands, especially Your two primary commands taught in this lesson. May we love You, and those that we come into contact with today, with the love that You have shown towards us. For I ask these things in the precious and holy name of Jesus, my Savior, with thanksgiving, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will 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 www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! 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!

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