Archive for August, 2020

The Greatest Commandment


     Then one of the scribes came and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”  Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.  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.  And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no other commandment greater than these.”  So the scribe said to him, “Well said teacher.  You have spoken the truth.” (Mark 12: 28-32.)


     A teacher of God’s law was captivated by the wisdom of Jesus.  He therefore tested Him, asking which commandment was the most important.  The Lord responded by proclaiming the oneness of God.  What made the Jewish people different from every other culture was their faith in God; an almighty Creator (unlike the surrounding pagan cultures who worshipped many Gods.)  Jesus then identified man’s place in relation to the Living God; every individual has been designed by God to walk in fellowship with Him; to love Him with their whole heart, soul, mind, and strength.  The second commandment was an outward expression of the first; love for God is revealed by our love for others.  Loving God and loving others is the same commandment; it is impossible to do one without the other.  A person who claims to cherish and love the Lord, but appears cold and unloving toward others, is either deceived, or walking in willful disobedience (neither of which are good.)

     Many years ago, I was walking and praying to God behind the coffee shop where I used to study.  I was practicing the greatest commandment (loving God with my whole heart, mind, soul and strength.)  After making my connection with the Lord in prayer, I headed back to the coffee shop to continue my studies. Suddenly, God gave me the opportunity to love someone else as I would love myself.  Glancing over at the nearest intersection, I spotted an accident that had caused a truck to flip over on its side.  I rushed across the street, arriving at the scene to find other bystanders standing at a distance. I discovered that a woman was trapped inside the overturned vehicle.  The police and the fire department had not yet arrived, so I moved forward.  After getting down on my stomach, I was able to slide my head and one of my arms between the concrete and the open driver’s side window.  The girl inside was young and obviously in shock.  She was hanging in place by her seat belt.  I held her hand, reassuring her that everything was going to be okay.  As the tears rolled down her face I continued talking with her.  After a short while, the fire department arrived. I told her that I would be praying for her; she had the sense of mind to say ‘thank you.’  I walked away from the accident knowing that I had loved that woman as myself. The loving God that lived within my heart had made Himself known to her in the hour of her greatest need.

     There is one God, and the two greatest commandments He has given are actually one in the same.  Those who love God and draw near to Him, become like Him.  He is kind, He is compassionate, He is loving and merciful; He is truthful; and those who love Him with all of their heart are moved to love others as God loves them.  Throughout your day, connect with God in prayer; cherish His words and hold them within your heart, contemplating His truth within your mind.  If God is the priority in your life, then you will have a supernatural love for others that will shine like the sun; a love that cannot be denied; a love that comes from the one true and living God.

    “Lord Heavenly Father, we desire to be close to You and to love You; fill us with Your Holy Spirit.  May our hearts be completely devoted to You, and to others.  Give us opportunities throughout the day to express our love for You, in the lives of those around us.  Use us to reveal Your goodness to the world.  We love You Father, we praise You, and we thank You, and we ask and pray all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name, Amen.”  God bless all of you!   

Scripture is Powerful


    So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you continue in my word then you are my disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free” (John 8: 31-32.)


   God, in His wisdom, has chosen to use language (words) to reveal Himself to mankind. The written and spoken words of God and of His only Son Jesus Christ are recorded within the pages of The Holy Bible. These words have the power to grant eternal life; to purify and to heal; to transform and to enlighten. The word of God can do so many things; but unless it is harnessed and utilized, it isn’t likely to produce any meaningful change. Daily scripture reading is essential for the growth of the believer; a dusty bible is a reflection of the heart of its owner.
   Francis A. Schaffer was a brilliant 20th century American scholar and theorist. As a young adult he had been eagerly studying the works of the Greek philosophers. In his quest for knowledge he had been exposed to many interesting questions; for which there were no answers (he was drowning in theory, speculation, and conjecture.) At this same time he was also attending a very liberal church on the weekends, which failed to provide him with the answers he desired (because they did not preach bible based sermons.) ‘He thought, “I wonder whether I should stop calling myself a Christian, and discard the bible?” Then he reconsidered; choosing instead to face the fact that he had never actually read the bible.’ In desperation he began reading the scriptures for himself; with every turn of the page, his amazement grew. He had finally found the answers to his questions. His curiosity had led him to a genuine faith in Jesus Christ. Francis Schaffer never stopped reading his bible. He chose to commit the rest of his life to helping others discover the truth that he had received from God.
   Nearly 130 million books have been written throughout human history. Every year 50,000 new titles are published. Yet in a sea of literary works, only the Holy Bible contains the truth. The bible transforms lives; it creates affection, produces kindness, and generates love; it relieves addictions, and delivers from despair; it can heal the sick and bring hope to the hopeless; it contains the answers to life’s deepest questions; it is a powerful tool; yet like all tools, it can do nothing unless it is put to use. Read God’s word and discover your purpose. Grab hold of the promises of God and never let go. Open His Holy Scriptures and you will neither stumble nor stray from the path of everlasting life.
    “Lord Heavenly Father, show us the importance of daily bible reading. May we cling to Your words as a dying man clings to his last breath. Instill in us the desire to seek You. May we be transformed through the power of Your word. Fill us with Your Holy Spirit, that we may be more like Your Son; may others see our lives and praise Your Name. We love You Father, we thank You, and we praise You, and we ask all of these things, according to Your will, in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.” God bless all of you!

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