Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Main Thing

Chuckle: Just think how much deeper the ocean would be if sponges didn't live there!!
Quote: “I never knew how to worship until I knew how to love.” --Henry Ward Beecher
The Greatest Commandment: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength" (Mark 12:30 NIV).
A few years back, here in Texas, we had an outstanding evangelism leader who always encouraged Christians to "keep the main thing the main thing."  In our passage, Jesus tells us in no uncertain terms what the main thing is.  When Jesus was asked what was the most important commandment, he did not hesitate to give us the Great Commandment.  Love is the heart of the Christian life -- like the old hymn: "Love is the Theme; love is supreme. . ."  And the most important thing for us is our love for God because our ability to love others depends upon our love for our Lord.
Let's not forget that knowing the Great Commandment and living it out are two different things.  If we do in fact love God according to the Great Commandment, the first indication will be our joyful obedience to His other commands and instructions which includes loving others.  You cannot love God and continue to do as you like.  You cannot love God and disobey him.  Jesus said, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching" (John 14:23 NIV).
If you say you love God but do not obey him, you do not love him the way the Great Commandment describes.  If our love for God is not complete, then trying to be obedient becomes burdensome, unpleasant and futile.  True love for our Lord expresses itself in sincere worship and joyful obedience.
Immediately following the Great Commandment, Jesus said, "The second (greatest commandment) is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these" (Mark 12:31 NIV).  If we first love God with all our hearts, we will gladly obey him by loving others as God has loved us.  Even John 3:16 is all about God's love for us -- the most powerful force in all creation.  If we combine the Great Commandment with the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20), we have our spiritual marching orders as believers.  We are to love God, love others and go and tell the gospel message of Jesus Christ.
Listen to these words:  My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn't know the first thing about God, because God is love—so you can't know him if you don't love. (1 John 4:7-8 MSG). Enough said.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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