The Greatest Commandment!

“One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"

The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: `Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: `Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." (NIV) Mark 12:28-31

“With All Your Heart!”

We are supposed to love God with all our heart – but to do that we have to let God into every area of our heart! If you are a man, you must love God more than your wife. If you are a woman you must love God more than your husband. We must love God more than our children, our ministries, our jobs, our hobbies – more than anything!

The scripture does not say some of your mind or some of your soul or some of your strength – it says all!

Thought Tool

“If I love anything equally or more than I love God – than He doesn’t have all of my heart!”

“With All Your Soul”

Who we love and whom we serve makes up our heart intentions! Soul is the life principle of our reason, focus, desires and who we are and why!

Let us look at it this way: What controls your emotions? What controls your desires? What controls your habits? What controls your likes? What controls your dislikes? Your Heart Intentions!

“For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.” Hebrews 4:12-13 (NIV)

We are supposed to love God with all our soul – we are supposed to let God into every area of our soul. We must allow God to have complete control in our soul and all the things that are important in our lives. Our devotion to God must be the all-consuming drive in our life, period! Then everything else comes into order!

“With All Your Understanding!”

We are supposed to let God control our mind and teach us to the point that we understand Him and His ways and see things from His understanding. Let us put it this way: it is not some of what you think, it is what we think, period! It does not say love God with all His understanding – it says with all “your” understanding. God does not expect us to have all His understanding, but He expects - all of our understanding to be on Him!

“. . . everything one is, does and has must be used to love God.”

“With All of Our Strength”

If some of our strength is coming from people, financial security, desires, false hopes, job or even our physical build; if anything is coming from any of those sources and if all of our strength is not coming from who God is and what strength and power He is giving you – then it is not all His!

Lesson Truth!

Loving God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your understanding and with all your strength - is a total and complete reliance, submission, and desire to let God develop you totally. It is beyond bowing down to God – it is totally a bond slave!

The Second Greatest Commandment!

What is the second greatest commandment?

“One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: `Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: `Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these." Mark 12:28-31 (NIV)

If you are NOT spending time with Father God, you cannot possibly know Him! To know God is to love God. If you do not love God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind, you can NOT truly show any magnitude of love towards others. It is not in you; it is just not in you!

If a person does not know God or they do not take that step to get to know God, there is no way they can possibly love Him. That is the difference. Further, if they do not love Him, they cannot love a brother or sister or anyone. If they do not love Him, loving a brother or sister would be like forcing love out of yourself what is not there - it would be fakeness!

What is wrong with the preaching on loving one another? To preach or teach this subject to those who do not know God and are not spending time with him - it would be like asking a person to do something that they are not capable of doing. You must know God and you must love God first! If preachers are spending their time preaching, “You should be loving your brother or doing this for your sister.” and the love for God is not there - they are wasting their time.

To know anything about love, you must spend time with God. Do not try to be like Him - just look at Him. Just be occupied with Him, just behold Him. For God IS love.

“And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love, lives in God, and God in him”. 1 John 4:16 (NIV)

God has a natural law, enforced to the effect that we are conformed to that on which we center our interest and love.

“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus”. Acts 4:13 (NIV)

Abandoned to God:

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So because you are lukewarm – neither nor not cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16 (NIV)

 

Someone who is neither hot nor cold for God – they are a fence sitter. They have their feet on both sides of the fence! Someone, who is doing this, should not expect to walk in his or her Salvation!

If we are NOT willing to abandon our self to God, then we do not really love Him, because He is worthy to be abandoned too! 

According to Webster’s the word abandon means to yield one’s self - completely! It means complete surrender! Is this not taught in the churches? Yes, but it is not stressed! Nor is the real importance of it stressed either, or this is a big mistake! In order for us to be able to walk in our salvation we have to be abandoned completely, willing to be corrected by God and willing to be changed thus being born again which is being transformed by the renewing of our mind!

I exhort you, therefore, brothers, in view of God’s mercies, to offer yourselves as a sacrifice, living and set apart for God. This will please him; it is the logical “Temple worship” for you. In other words, do not let yourselves be conformed to the standards of the ‘olam hazeh (world). Instead, keep letting yourselves be transformed by the renewing of your minds; so that you will know what God wants and will agree that what he wants is good, satisfying and able to succeed. Romans 12:1-2 (CJB)

What the church is teaching is not about abandoning yourself to God. They are not teaching that abandoning yourself to God is necessary to a pure and righteousness salvation.

In fact, they are not teaching that it is a prerequisite to our Salvation! People want “easy believe-ism”! They do not want to have to work for something. We love to hear about grace, but we do not want to hear the part about work out” your salvation” through fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12)! That means work, and we want to believe that we have nothing to do, but just believe! However, we must be “transformed by the renewing of your mind". (Romans 12:1-2)

While speaking to the dispersed Christians, the Apostle Peter said, and the Complete Jewish Bible puts it this way, “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice, of all deceit, hypocrisy and envy, and of all the ways there are of speaking against people; and be like newborn babies, thirsty for the pure milk of the Word; so that by it, you may grow up into deliverance. For you have tasted that Adonai is good.” I Peter 2:1-3 (CJB)

 

If our precious Savior had to learn to obey through suffering, and if He was made perfect by suffering, and if He learned obedience from what he suffered, why in the world shouldn’t we have to? Where in the world does the church of the living God get off thinking they do not have to suffer and learn to obey

“Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him . . .” (Hebrews 5:8-9).

“In bringing many sons to glory, I was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.” Hebrews 2:10. What part of this does not the church get?

Jesus the precious Savior, the Son of the Living God paid the price of having to leave Heaven to come to this earth to “set the example” of how we are supposed to live! Why? Because we are such dumb, stupid sheep, that we did not get it! We were following the wrong leader!

The church continues to do that today walking around in easy believe-ism! I know I am being blunt – please bear with me. When it is said that Jesus paid it all that is truth! He did! He paid the highest price of all! He paid the price of leaving the side of the Almighty God, His Father to come down here to this filthy, corrupt, nasty, evil earth! He paid the price of having to leave a pain free, perfect paradise to come to this earth for a bunch of sinful, ungrateful, very often selfish people who have the audacity to think that because Jesus did that, that all we have to do is just believe! Never forget that Satan and his demons believe and shudder! Make sense?

You believe that “God is one”? Good for you! The demons believe it too — the thought makes them shudder with fear!” James 2:19 (CJB)

Jesus voluntarily left the side of his Father to come to this earth to say, “Follow me!” He was saying it then and He is still saying today, “Come, follow me! I have shown you by the way I lived and by what I said how to live your life. I have shown you how-to walk-in obedience to My Father!”

He paid it all, all right, but it was not in order that we could pick and choose what we wanted to obey and what we did not want to obey! Jesus paid it all! He paid and He paid, and He paid. He became the sacrifice lamb!

Jesus came to show us it could be done even with the old law in place! He fulfilled it – He not only fulfilled what He wants us to do now – He fulfilled what everybody else was supposed to be doing back then! In one shot – He cleaned house! 

There are individuals who are walking borderline obedience, but they do not understand it is going to take total abandonment to get a pure salvation.

The only real salvation, the only real guarantee of God’s will being done in your life, the only way to ensure that the calling that God has placed on your life is completed while you are on this earth; the only guarantee that when you die you are going to get into those gates is – abandonment - which equals – obedience!

The Giving of a Gift

Q- What do you think about people who give someone a gift and then tell them what to do with it and how to use it?

(At this point people usually say something like, “Once you give someone a gift, the gift is theirs to do with as they please.”)

A – Well, then! Why do you think that once people give their lives over to God, they continue to tell Him how to run it? Plus, they continue making their own decisions without consulting Him.

If it is God’s life, what right do people think they have to tell Him how to use it?

If we give something to God, what right do we have to continue to make decisions on something which no longer belongs to us?

Reader - It is either God’s life - or it is still ours!

(sw-h)
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