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#1 on Life's Priority List

posted Feb 28, 2010, 1:05 PM by Website Administrator   [ updated Feb 28, 2010, 1:06 PM ]

February 21, 2010         

Key Passage: Mark 12:28-34 

“#1 On Life’s Priority List”

I’ve been to some pretty dark places these past two weeks, which has led me to ask myself this question: Does my life revolve around God, or do I expect Him to revolve around me?  Now I know that sounds like a no-brainer and I’m sure we all know the “Sunday School Answer,” but at age 46 it still amazes me that if I get that question wrong (and I do frequently), everything else in my life falls apart.  If you ask a Christian to list the priorities in their life, it’s pretty certain God’s going to top that list.  Yet how many of us really live as if our love and devotion to Him is #1?  When we think about our own lives and especially our struggles and problems, can we all admit we seldom start with simply loving God?  Or how about remembering He loved us first?  “We love, because he loved us first.”  (1 John 4:19)  Ever stopped to consider that when life is falling apart, when confusion reigns, when hope is distant, we serve a God who loved us first?  Next time you’re in one of those places, don’t allow your mind to get so set on the problem that you take it off the Problem Solver … who loved you first! 

Mark 12:28-34  Three Simple Truths … 

  1. Jesus goes straight to Scripture for answers
  1. He establishes and acknowledges the ability (sovereignty) of God to answer all of life’s problems
  1. Though asked for “the most important commandment,” Jesus answers with two…and yet then calls them “the greatest commandment.”  In other words, they’re intertwined into one, and there is absolutely an order: Love God first, love your neighbor second.  BTW, it simply won’t work if you try to reverse the order… or if you leave the first out altogether, as the world suggests.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength…” 

  • Heart – Do I show my love for God by the choices I make?  Here, Scripture is speaking of the human will… the choices we make.  “For man believes (chooses) with the heart, and is so justified.”  (Romans 10:10)  Do we choose to love God in the choices we make?
  • Mind – Do I show my love for God with how I use my mind and what I put into it?  It’s amazing how many people believe Christians are ignorant and simply “follow blindly” because they don’t know better.  Hey, some of the world’s greatest intellects have been Christians.  God has no problem whatsoever with our questioning and seeking His Word for answers. (see Acts 17:11)
  • Soul – Do I love God when I’m emotional and/or through my emotions?  Can we all just admit it’s difficult to prioritize our love for God when we’re freaking out?  Or angry?  Remember, anger / irritation that’s consistent is simply a lack of love for God and those he created.
  • Strength – Do I show my love for God with how I use my body?  (see 1 Corinth. 6:19-20)  Ever really stopped to consider your body is an incredible, complex gift?  That you were bought with the highest price known to man – the blood of Chris?  Remember that the next time you want to load it up with alcohol, drugs, porn, or give it away in sexual impurity… loving him with all your strength is simply obeying him.  Remember, Jesus said if you love me you will obey me…

“Love your neighbor as yourself…” 

  • New age and self-help books will teach you to “love yourself.”  Some have suggested the reason people don’t love others is because they don’t love themselves.  That’s a load of crud (would like to use another word to make my point, but I’m showing restraint).  We don’t love others because we simply don’t love God.  When you stop to consider what he has done for you, the blood that was shed for you, the price he paid so you wouldn’t have to, the sheer grace / mercy shown to you…how can we simply not love other people, and love them consistently and completely?