“Refreshing Some Basics”, Mark 12.28-34: Alex Clegg
2 = 1 or does it?
When we overcomplicate things we make a mess. Things go wrong.
“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 neighbour as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbour as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.” (Mark 12:28–34 NIV11)
A: Love God
1. Love God with all your HEART
* Centre of thoughts and emotions, especially love and compassion
* “My heart, O God, is steadfast; I will sing and make music with all my soul. Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise you, LORD, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, higher than the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.” (Psalm 108:1–5 NIV11)
* How do I express emotion towards God?
2. Love God with all your SOUL
* Spiritual or immaterial part of a human being regarded as immortal
* “Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits-who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,” (Psalm 103:1–4 NIV11)
* Is my love for God deep?
3. Love God with all your MIND
* Aware of the world and experiences, to think and to feel; the faculty of consciousness and thought.
* “In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world.” (1 John 5:3–4 NIV11)
* Loving God is practical.
4. Love God with all your STRENGTH
* The quality or state of being able to withstand force, pressure or wear.
* “How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the LORD’S praise, for he has been good to me.” (Psalm 13:1–6 NIV11)
* Not always easy to love God - that’s when we need strength
Which stands out as the one in which you can grow most in loving God?
B: Being a neighbour
“In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’ “Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”” (Luke 10:30–37 NIV11)
1. Have no boundaries in who we help
2. Meet the needs in as complete a fashion as possible
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,” (Hebrews 10:24 NIV11)
Let’s help one another to be a good neighbour to others in need.
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