April 17 Devotional

When Jesus was asked by one of the scribes what the first or most important commandment was, Jesus answered; “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.   There is none other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31).


Is it possible that in all the hustle and bustle of our normal ministry that we could forget these simple truths?  Is what you are planning to do for God today within these guidelines?  Do the efforts you put forth revolve around loving the Lord with every fiber of who you are … your heart, soul, mind and strength?  It seems to me that we start serving this Lord with this as the goal, but if we are not careful the praise of men flatters us so much that we begin to serve God for what “others” will say about us.  We become so enamored with hearing how good we are from others that we forget that we originally were doing it for the love of God.  Jesus stated this so clearly that we should never forget it, but we seem to do it regularly.


Think about it … the last time you sang a song in church; did you do it for others to hear you, or to glorify God?  The last time you gave an offering; did you do it to please your pocketbook? to impress the person next to you? or because you would give all you have to show your love for God?  The last time you shared a testimony, or prayed publically in a meeting; were you trying to use vocabulary that you knew would impress those in the room with you, or were you pouring your heart out to your God?  The last time you shared your faith with an unbeliever; did you do it to fulfill a requirement of a class, or to impress others with how many tracts you handed out, or were you about your Father’s business?


Sadly it seems today that we all do “spiritual” things for very “unspiritual” reasons.  Today is a day for you to love the Lord your God with all you have; and then to demonstrate that by loving those around you like He would.  Verse 31 speaks to the proof of loving God with all your being.  If we really do love Him that way, we will love those God has placed around us, like He would do it in our shoes.  The proof of loving God with all you have is to love those He sent His Son to save!


People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” – John Maxwell