Which Of The Commandments Do You Break?
March 12 "Jesus answered him, 'The foremost of all the commandments is: Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment.'" Mark 12:29-30 When you ask someone whether they live by the commandments, most will say they try to. If they meditate on the question, they will run down through them in their mind and say to themselves, "I don't kill, or steal, or commit adultery, or blaspheme, or even covet. So yes, I do live by God's commandments." Yet most break the one that Jesus said is the foremost over all: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength." . ALL your heart? . ALL your soul? . ALL your mind? . ALL your strength? Ah, that's a bit more difficult. We are busy people. We have jobs, spouses, children, hobbies, commitments ...we just don't have time for God, but of course, he understands that ...doesn't he? Our lives play out according to the way we prioritize them. And for most, that does not leave time for God. So we cannot say we live by the commandments if we're breaking the very one Jesus said is foremost. We are called to be a separated people, yet we are very much afraid to be exactly that, because if we are separated from the world, we will not be popular, and in fact we might become the butt of people's sarcasm and disdain. And rejection hurts. It hurts A LOT. What this means is that if one wants to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, he has to be willing to pay the cost -- and there IS a cost, you'd better believe it, a painful cost. "If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you OUT OF the world, therefore the world hates you." John 15:19 Friends, our salvation does not depend on our works. Jesus paid the sin-debt we owed when he took the judgment on our sins upon himself as he was tortured and died on that Cross. Most believers say, "Thanks for that," and stop there and just go on with their lives. If that's what you want, you are free to live that way. You will be saved, but you will sacrifice what God's plan would have been for your life, along with the eternal rewards you would have had if you had "Loved the Lord your God with all your strength..." But if you accept the invitation to walk with God, to follow Jesus, then you need to first determine in your mind that you're willing to suffer the consequences, that is, rejection by the world. If you could imagine the value of your choice in eternity, there would be no question about it, you'd accept it in a minute. You would have the same conviction that the apostles of the Lord had after the Lord ascended to heaven leaving them to carry out the work of the Gospel, regardless of the cost. Whatever the followers of Christ witnessed while they walked with him, whatever they experienced with him, it impacted them so deeply that they were willing to give their lives for it if need be. That was the depth of their conviction, the result of their walk with the Lord. Nothing could stop them. They were changed men. How much do you love the Lord Jesus Christ? Or better yet, DO YOU love him? If you think you do, are you willing to love him with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength? Take some time apart from the world, go to a quiet place and spend time seeking the Lord to know what his will for your life is. Fast. Pray. Draw near to him. Seek him until you receive an answer. Then on that day when you stand before him and your life is reviewed, you will shine with the joy of the Lord for all eternity. "His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’” Matthew 25:21