Read: Mark 12: 28-31
Reflect: Something about these verses has always baffled me. They just seem too simple. The scribe approached Jesus and asked, in my opinion, a perfectly reasonable question: “which of the commands is most important?” I get it! There were a lot of commands, and he wanted to know priority.
Honestly, this is my kind of thinking. When I’m overwhelmed and can’t think straight, I like to minimize the choices, simplify thinking, and create manageable steps. But, Jesus’ words in these verses seem very minimal to me…. Love God fully. Then, love others.
At the same time, His words can seem too difficult. How can I love God fully and have anything left to love others? I am so serious when I tell you that I can overthink these verses until I’m paralyzed with over-analyzing.
That’s why this portion of chapter 11 needs to be written out beside the verses in Mark in my Bible, But divine affection is altogether different. It does not subtract from other loves. It supplies them. It does not detract from them. It gives them their proper dignity and their rightful place…… When God issued the command for the highest love of human hearts to be directed solely to Him, it wasn’t to hoard it all for Himself. He meant to sanctify it and multiply it. (Audacious, page 140)
Respond: We were created to relate with God through Jesus Christ in such abundant affection that love from our connection overflows onto everyone that we meet. Can you even imagine?
What if I experienced such love and care from Christ during my morning quiet time that affection simply poured out of me onto my husband and children when they woke up each day?
What if my need for acceptance was completely met in relationship with Christ so that I never even noticed offenses against me? What if I blessed any betrayer with the blessing Christ hands me?
What if I fully experienced God’s care and provision for me in a way that caused me to always look out for those in my circle of influence? What if my experience of perfect provision motivated me to turn and provide for anyone in my path?
I confess this isn’t always happening in my world. But, I think it’s the point of audacious living.
Renew: I will not allow for guilt and shame to creep back in here. We’ve worked too hard to fight it, ladies. Plus, how would that even help. No! Guilt has no place. We need to make space for loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. I believe a good start is to recognize the compassion of our good, good Father when we simply miss the point. And, that’s what we’ve done. Our perfect Parent has loved us well, and we’ve looked to other loves to fulfill.
Today, spend some time being with Your Father. I recognize that may be a simplistic, confusing, or even strange instruction. Maybe you have no idea how. I’m not sure I do either. But, we can fumble our way around a new kind of relationship with our Savior. I believe He will honor it.
Be still and know that I am God….