Dear one, Day 2 has come and is nearly passed. Turn on your soaking music and let’s enter into God’s presence together.
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 neighbor 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 neighbor 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)
I LOVE how God uses His Word to speak to us. Jesus intentionally chose His words here. “Shema, O Israel…” He chose words that were and still are a part of the Jewish prayer life. (Those of you who want to nerd out on this detail like me, can follow this link for more info: http://www.jewfaq.org/m/shemaref.htm)
This phrase would have evoked specific images in the minds of His audience. Images of God on the throne, images of worship in the temple, of seeking to please God by obeying the 10 Commandments & of royally messing up (thank You, Jesus, for making me clean, because I mess some of these up daily!); it would have evoked images of helping one’s neighbor, of daily prayer times – perhaps a specific memory of God meeting them in their prayer time when they prayed the Shema prayer popped into their mind.
God has been in the business of showing up, remaining faithful to His promises, and drawing His people to Himself for generations and generations. Today is no different. You are one of His people (if you are unsure of this, use the “contact us” page and send me a message). Despite your sinfulness, despite your brokenness, despite your marred nature, because of Jesus, you are one of God’s elect. God wants an intimate relationship with you. God loves you – yes, you.
The amazing thing about God’s love is that it is unconditional. He doesn’t wait for us to love Him first, or for us to have our stuff together, or for us to make all the right choices. He just loves us as we are. When we receive His love, we can love Him back and love others.
I invite you to take the next 5-10 minutes and simply sit in God’s presence, enjoying His love for you. Here is a link to a “soaking music” CD that I enjoy that may help you simply sit in His presence and experience His love for you: http://youtu.be/QMQKl4lSytY
Lord, teach me to love you with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength. I want to love You more. I want to love my neighbor better. Teach me Your love, O Lord.
I see God seated on His throne, with long flowing white robes billowing all about Him. You are curled up on His lap like a young child. He is lifting your burdens from you and replacing them with a peace from of deep. Deep within your soul, He is placing His peace and His joy as He lifts your hurts, removes your sins, and fills you with His love. You are comforted and given peace. Sit and receive it. Go in peace filled with the Spirit.