There Were Two Answers

Good morning! It’s Thursday a new day, a new beginning. Ask the Lord, Lord,what would he like for you to do today? Then do it. Enjoy today’s reading and your day.

Bible Verse – Matthew  22:34-40 NKJV
34 But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Initially, while reading I began reflecting on Jesus’ day. He was being questioned/harrassed by these leaders all day. I’m certain he felt like he was on trial, but as I began reading, I chuckled for a moment when I read, “Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question.” Then I knew Jesus was being tested and cross examined. But watch as He answers the questions.

There are many things I can point out in these verses, but today I will focus on these:

• 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ (Deuteronomy 6:5)

• 38 This is the first and great commandment.

• 39 And the second is like it:‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ (Leviticus 19:18)

• 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

Brothers and sisters, may I challenge you to follow the first and greatest commandment – to love God with all your heart and with all your soul? Will you stretch just a little more to love your neighbor (e.g., co-worker, stranger, friends, family and spouses) as yourself?

If so, let’s start with the people in our homes, the people we will encounter today, and the ones we work with or go to school with.

If not, can you at least begin with loving God with all your heart and all your soul, and pray for your neighbor?

Father God, in the name of Jesus we come asking for forgiveness of our sins (known and unknown). Lord, you know everything about us. You know our personal struggles with both of those commands. Lord, help us to obey those commands. Lord, we want an intimate relationship with you. Lord, we desire to love you with all that we are. Help us to be faithful to you and not be seduced by the world and the things it offers. Lord, we want to be faithful to you, loving you above all things. Lord, we sincerely need your help with the second greatest command – to love our neighbors. Lord, you know how many scars are on our heart, the repeat/loop button is locked in on many offenses – replaying hurts and triggers. Lord, help us to tear down the walls the enemy has helped us to build up and around us. Lord, shatter those building projects and begin working on and in us. Lord, we don’t want anything to hold us back from seeking you. Lord, keep us planted and rooted in your word and love. Lord, today we pray for those who have loss loved ones. Lord, you know the emptiness and pain they feel inside. Lord, I ask that you be with them today. Lord, comfort them and be their peace. Lord, protect them as they prepare to make decisions – Lord, don’t let anyone take advantage of them during this time of grief. Lord, we pray for those who are on the frontlines battling human trafficking. Lord, equip them and give them wisdom and discernment to bring healing and safe refuge for women, men and children. Lord, give the taskforce the tools, finances and support to break up and abolish human trafficking rings. Lord, come into our inner cities and change the circumstances that hold people in bondage. Lord, end racism – begin with us, teach us to be examples of your love and justice in the world. Lord, help us to stand for truth, justice, mercy and love. Lord, we need you, this world needs you. Lord, be with the missionaries in the field, those who are building in your name, those who are ministering and serving in your name. Lord, bless the finances for those projects. Lord, heal broken marriages, heal those who are sick with colds, flu, etc. Lord, be with us as we seek to follow you with all our heart. In Jesus name, amen.

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