Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Beating is Finished

Mark 12:28-31 And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall 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: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

This last week, our Wednesday evening small group Bible Study continued on the topic of “Relationships” with the Louie Giglio series titled “Relat(able)”. In our opening Bible verse, Jesus was asked which of the 613 commandments in the Hebrew law was the most important. It was a bit of a trick question, but Jesus’ answer was brilliant. The two commandments, he said, sum up every one of the 613, because nothing trumps them. He knew there was a powerful dynamic between the way we love God, the way we love our neighbor, and the way we love ourselves. The lesson stated that they all go together and if one gets out of whack, overemphasized, or neglected, it can throw the other two off balance. It is, therefore, critical that we learn to “properly” love ourselves, because without that piece, our relationships will not work as God intended.  

Romans 12:3 “For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.”

Are you able to relate to you? Pastor Giglio proclaims that we are most influenced by ourselves. We spend the most time with ourselves. We hear the voice of ourselves more than any other voice, and are influenced by our thoughts more than anything else. Given this, if we don’t have a good relationship with ourselves, we won’t have good relationships with others. More than love God, love yourself and love others; a Heaven appropriate love that hears what God says and sees what God sees when we look in the mirror, which is not centrality in self. God wants us to embrace His love for us and translate that into love for ourselves in appropriate ways, because He knows that in the same way we love ourselves we will love our neighbors. We are loved by Majesty and are here for a special purpose, a higher purpose at a higher standard, with mercy and grace. We are unique and rare. Heaven is orchestrating godly things around our daily lives and God is cheering for us.   

John 8:34-36 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.”

It is not a case of “floggings will continue until morale improves.” The beating is finished. Jesus tells us in John 3:16-17, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” Why beat yourself up, when Jesus took the beating on the cross for us. Live in the power and spirit of God Almighty. God loves you, so believe in yourself. Don’t wait for the world to clap for you. When God looks at us in the mirror, He says: (1) I love you, (2) I’m thankful for you, (3) You are a rare and beautiful treasure, (4) I forgive you, (5) You are here for a special and godly purpose, (6) I am going to hold you to a high standard, and (7) I believe in you. Then, be a “loving person. You have to give it in order to receive it, but it is a pure act of giving, not trading. I'm talking to the man in the mirror. If you want to make the world a better place, than take a look at yourself and make the change.

In Christ, Brian

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