Wednesday Morning: 22 May 2019 – Mark 12:28-44 ~ on loving God and others

Wednesday Morning

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening (A Collect for Grace – Wednesday)

O Lord, our heavenly Father, almighty and everlasting God, you have brought us safely to the beginning of this day: Defend us by your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin nor run into any danger; and that guided by your Spirit, we may do what is righteous in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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Morning Reading – Mark 12:28-44 (NLT)

The Most Important Commandment

One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other. And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”

Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.

Whose Son Is the Messiah?

Later, as Jesus was teaching the people in the Temple, he asked, “Why do the teachers of religious law claim that the Messiah is the son of David? For David himself, speaking under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said,

‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit in the place of honor at my right hand until I humble your enemies beneath your feet.’

Since David himself called the Messiah ‘my Lord,’ how can the Messiah be his son?” The large crowd listened to him with great delight.

Jesus also taught: “Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade around in flowing robes and receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets. Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be more severely punished.”

The Widow’s Offering

Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.

Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”
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Morning Reflection:

on loving God and others

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this:
‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord.
And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart,
all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’
The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
No other commandment is greater than these.” – Mark 12:29-31

The religious teacher asked for one commandment, but Jesus gave him two. Why? Because love for others grows out of love for God. These are the greatest commandments because they summarize our two basic human responsibilities. Jesus didn’t come to abolish them, but to fulfill them.

Even as God has loved us totally and completely, through his Son Jesus Christ; we are to love God totally and completely in response, through his Son Jesus Christ. Everything else flows out of that essential relationship with God through his Son.

Questions for consideration:

  • When you think of today’s “to do” list, where does loving God fit in? Please explain.
  • “Heart” represents the control center of our human personality. How does your personality affect the way you express your love for God? Please explain.
  • “Soul” represents our self-conscious thought life. How does your thought life affect the way you express your love for God? Please explain.
  • “Mind” represents our capacity to think. Are you a “thinker” or “feeler”?  How does your way of thinking affect the way you express your love for God? Please explain.
  • “Strength” represents all of our physical powers. How does your physical strength affect the way you express your love for God? Please explain.

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Morning Prayer: 

The Persecuted Church: Prayer for the families and loved ones of those being persecuted:

Heavenly Father: Comfort the families that are affected by the persecution of their loves ones. Open up safe channels and opportunities for them to support and/or visit those who are imprisoned, or otherwise detained. Empower them by your Spirit to remain faithful to you and to their loved ones, even as they wait patiently for deliverance and release. I ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

The Decalogue: My Prayer –

Lord God: Write these words on my heart and keep them ever before me;

First, that I might love you –

+ I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods but me.
+ You shall not make for yourself any idol.
+ You shall not take the Name of the Lord your God in vain.
+ Remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy.

And secondly, that I might love my neighbor as myself –

+ Honor your father and your mother.
+ You shall not murder.
+ You shall not commit adultery.
+ You shall not steal.
+ You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
+ You shall not covet.

Lord God: Empower me by your Spirit to love you in the decisions I make, in the desires of my heart, in my thought life, and in my actions. I ask this through Jesus Christ my Savior and Lord. Amen.
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“SHEMA | A Prayer for Israel” – Misha Goetz & Shae Wilbur

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Closing:

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, and protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen



Categories: Life in Christ

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