Yesterday found us reading in Mark chapters 12 & 20, Matthew 22 & 23, & Luke 20 & 21. Lots of great reading. But what really stood out to me was Mark 12:29-31 "...you must love the Lord your God with ALL your heart, ALL your soul, ALL your mind, and ALL your strength. And love your neighbor as your self."
At the end of yesterday's reading (Mark 12:41-44 & Luke 21:1-4) Jesus brings out how the poor women gave more than the rich people gave when they entered the temple. While the rich gave large sums of money, it was only a tiny portion of their surplus. The poor woman only gave 2 coins, but it was ALL she had to live on!
How often do I give God my ALL in all areas of my life? Do I really give Him my WHOLE heart? Do I really give Him my WHOLE soul? Do I really give Him my WHOLE mind? Do I really give Him my WHOLE strength? Or do I find myself only giving part? I'll admit there are times I find myself only giving part. But His Word plainly tells us He doesn't want just a part of me. He wants ALL of me. Am I willing to give it?
Something else that stood out to me was how Jesus warns the religious leaders in Matthew 23:1-36 & Luke 20: 45-47, & Mark 12:38-40. Jesus tells the crowd and His disciples to practice and obey what was taught, but not to follow their ministers' examples. "For they don't practice what they teach. They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden." (Matt. 23:3-4) Jesus goes on in verse 5 and says "Everything they do is for show. They were extra wide prayer boxes with Scriptures inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels. They love to sit at the head of the table and in the seats of honor in the synagogues. They love to receive respectful greetings in the market place, and be called 'Rabbi'." He also goes on in Matthew 23:13 and warns not just the leaders, but the teachers too. Christ talks about how they do all the right things, outwardly. But inwardly they are hypocrites and Jesus calls them out on it! Matthew 23:28 "Outwardly you look righteous, but inwardly your hearts are filled with hypocrisy and lawlessness." Scripture tells us that God made each of us equal in His eyes. None of us are higher than the other. So we shouldn't set ourselves up, nor should we put others on pedestals. My take away from this was many things, but one thing I wrote down, and my prayer for myself is: "Please Lord, help me to not be like that! Help me to not think or say 'Look at me. Look what I have done.' No. Look at the God in me! May others see Christ and may He be lifted up!"
Something to think about:
- Do I give God my ALL? My WHOLE?
- Do I lift God up higher than others?
- Do I do all the right things, but for all the wrong reasons?