Rev. George R. Dillahunty
North Carolina Conference Evangelist
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
341 Lovick Lee Road
Oriental, North Carolina 28571-9407

October 03, 2007

Text: Mark 12:29-31 (King James Version)

"And Jesus answered him, íThe first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: (v. 30) And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. (v. 31) And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these."

Topic: With All Our Hearts!

To set the scene, we find Jesus, the Christ, a Jewish man who is also Almighty God, answering a question from a Jewish scribe, "Which is the first commandment of all?"

Jesus, the Christ, the Torah, introduces His answer with a quote from the Torah, found in Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (KJV): "Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: (v. 5) And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might." This is known, in the Jewish religion, as the ShíMa. The words "Hear O Israel" is a typical opening for a speech in Deuteronomy. It can be compared to one of the ways of introducing what is today called a "sermon." This particular "sermon" makes two (2) points: "The Lord is our God and we shall love Him!" Jesus, the Christ, adds that we must love the Lord our God "with all our minds." He then adds, "Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself."

If we could ask Almighty God one question, "What would it be?" Perhaps we would wonder how He created the world;?" or, "Why He allows pain and suffering;?" or, "Which came first - the chicken or the egg?" If we really took time to ponder what the most important question would be, I believe that it would end up being similar to what the Jewish scribe asked Jesus, the Christ, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important of all?" To me, that is a fantastic question; and, the "Good News" for us is that Jesus, the Christ, answered that question very directly and simply so that all of us could understand!

Now if His answer is the most important of all, donít you think that it deserves our utmost consideration? Jesus, the Christ, tells us that the most important thing that we can ever do is to love Almighty God and then, that we should love our neighbor as ourselves! He gives us four (4) specific areas in which we are to love Almighty God: (1) Our hearts, (2) our souls, (3) our minds, and (4) our strength! This morning, the Lord would have us consider how best we can love Him with all our hearts!

There are three (3) steps that we can take in devoting all of our hearts to loving Almighty God: (1) We can examine our hearts; (2) We can surrender our hearts; and, (3) We can protect our hearts!

Tell me, "Have you ever had your heart examined by a doctor?" Perhaps you have been hooked up to an
Jeff Case
October 7, 2007
Really appreciated this look at the familiar! I hope to find your take on the other three ways to love the Lord.