Summary: When our priorities in life are correct, life will have new meaning!
• SLIDE #1
• February, the month where love is in the air. Yesterday was Valentine’s Day; I hope you guy took care of your ladies!
• There are songs and poems written about love. Love is the focus of art; love is the subject of many movies, many of which are a terrible example by the way.
• The word love is used and abused on a daily basis. People fall in love, they fall out of love, and they sometimes simply fall.
• Love is the source of both romance and war.
• When I think of the word love, one of the words I think of is priorities.
• Here is why. When our priorities in life are jumbled up, or out of order, it is difficult if not impossible to give and receive pure love.
• Love is a verb; it is more than a feeling. In other words, just telling someone you love them is not love, true love is in the actions you take toward them.
• So one’s priorities in life will affect how they love and even if they can love.
• In the Bible the word used to denote the love God has for mankind is Agape. This is by far the most frequently used word. The word implies doing what is spiritually best for another person.
• 1 Corinthians 13 tries to paint a picture of how love manifests itself. Patent, kind, not jealous, acts properly, etc.…
• This where our life priorities come into play. If I love myself first and foremost, it will be hard to do what is best for you because all I care about is myself!
• This is why a person can abuse another person and still have the nerve to tell them how much they love the one they are abusing.
• It is because in their eyes, they love the person; when in truth, they really do not love the one they are abusing with God’s true love; they love them with a weird self-centered love that gives the word no justice.
• So today, we are going to look at where one’s priorities should reside so that one can offer and receive true love versus some warped semblance of love.
• Let us turn to Mark 12. WE will begin with verse 28-20
• SLIDE #2
• Mark 12:28–30 (HCSB) — 28 One of the scribes approached. When he heard them debating and saw that Jesus answered them well, he asked Him, “Which command is the most important of all?” 29 “This is the most important,” Jesus answered: Listen, Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is One. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.
• SLIDE #3
I. Love God.
• I want to give a little context for what we are reading today. Jesus is being questioned the Pharisee’s, Sadducee’s, and the Herodian’s as they were seeking to trap with what He said.
• Well, it was not going to well for any of the groups as Jesus was administering a verbal beating to them.
• They were no match for Him; however, in the crowd was a Scribe. Some versions called this man a Lawyer, which would have been another name for a Scribe.
• This Scribe would have been skilled in the Law of Moses.
• It appears as though this Scribe was impressed enough by Jesus to give Him a fair hearing.
• Based on the context it appears as though this man was seeking an answer to a sincere question.
• So here is a man who is a professional when it comes to the Law of Moses, he is going to ask Jesus an important question.
• He asked Jesus, “Which command is the most important of all?”
• This is a good question because it goes right to the heart of God.
• God gave the Ten Commandments, in a sense the question is, WHAT IS AT THE CORE OF THE COMMANDS?
• If one does not grasp the underpinning of the Law, they will never understand Jesus or God.
• We will see God as simply a being whose sole purpose is to punish sin.
• What is the greatest command? In the Rabbinical Law there stood over 600 precepts, which sprung forth from the original ten!
• Can you imagine how difficult it would be to live up to 600 precepts?
• It would be very difficult, but really impossible to do that.
• So, here is what the religious leaders did. They weighted the precepts.
• Different schools of the day determined which precepts one needed to follow and which ones they could violate with impunity.