Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: A look at what our relationship with GOd should be like.

Relationships Are Everything

Fellowship with God

Mark 12:29-31

How many of you have ever been to a Borders book store? A few weeks ago, I was at the Pittsburgh Mills Mall, so I decided to go into Borders to look for a book. I was amazed as I walked through the aisles of seemingly endless selections. There were books having to do with any number of subjects. Then, in the back corner, I found a small section containing Bibles. I did not think much of it then, but it got me to thinking later. If Bibles did no have their own section, where would they have been?

At first, this was a passing thought, but I really started thinking about it as the days went by. Where would the Bible fit in the scheme of categories at the book store? I started thinking about where it would not fit. In my heart, I know the book is the truth, so it was easy to cross off the fiction section. I also was able to eliminate the magazine, newspaper, music, and movie section due to the fact that the Bible is a book and not one o these types of media. I then came to the cooking section. Even though there is much mention of food and even some hint of how to prepare it for sacrifice, it did not seem to fit into this category since there were no recipes for manna or the like. After this, things seemed to get more and more difficult because the Bible seemed to pertain to them.

I came across the history section and thought that the Bible would be a great fit here until I realized that some of the things of the Bible are yet to come, so it was not an exact fit here either. It seemed even easier to place it in the religion section until I thought about what Jesus had to say about the religious people of his day. I thought he may get a little jealous there being around the writings of other so-called gods as well. In the back of the store, there was a great selection of children’s books. Maybe the Bible belonged here. After all, there are great stories in there that we always heard as kids. But, there are also many stories we need as adults too, so I crossed this off of my list. Then, I saw the self-help section and thought this would be a great fit as well. After all, if Jesus can’t help someone with their problems, who can? At the time, I felt good and then uneasy about placing the Bible here. Is that all the Bible is? Is it just a really good self-help book? I began to think of all the times that I have used it in this way. If I have a problem, one of the first things I do is look to the Scripture for help and guidance. When I find the answer, I go about on my merry way. This seemed like a perfect fit, so I left it alone.

Later in the week as I was reading, I began to get convicted about placing the Bible in the self-help section. Even though it could be used in this fashion, it felt like there was so much more to it than just helping people. What could it be? I began thinking over the bookstore again and came to a section I had quickly passed over earlier. Next to the fiction section, there was a section about relationships. It had books on parenting, getting along with other people, dating and the like. As I began to think hard, I wondered if the Bible would fit in well here. I think it does, and we will be taking the next few weeks to see why I think the Bible is all about relationships. And, when we have relationships, then we are able to have fellowship. This morning, we are going to look at the first type of fellowship we should have. We should have fellowship with God.

I want you to turn with me this morning to the book of Mark, chapter 12. In this book, a teacher of the law came to Jesus. He was an educated man who knew the Law of the Old Testament. He knew all of the things that have been commanded by God to the people of Israel. However, he wants to get to the point with the man who knows the answers. He wants to Jesus to sum up the entire law by stating what the most important parts are of it. Jesus responds to the man in verse 29.

“The most important one”, answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all you heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this; ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

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