Summary: 2nd of 4 in an examination of the Great Commandment

The External Evidence: Authenticity

Mark 12:28-31

Last week we said that authentic Christianity is motivated by a passion for God¡K That authentic Christianity is motivated by a strong, extravagant fondness, enthusiasm, and desire for God.

Passion is essential¡K it¡¦s a necessary ingredient if we are going to live authentic Christian lives.

Today¡K we are going to look at authenticity specifically.

Authenticity is important to me because it literally changed my life. ¡K I never saw real, authentic Christianity until the summer before I gave my life to Jesus Christ.

Oh¡K I grew up in church¡K I was involved in youth group, but I partied with all the same people I went to church with¡K

„« Friday and Saturday we¡¦d be out partying and everything that goes with it

„« Then Sunday morning we¡¦d be in church

„« That¡¦s what I thought normal Christianity was¡K mainly a Sunday thing.

„« You devoted 3-4 hours to God every Sunday and then lived the rest of the week like those 3-4 hours didn¡¦t matter

Then¡K the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of college I went home and to my parent¡¦s new church.

[Tell story]

Over the course of the summer I saw that when these people talked about loving God¡K they meant it¡K their actions matched their words¡K they weren¡¦t perfect¡K but they were authentic¡K they showed me that God was real.

That¡¦s what I needed to see¡K And that¡¦s what our culture, our family, and our friends need to see¡K real, authentic followers of Jesus Christ¡K not a bunch of empty words, but people who live what they say they believe.

Let¡¦s look again at the Great Commandment in a different place this time¡K turn with me to Mark 12:30-31:

Love the Lord your God with all your 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."

This evening we are going to look at what it means to love God with all of your soul¡K and all of your strength.

These two phrases give us two different pictures.

„« When we think of soul we often think about something inward¡K we think of some essence of being¡K who we are

„« When we think of strength¡K we think of something outward¡K strength is displayed in action¡K strength is displayed in what we do.

The soul is known while strength is shown¡K These two aspects¡K the inner and the outer are both parts of authenticity.

So what does it mean when Jesus tells us to love God with all of our soul?

In this Scripture¡K ¡§soul¡¨ refers to or inner life¡Xour will, emotions, and disposition. ¡K ¡§soul¡¨ refers to that hidden part of us that makes us who we are and reveals why we do what we do¡K

Loving God with all of our soul means that we have sincerity in our attitudes.

This gets to the very core of who we are¡K God desires truth in our very core¡K

In Psalm 51:6 the psalmist says, ¡§What you¡¦re after is truth from the inside out.¡¨

„« God wants sincerity because He looks at our heart¡K not just our actions

1 Samuel 16:7 ¡§The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

„« When God looks for people he looks for sincerity at the very core.

A person with an authentic, sincere love for God:

1. Wants to please God¡K not man.

In Matthew 6:1 Jesus says, ¡§Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don¡¦t make a performance out of it. It might be a good theater, but the God who made you won¡¦t be applauding.¡¨ (MSG)

An authentic follower of Jesus Christ seeks the approval of God¡K not of man.

Deep down our motive must be to please God¡K not man

Paul gives us an accurate assessment in Galatians 1:10:

Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.

As followers of Jesus Christ¡K as servants of Christ¡K our motivation has to be pleasing God¡K not man.

A person with an authentic, sincere love for God:

2. Is driven by Who God Is¡K not by what he/she can get from Him.

In John 6, the morning after Jesus fed the 5,000¡K many people come looking for Him. When they find Him they begin to ask Him questions. He responds:

You¡¦ve come looking for me not because you saw God in my actions but because I fed you, filled your stomachs¡Xand for free. (John 6:26 MSG)

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