Summary: Something is missing from the church today, and people are starting to notice. Too often the church fails to offer what it advertises: life.

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1. The Greatest Commandment

February 14, 2010

The Greatest Commandment

Corrie Ten Boom and her family secretly housed Jews in their home during WW II. Their "illegal" activity was discovered, and Corrie and her sister Bessie were sent to the German death camp, Ravensbruck. There Corrie would watch many, including her sister, die. After the war she returned to Germany to share her testimony and the grace of God. She had been traveling around a defeated Germany speaking about forgiveness. She spoke on how when God forgives our sins He casts them into the deepest ocean and they are gone forever, and then God puts up a sign that says “No fishing allowed”. At one of her speeches she saw a man in the crowd she recognized. She saw this man who brought back all the horrors of her captivity in prison. She remembered her sister who had died there as she looked at this man walking towards her after she had spoken. He was one of the guards. In fact he was one of the most cruel guards. He walked up to her and put his hand out: “A fine message, Fraulein! How good it is to know that, as you say, all our sins are at the bottom of the sea!" Corrie Ten Boom wrote in her story how reluctant she had been to take his hand. She didn’t expect that he would remember her but she certainly remembered him. She said “I was face-to-face with one of my captors and my blood seemed to freeze."You mentioned Ravensbruck in your talk," he was saying. "I was a guard there. But since that time," he went on, "I have become a Christian. I know that God has forgiven me for the cruel things I did there, but I would like to hear it from your lips as well. Fraulein," again the hand came out "will you forgive me?" She said she thought of her sister who had died and all the terrible things that had been done and she wondered how it could be erased so simply. She wrote that it was the most difficult thing she had to do but she fought through the anger in her heart and forced herself to try and offer forgiveness. So she raised her hand woodenly and she wrote: And as I did, an incredible thing took place. The current started in my shoulder, raced down my arm, sprang into our joined hands. And then this healing warmth seemed to flood my whole being, bringing tears to my eyes. "I forgive you, brother!" I cried. "With all my heart!" For a long moment we grasped each other’s hands, the former guard and the former prisoner. I had never known God’s love so intensely, as I did then.

Mt 22:34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. Mt 22:35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: Mt 22:36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Mt 22:37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ Mt 22:38 This is the first and greatest commandment. Mt 22:39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Mt 22:40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

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