Summary: With all the occupations of day to day living Christians and churches need these Mountains to direct our life so that we can live according to Christ’s Great mission. If we don’t we will live our life for either the most urgent or pressing need, or, for
THE MISSION OF THE CHURCH
Church growth is the most study subject of the last few decades. The thrust of most the Church Growth and Church health books and conferences I’ve read or been able to view could and usually are summed up as: A great commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission will grow or build a great church. It is a point that most conservative Bible Scholars and Pastors not only agree on but attest to publically. Evangelical Christendom has derived this axiom from two Bible statements by the Church’s original founder and Lord.
With all that the Bible teaches us we can get drowned in its knowledge and lost in its depth. Jesus therefore left us with two mountains to guide both individual lives and the church [until He returns for it]. As we walk through midst of life there is so much around us that draws or needs our attention. With all the occupations of day to day living Christians and churches need these Mountains to direct our life so that we can live according to Christ’s Great mission. If we don’t we will live our life for either the most urgent or pressing need, or, for the things that gives us the most pleasure. Christ would have us live life according to His revealed purpose (CIM).
I. THE GREAT COMMANDMENT, MATTHEW 22:36-40
II. THE GREAT COMMISSION, MATTHEW 28:17-20
The first mountain peak Jesus points us to is the Great Commandments. All of God's commandments are important, but some and particularly these two are more important than others. Jesus said that these two commandments are the basis for the whole Law and the Prophets or the Old Covenant. Where the overarching principle of love toward God and love toward man is enacted, relationships and life are what God intends.
In verse 36 a scribe asks Jesus an important question. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” The scribes had identified 613 separate commandments (365 negative & 248 positive) and had them divided into important and less important categories.
In verse 37 Jesus reveals that the most important commandment is to love God with our whole being. “And He said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’”
Did you hear that? The Lord God Almighty wants to be loved by us! ...By you! This command is in complete harmony with the fact that He Himself is a loving God. It is in our loving that we become most like God. Remember now this is an Old Testament truth. God has desired a love relationship with the crown jewels of His creation since He formed Adam out of the dust of the ground and breathed into him the breath of life.
Notice the command to love is for those who claim the Lord as their God. Those that have entered into personal relationship with Him by saving faith in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus are to love Him. This command to love, this command to become like God, is only possible for those who have the love residing in their lives. Draw on the wondrous love of God and love God with His inexhaustible love.
There are three areas with which we are to love God. The first is with all your heart (lit. out of your whole heart). The heart (καρδὶα) is the center and core of man. It is the hub of man's existence. It is where his will and affections are symbolically located. The Triune God is to be our delight and we should love Him unreservedly, with our whole heart. Our hearts must be one with His will and not allow any other rivals in His rightful place.
The second power by which we are to love God is all our soul (ϕûϰς). The word is often used in the N.T. in its original meaning of life (MT. 2:20; 20:28; Acts 20:10; Rom. 11:3; JN. 10:11). It signifies the essence out of which life is made and of what gives man life. Our soul is what gives us our immortal nature. What is meant here is to love the Lord our God with all our power to live, with all our vitality.
The third power with which we are to love God is our mind (διανοἴας). The mind is not only the seat and center of an individual's mental or intellectual life but also of man's dispositions and attitudes. The mind is the faculty of thought and understanding. The word indicate the action or activity of the mind. Our thoughts, dispositions and attitudes are to be processed out of and directed by our love for God.
What is meant by all these commands is that man should love God with all the faculties with which God has endowed him. Moreover note the tri-fold use of the word all. Man must use all these powers to the full in our effort and commitment to love God. Love for God is to involve the whole person with total committed.