Focus 40 Day 16: Extreme Living – Reaching by embracing the declaration
Prayer Focus: Prayer of thanks for how Christ has united us – Eph. 2:14-18
Extreme Living—Reaching by Embracing the Declaration
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “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 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.”
—Mark 12:28–31 (NIV)
WE ALL NEED A COMPASS to “inform” our day as we move through it, a filter that allows us to navigate and relate to this world we are a part of, a reminder that defines our conversations and our responses to all that is happening to, through and around us.
Here in Mark 12, Jesus quotes Deuteronomy 6:4–5 and Leviticus 19:34 and in doing so, boils the entire law and sub-laws of Moses down to this essence: love God and love others—the Jesus Creed.
When it comes to “reaching” the lost, it still boils down to these two things—loving God and loving others. It should be a declaration that we begin and end every day with and a statement of faith that guides each conversation, a creed that lights our response to life in our daily journey.
Jesus, as I begin and end this day, may it be with you. May you, and you alone, translate the things I see to the way you see them. May my actions and conversations be filled with love and grace and may my life be saturated with the love of God and the love of others. Amen.
Rev. Kelly Philips,
Church of God Missionary to Germany