Sunday 4 November 2012

This Sunday’s gospel reading is taken from the 12th Chapter in Mark’s gospel.

Jesus was often asked questions and usually it was an attempt to try and trap Him, but this man who came to question Jesus appeared to really want a proper answer. He asked Jesus which of the Ten Commandments was the first of all.

We remember God gave the Commandments as a way to live, the first four in relation to God, and the others with a duty to our fellows’ beings. Some people view them as just to be taken literally, but Jesus extended them to give a wider meaning. For example, as regards murder, we can offend by not only killing the body of someone, but also killing their character by gossip and false words. Similarly we commit adultery by lustful thougths and words, and by stealing, not only from shops and burglaries, but by misappropriating articles from employers.

Jesus answered by telling the man he should love God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength and secondly loving his neighbour as himself. If we are to love our neighbour we must first love God, so we must consider what is implicated in loving God. Many Christian s become apathetic and lose the enthusiasm they once had causing them to become indifferent and not a good model for a Christian. There is a lack of that passion we see displayed for political causes, or amongst football supporters, or as we are seeing displayed by minority groups for their cause.

We are called to love God with all our heart and when you love someone so they fill your whole life dominating it, not just giving an occasional moment. Devotion comes to mind to describe the feeling. People often come to know the Lord at an evangelistic meeting and there is a feeling of excitement and joy. There is an experience of grace and forgiveness, a sense of freedom of the soul. We need to retain much of that experience.

We love God with our soul, which means all our emotions given to Him.

We love God with our mind, letting Him be at the forefront of all we do in life so that when we face difficult decision and problems we think what would He want us to do, and in return He will give us wisdom and knowledge.

We love God with all our strength, in that we live out that love by our daily lives doing all we think He would want us to do and restricting our actions so that by our behaviour we do all that pleases Him and nothing that would offend. There is a belief that you can think and act as you like privately which cannot be seen by others, but we should remember God sees right into our hearts and recognizes we are not living fully as we should. If our relationship with God is not right it materially affects any other relationship.

Jesus told the scribe he was not far from the Kingdom of God, but that suggested he was not in fact within, and Jesus was indicating it is not enough to say you believe, there must be proof by action. Such a position is reflected in Christian people’s lives today.

True love for God is not shown by just attending Church on Sundays and mouthing words, having your name on the Church roll, there must be consistency displayed living it out from Mondays and Saturdays. This may imply reviewing social habits, such a refraining from heavy drinking of alcohol which leads to ungodly conduct; things we watch on television and movies, books and magazines we read. We cannot be true to our faith if we indulge in drinking bouts or get involved with pornography

We need to be the kind of Christians that are truly dedicated ready to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, souls, strengths and minds so as to be more able and worthy to represent our Lord in the midst of so many non-believers

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