The First and the Greatest

Ladies Fellowship Group Study – October 15

If you were to stand before the Lord tonight to give an account for your life, what do you think is the evaluation He would use?

28 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?” 29 “The most important one, “answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31

What does this evaluation or standard of measurement say to you?

  • Anybody can walk in this!  It doesn’t take a superstar, just an ordinary person who is yielded and willing.
  • You can press on in the Lord to anything if this is the setting of your heart
  • What if you were to make Mark 12:30 our individual mission statement?  It really is first, and it really is great! Go after it, realign to it over and over again.
  • Do you want to be great in the eyes of God?  Everyone wants greatness that lasts forever.  God will call your life choices great if you make loving Him your first priority.  This also sums up His will for your life.

What does loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength look like (how does that play out in your day to day living)?

  • (Heart) Giving Him Praise, showing gratitude
  • (Heart) Conversation with Him in prayer throughout the day
  • (Heart) “Come to Me…” (Matt 11:28) – choosing to come, to say yes to, to yield to, again and again
  • (Soul) Speaking His word over your heart.  I am convinced that our hearts align to the words we speak.
  • (Soul) To abide in His love is to continually realign our heart to His love. Pursuing Him with all our heart gives our spirit freedom!
  • (Mind) Not just reading God’s word but reading it to spark conversation, and spending time studying it so that you can get to know Him better
  • (Mind) Surrounding yourself with others who love Him and can encourage you on your journey
  • (Mind) Selectively choosing to fill your mind with things holy and pleasing to God (television, books, shows, conversations)
  • (Strength) Time with Him
  • (Strength) Serving Him in our every day lives, at work, with our finances, with our talents, with our giftings
  • Another question – If to love God is to abide in His love, what does drifting away from love look like?  Sometimes it is not always blatant but can be very subtle, such as discovering that you are talking with Him more about needs, opportunities, challenges, difficulties (or anything) more than you spend time loving Him and talking about abiding in His love.  It’s easy to put the cart before the horse.

Do you think there is any importance to the order they are given?

  • Your connection with the first is the only chance of connecting with the second. If anything else comes before this, your life will be off track.  None of it (serving, steps, classes, conferences, groups, books, focuses, etc.) work apart from this.
  • If the second commandment is put first, you will be sincere but will become bitter or burned out. 
  • Duty without love is slavery.  We have two loves and one commission.  We are God’s free agents, so it is up to us how we decide to walk this out
  • Loving Him first and foremost is what fills you with the love you need for others, because love by definition demands to be multiplied.  It is easy to love from a distance, as long as the poor and needy are far away and we don’t have to deal with them face to face.  Loving others up close and over time takes the love of God in our hearts first. Why?  Because people disappoint up close.

What does it reveal about God, about us?

  • What is the first thing God wants?  Our love.
  • The first commandment does not start with us.  It started with God (we love Him because He first loved us  – 1 John 4:19)
  • What is the one thing God does not have?  He has everything but one thing, and that is your love, and He will not take it by force. No one else can offer Him all your love but you.  You are the only person who can give Him all of your love.
  • Most kings judge through servanthood (the one who serves the most is the greatest).  Our King judges through love, and makes loving Him the greatest.
  • This reveals our value to God, how we should function, and tells us about our destiny.
  • It also reveals how we should view and value others, since God loves them so deeply.

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