Tue Aug 15-The Great Commandment

Matthew 22:34-40(CEB)

34 When the Pharisees heard that Jesus had left the Sadducees speechless, they met together. 35 One of them, a legal expert, tested him. 36 “Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 He replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your being,[c] and with all your mind. 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: You must love your neighbor as you love yourself.[d] 40 All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.”


I wonder if you feel this way? It is the middle of August and it feels like so much of summer has passed by in a flash. Plans for catching up on some activities have not come to fruition but other things not planned for have filled the time instead. One of those has been being able to write this devotional each week. Lot’s to learn, a challenge for sure, but I am very thankful to have the opportunity. The end of summer can however still be a time when we can step back and renew our connection with Jesus.

The mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus for the transformation of the world by proclaiming the good news of God’s Grace and by exemplifying Jesus’ command to love God and neighbor. The fulfillment of God’s reign and will in the world is the vision Scripture holds before us. Reaching people is a process that respects all persons, despite their religious faith, and we defend religious freedom for all persons. In Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus tells us to go and share the Word, baptize people in the name of the Father and Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach all those who will hear everything He has commanded.

As servants of Christ we live in the world to engage in the struggle for justice and reconciliation. We seek to reveal the love of God for men, women, and children of all ethnic, racial, cultural and national backgrounds and to demonstrate the healing power of the gospel with those who suffer. Through the power of God’s Holy Spirit, we are able to live in confident expectation of the ultimate fulfillment of God’s purpose.  

This is a time in our country, and around the world, when many people are frustrated and feel unable to understand or talk with groups of people. Often, putting the positive words of God for us, in the forefront of our minds, can give us the heart and love for others that can create change.             

by Clarence Beverage

For Pondering & Prayer

Have you found the act of loving God with all your mind more difficult at some times in the past? Does the world we live in today make that harder or easier to do? Love can mean many things including appreciation, warmth or tenderness. Does using a different noun make it easier to look at others, you have thought to be unapproachable in the past, in a more positive way?   

Prayer: Holy Lord Jesus, thank you for having spoken your Word so that we know what you desire of us and what can make us stronger. Through the power of your Spirit please help us all to seek to know you more fully and live out your Word. As we do that, help us to be confident that the values you have taught us will allow us to live each day reflecting you in our walking and talking.

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