Mark 12:13-27

Mark 12:13-27

Mark 12:29Vintage message from February 18, 2001.

[Jesus didn’t] argue with them and deal with the argument on their level. He’s just going to simply point out the truth to them, and you know what? That’s all we need to do to people. Point out the truth to them and walk away from the argument; not allow ourselves to be sucked in and bring division, even if it is with someone who is obviously divided because of what they believe, and we know that they’re wrong…

And this is what it boils down to for us. What is the most important for us to understand about God’s commands? We say we want to love Him. We say we want to obey Him. Okay, then. Which of the commands do we seek after first? “…Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind and with all of your strength.” And you know what? If you do that, guys, you will find yourself in a full-time occupation. You will have no time for falling away from God. You will have no time for getting into trouble. You will have no time for seeking after your own self will, your own fleshly desires, because if you are truly doing this, loving the Lord with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind and with all of your strength, there is no time for anything else. And so, if you find yourself doing other things, what does that tell you? That you are obviously not doing this…

And then [Jesus] makes a statement that I believe hits the heart of where all of us…live today. “The second is this,” He doesn’t stop with just one great commandment, but He says, “The second is this, love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Do you know why we fall short in our walks with the Lord? Do you know why we do not have the victory in our lives as believers? Because we are oftentimes in error; because we do not know the Word of God; we do not know the power or understand the power that God has; the things He can do for us; the things He can do in us; and the things He can do with us. And just like the Sadducees, we want to argue with God. We want to tell God why He’s wrong and we’re right; why He should bow to our will; why He should do things our way, “Because, God, after all, if You only understood what I’ve been through!” We are in error, and if we would find ourselves just spending the time to love the Lord our God and spending the time to love our neighbor. Who is our neighbor? …Our neighbor is the man who finds himself hurting, laying on the side of the road. The man who would be our enemy… The man that we despise the most is the one who is our neighbor that we are supposed to love as ourselves…

Do you want relationship with Jesus? Do you want relationship with the God Who created you? If you’ve ever had question or doubt about are you truly saved, He makes it plain. To all those who received Him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God. It’s as simple as that. You receive Him and you believe Him, and then you begin to study His Word, and the more you study His Word, the more you walk in His Word, the less you walk in error. The more excuses you make for your life and the more you say, “I don’t have the time to do it,” let me tell you, you begin to walk in error…

We’re all lost in sin, and we’ve been given over to this world because of our sinful desires. We will not ever impress God, but we can walk in relationship with Him, and that’s what He desires from us. That’s what it means to love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all of your soul and with all of your mind and with all of your strength. To come to Him and say, “I am incapable to live this life the way I believe it should be lived… because, God, I am a sinner, and my sin has brought decay and destruction to me. So, God, You do it for me. You take over for me.” And when Jesus comes in, then, then He gives us the power. He gives us the strength, because that’s the other part that we don’t understand; where we’re in error. We not only don’t understand the Word of God, but we don’t understand or believe the power of God. The power of God to heal us. The power of God to change us. The power of God to cleanse us and forgive us. We don’t believe it, so we don’t react to it… We have an opportunity. We can either trust God for Who He is and what He says, or we can argue with Him and we can challenge Him at every turn.

Pastor Dave Elkins