Monday 1, September 2014
Bible Passage: Mark 12: 28 - 31
Memory Verse: \"The most important one,\" answered Jesus, \"is this: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord 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 12:29-31
The above scripture is the response of Jesus to a question by one of the teachers of the law, concerning which one out of the ten commandments is the greatest. This is a twofold summary of the entire Ten Commandment, centering on love; love of God and love of our neighbors. The first commandment given by Jesus in this scripture summarizes the first four of the Ten Commandments, whilst the second is the essence of the remaining six, which relates to the treatment of other people.
Our world today is moving towards a precipice! We are getting to a stage where human beings are beginning to draw a line to separate ourselves from one another along national, ethnic, religious and ideological lines. Hate and bitterness is beginning to creep into our world, even into Christendom! But our God does not see any distinctions amongst His creation. The goings on in the world makes it difficult for even the most tolerant Christian not to harbor some level of anger and bitterness. What with the daily deluge of images of people being killed, beheaded and maimed all over the world that we get on our television sets? We are being treated, on a daily basis, to scenes of bombings and attempts to totally annihilate people of other nationality, beliefs and ideology!
However, in this difficult times, I want remind us that our God does not see any distinctions amongst His creation. The important thing to Him is that we love Him and each other. How can this be possible in the face of the gory picture painted above, you may ask? The situation is getting to a stage whereby people, even Christians, might be tempted to want to help God by thinking that they can fight His battles for Him through harboring hate, anger and bitterness towards others who are hurting us. Apostle Paul in his epistle to the Philippians enjoined that we should imitate the humility of Jesus Christ; 'who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death — even death on a cross.' Phil 2:5-8
Our attitude in the face of the goings on in our world is not to allow hate, anger and bitterness becloud our sense of good judgement to the extent that we forget our great commission. Jesus, as He was about to ascend into heaven, commissioned believers, in Mark 16:15, to \"Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.'' Times like this indicate that the coming of our Lord is imminent. As such, our striving is to work hard to fulfill the Great Commission, which is to preach the gospel more than ever before. We should stop paying lip service to this call and commission, doing only those things that are popular and solely money making. Our faith is beyond bread and butter, but to strive to populate the kingdom of God while it is still day before the darkness comes when no one can do any work. Let us get out of our comfort zones; our churches, where we daily conduct service, listening to endless sermons, running meaningless programmes! Let us go back to our first love; preaching the gospel to the people and show them that there is an alternative to violence and hatred. We cannot do this if we sit comfortably in our 'Zion'. Yes we need and have to pray, but we also need affirmative action; taking the gospel to the nooks and crannies of the world. The Lord is counting on us.
The Lord bless and keep you. May He make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace, now and forevermore, Amen. Have a really splendid month in Jesus name.
1. Come in total repentance before God concerning our negligence of the Great Commission and our playing church.
2. Pray for the lost and hurting people of the world and ask God to bring succor to them.
3. Remember the children of God, particularly in Iraq, Syria and other places of the world where they are being persecuted and ask the Lord to come to their rescue and bring deliverance to them.
4. Pray that the Lord will bring peace to our nation, Nigeria and rescue our land from the evil scourge of Boko Haram. Ask the Lord to touch the hearts and minds of these evil perpetrators and that He should bring their sponsors to book.
5. Pray that the Lord will deliver the West African region from the rampaging Ebola virus. In particular, remember the countries of Liberia, Guinea Republic, Sierra Leone, Senegal and Nigeria who are battling this scourge. Ask the Lord to come to our aid and heal our lands.
6. Commit our world into the hands of the Lord and ask that He will turn to us to favor and rescue us from our sins of corruption, wickedness, homosexuality, bestiality and undue permissiveness in the name of tolerance. Perhaps these are responsible for the current state of the world.
7. In closing renew your commitment to the Great Commission and ask the Lord to help you take your place in carrying out this assignment.
8. Receive grace and anointing to stand and work to bring the gospel to all the world, starting from your immediate environment.