Your Life – On Mission
3. Living a Life of Love
Mark 12: 28 - 34
Some possible reasons why many of us don’t share our faith with others -
1. We fear controversy. In our current cultural climate, that is growing increasingly caustic toward Christianity, many choose to remain quiet about Christ. “It’s no longer easy to be a faithful Christian today. Our culture increasingly condemns Christian beliefs as bigoted and hateful…they despise us if we refuse to call good evil and evil good.”
2. We’re ashamed. Instead of boldly proclaiming Christ as the only way to heaven, some of us today are afraid to even admit we are Christians. We must come back to Romans 1: 16: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes...”
3. We don’t really care. We’ve become preoccupied, filling our lives with entertainment and technological distractions. Some of us are simply trying to survive and so we’re not thinking about those who don’t know Christ. Because we seldom think of the eternal realities of heaven and hell, we live as if this life is all there is.
We need to raise the bar – the way to do it - increase in our love for God for others. In order to connect with the disconnected, we’re going to have to intentionally and purposely live on mission 365/24/7. It’s not going to get done unless we change the way we’ve been doing some things.
A few weeks ago we focused on making sure that Christ is Lord of each of our lives so that we’ll be able to give the gospel out with respect and gentleness. Then we were challenged to break down barriers and build bridges with those who don’t yet know Christ.
Mark 12: 28 - 34 Here’s the setting. It’s the last week of Jesus’ life and He’s just cleared out the temple and chased away the money-changers and now his enemies unleash a hurricane of hatred toward Him. The chief priests, teachers of the law and elders confront Christ with a question - “Then they sent to Him some of the Pharisees and the Herodians, to catch Him in His words.” These divergent groups, that didn’t even like each other, banded together to try to trap Jesus.
The Sadducees ask him a crazy question about the afterlife. Then one of the Pharisees, a teacher, who had heard this debate, was drawn to Jesus and asked the following question - “Which is the first commandment of all?” NLT: “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
He wants to know which one has the most weight. This was an often-debated question among the religious leaders. They liked to count and categorize the commands, arguing about which ones could be blown away and which had to be kept. The answer Jesus gives summarizes the entire teaching of Scripture: Love God and love others.
Notice that Jesus goes right to Scripture for the answer –
1. Love God with All you Have
v. 30: “And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.” I’m struck by at least 3 truths in this verse.