The Quest – Day 17

This is the devotional for Thursday, October 12, 2006 which is the 17th day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 17 of Frank Moore’s great book, The Power To Be Free.

If you were unable to attend Sunday’s service, focusing on Discovery 2 of the Quest, or if you’d like to hear previous messages in The Quest series, please sign up for our Faith Nazarene Church podcast. You will find the link at www.buildyourfaith.net

Click here to listen to the podcast version of this devotional. Visit http://www.buildyourfaith.net to read the previous days’ devotionals or to subscribe to the “FaithBuilders” podcast.

Day 17 – A Golden Rule

Apply the Golden Rule to everything you say and do every day with everyone

“So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12 NIV)

We call this verse the Golden Rule for a couple of reasons. First, like valuable gold, Jesus placed it at the top of the list of most important things He said during His earthly ministry. Second, following this rule results in the best kind of life we can live. Let’s look closer at what Jesus says here.

Jewish tradition as well as world religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism, all urge us to: “Do no harm to others.” But Jesus reverses that thought into a positive command. Treat others with the same acts of kindness and goodwill that you would enjoy receiving. In other words, pursue joy and happiness for others. Think of the kind of party you would like to have, then plan that kind of party for someone else. Think of a really nice gift, then buy that kind of gift for a friend. Include those who frustrate and aggravate you on your list of possible recipients. Don’t forget to put your enemies on that list as well.

Jesus not only gave us an example for following the Golden Rule but also gave us the inspiration to follow it. He called us to a life that leads to peace and harmony in our relationships with others. He called us to a life of wholeness with this rule.

Jesus further gave us the strength and power to follow this Golden Rule. This love for which we quest does not find its source in us. It flows from God Himself. That’s why we must continually remind ourselves that it’s not ours to produce; it’s ours to receive. We must accept this gift of love from God and then pass it along in the same measure in which we have received it. So we find that living out the Golden Rule is impossible without a close personal relationship with God through the Spirit of Christ living in you.

It’s interesting, isn’t it, how your quest keeps bringing you back to the need of a close personal relationship with God?

The memory verse for this week is Mark 12:30-31, “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.”

Thank you for listening to FaithBuilders podcasts at buildyourfaith.net. For more information about our church, visit our website at www.jaxnaz.org.

Build your faith today and every day by applying the Golden Rule to everything you say and do with everyone.

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The Quest – Day 15

This is the devotional for Tuesday, October 10, 2006 which is the 15th day of The Quest, our 40 Days of Discovery. Our devotional today offers a summary of the material in Chapter 15 of Frank Moore’s challenging book, The Power To Be Free.

 If you were unable to attend Sunday’s service, focusing on Discovery 2 of the Quest, or if you’d like to hear previous messages in The Quest series, please sign up for our Faith Nazarene Church podcast.  You will find the link at www.buildyourfaith.net 

Click here to listen to the podcast version of this devotional. Visit http://www.buildyourfaith.net to read the previous days’ devotionals or to subscribe to the “FaithBuilders” podcast.

 

Day 15 – The Great Command

Love God, love others.  That’s it.

 
“The most important one is,…‘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 12:30-31 NIV)

We live in a give-it-to-me-quick world.  That’s the mindset that also prompted one of the teachers of the Law to ask Jesus to cut to the chase when it came to the thousands of Jewish laws and interpretations.  Jesus replied with a twofold response:  love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength and your neighbor as yourself.  The first command summarizes the first four of the Ten Commandments; the second summarizes the last six.

Love for God must always come first; love for others will naturally flow from it.  We do not obey God’s laws out of slavish obligation but with a child’s heart of love.  Sin does not break God’s laws as much as it breaks His heart.

On another occasion, Jesus summarized the Law by saying, “In everything, do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matthew 7:12).  We call this the Golden Rule.  We must always keep the biblical principle of love for God and others at the center of our thinking as we proceed on our Quest to discover the life we’ve longed for.

Jesus calls us to make sure that we mark everything in our lives with love.  We can easily be kind to those who are nice to us; we’re not as easily disposed to have that same regard for those who mistreat us.  But Jesus gave us that revolutionary charge.  Our love responses for God and others create one of the most important characteristics of our Christian faith.

The memory verse for this week is Mark 12:30-31, “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.”

Thank you for listening to FaithBuilders podcasts.  For more information about our church, visit our website at www.jaxnaz.org. 

Build your faith today by loving God and loving others.