Saturday, November 03, 2012

November 3, 2012 … Majoring on the Majors

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 308

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Matthew, Chapters 22 To study these chapters, go to this link
Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Mark, Chapters 12 To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passages: Matthew 22: 34-40 : [NLT] … { If we’re looking to major on the majors, Jesus summarizes that for the Pharisees here. } 34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they thought up a fresh question of their own to ask him. 35 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?” 37 Jesus replied, “‘{You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ {Deut. 6: 4-5} 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ {Lev. 19: 18} 40 All the other commandments and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”
Highlight Passages: Mark 12: 28-31 : [NLT] … { The two all consuming “laws” were summarized and stated clearly by Jesus for the Pharisees, who were consumed with majoring on the minors with trying to carry out the 600+ laws they had created to carry out God’s Law. } 28 One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the discussion. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ 31 The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” 32 The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other. 33 And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbors as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.” 34 Realizing this man’s understanding, Jesus said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions. 

My Journal for Today: I once heard a preacher exhort his congregation by saying, “We Christians have a tendency to major on the minors rather than majoring on the majors;” and I believe that truly is a very human tendency. And most certainly the Pharisees in Jesus’ day were famous for majoring on the minors … especially with all the religious rules and traditions they had created to control the people and get them to follow the religiosity of the Pharisees rather than live up to the heart and essence of God’s Law.

Not too long ago in one of my journal entries, I referred any readers to the wonderful opening scene from the musical, Fiddler on the Roof to which I’ll link you here again, and which depicts so wonderfully how religious Jews have had a tendency to let the minor things of TRADITION dominant their lives, rather than living out the heart of God’s Law … which was LOVE.

I really don’t need to go into depth with my journal entry here today; because Jesus went to the very depth and heart of God’s Law of Love by giving the Pharisees the essence of how we are to live as believers in God and followers of His Law. But the Pharisees didn’t get it. Oh, one of them came close [in Mark 12: 34] to understanding; but most of these religious leaders were more interested in holding political control over the people rather than living according to the heart of God’s Law of Love.

Today, we need to ask ourselves, “Are we living according to man-made TRADITIONS, i.e., the minors; or are we majoring on God’s majors … i.e., His Law of Love?”

My Prayer Today: … Oh, my Lord, help me to major on YOUR MAJORS and avoid my own self-conceived minors Amen

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