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Monday, September 13, 2010

Loving God, Loving People

"Loving God, Loving People." That was the title our pastor gave to his message from Mark 12:28-34 this past Sunday. It sounded so familiar. And well it should be. After all, it was part of Immanuel's theme just a year ago (Looking Back / Looking Forward through Loving God, Loving People) in celebration of its 50th anniversary.

That's what its all about. Loving God. Loving People. "...First of all the commandments is: 'Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 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. ... and the second, like it, is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these." (Mark 12:29-31)

The gods of all other religions are false. We are misguided when we follow them. There is only one God and we are to love Him, praise Him, honor Him, give glory to Him with our entire being.

And we are to love our neighbor -- that one who is near. There is no one who is far. Every single one of us has a neighbor with whom we can share God's love.

Knowing the commandments and agreeing with the Lord they are right and lawful and true, is good, as Jesus says to the scribe who visited him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God."

But knowing and agreeing is one thing. It is as Mark 1:15 says, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel." Repent .... and believe. ...

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"Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths." - Proverbs 3:5-6