We see this again as we begin this week reading basically this same thing in today's first verse. So as I concluded last week I would begin this week again by saying we should be encouraged by those two verses.
What seems like very sophisticated scripture over the last two weeks need not intimidate but encourage. The fact is that though I tend toward the very conservative when interpreting scripture and think that making things easy opens the door for the devil there are times when we should “lighten" up.
These last two weeks might make us all at times think we don't measure up but as I touched on last week the mere guilt or desire to be better is your proof of the Spirit in you.
Don't get me wrong I am not condoning the status quo. I still believe we need to strive for the prize and stretch daily for sanctification through the Spirit's help but if you are at a point that you read the words from today and feel you aren't worthy than stop it and remember that none of us are and thus the necessity for Christ.
In verse 18 we can remember that though the Bible tells us that "fear is the beginning of wisdom" it does not end there. Fearing you are not saved or dwelling on your unworthiness gets in the way of the love God wants from us and for us to give to each other.
I make a big deal about the consistency of the Bible in showing the consistency of God’s word concerning the same issue wherever we are in the Bible. This scripture for today and last week does nothing to contradict that.
Read these verses from today and you read in a verbose nature what Jesus said in a succinct manner in Matthew 22:34-40
"Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Dissatisfaction with where we are or how we are or how we are doing in our lives as Christians will fail us. We will never measure up to scripture though we should strive but if we can get past it all and concentrate on what Christ said rest assured He will be satisfied with us.
- Do we superficially love one another?
- Discuss loving when you aren't loved in return.
- Discuss scriptures that talk of how we are to treat one another such as widows and those in jail.
- Discuss in a general sense how this scripture makes you feel when you read it.