This One Thing Jesus Asks Of You: Matthew 22:34-40 (Love)

Start:Jul 13, 2024

Duration:20 Minutes

Goal: this Cognitive Trail will improve the development of the spiritual fruit of love.

Description: Mustard Seed innovations increase our ability to successfully apply God's word to our day-to-day life. In discipleship, we receive the speci ... Read More


Published By:

Mustard Seed

Summary: Investing in the fruit of love.

Step 1

Read Galatians 5:22-23:

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law."

Are you ready to make an investment in the Fruit of Love?

Step 2

If you are like most modern day Christians, the busyness and overwhelm of your life has you living with an uncomfortable secret: you are not actually doing the one and most important thing Jesus is asking of you, namely: 'To love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' (Matthew 22: 37-38)

Wouldn't you agree that, despite your best intentions, this seemingly simple and straightforward command is incredibly difficult to do?

Step 3

Why couldn't Jesus' first and most important command be something different, like:

'Try your very best to love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind’?

No, Jesus makes it absolutely clear that the most important single action He wants from us is that we 'must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ Jesus says 'must', not 'try'.

How often do you find yourself living in the 'try', rather than the 'must', of the first commandment?

Step 4

If Jesus' standard for us is 'must', why then is it so difficult to do?

The next Steps in this Trail have been specifically designed to give you the tools you need to overcome the busyness, distraction, forgetfulness and the general sense of overload life throws at you each day.

This Spirit inspired platform will give you exactly what you need to do the one and most important thing Jesus has been asking you to do.

Are you interested in proceeding?

Step 5

First, let's read Matthew 22:34-40:

"But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

Are you loving the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind?

Step 6

What are you currently placing as a higher priority in your life than this one thing God is asking of you?

For example: 'Lord, I am placing my desire for approval, acceptance and love from other people above seeking you.'

Here is a list of possible competing priorities:

a) What other people think of me (see example above)
b) What I do
c) What I have
d) What I think of myself
e) My well being (health, stability and sense of security)
f) My children
g) My interests, hobbies, sports
h) My family's well-being
i) Helping others
j) Serving God

In the space provided, write down anything you are placing as a greater priority than loving the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul and all your mind.

Step 7

Regarding placing our own priorities before God, the theologian Oswald Chambers states:

"Conviction of sin is one of the most uncommon things that ever happens to a person. It is the beginning of an understanding of God. Jesus Christ said that when the Holy Spirit came He would convict people of sin (see John 16:8). And when the Holy Spirit stirs a person’s conscience and brings him into the presence of God, it is not that person’s relationship with others that bothers him but his relationship with God— “Against You, You only, have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight . . .” (Psalm 51:4). The wonders of conviction of sin, forgiveness, and holiness are so interwoven that it is only the forgiven person who is truly holy. He proves he is forgiven by being the opposite of what he was previously, by the grace of God. Repentance always brings a person to the point of saying, “I have sinned.” The surest sign that God is at work in his life is when he says that and means it. Anything less is simply sorrow for having made foolish mistakes— a reflex action caused by self-disgust.

The entrance into the kingdom of God is through the sharp, sudden pains of repentance colliding with man’s respectable “goodness.” Then the Holy Spirit, who produces these struggles, begins the formation of the Son of God in the person’s life (see Galatians 4:19). This new life will reveal itself in conscious repentance followed by unconscious holiness, never the other way around. The foundation of Christianity is repentance. Strictly speaking, a person cannot repent when he chooses— repentance is a gift of God. The old Puritans used to pray for “the gift of tears.” If you ever cease to know the virtue of repentance, you are in darkness. Examine yourself to see if you have forgotten how to be sorry."

Is there anything you would like to repent of now?

For example: 'My Lord, Jesus, forgive me, for I have placed my desire for approval, acceptance and love from other people above seeking and loving you.'

If you wish, you can write in the space provided.

Step 8

Read Romans 8:1-4:

"So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. And because you belong to him, the power of the life-giving Spirit has freed you from the power of sin that leads to death. The law of Moses was unable to save us because of the weakness of our sinful nature. So God did what the law could not do. He sent his own Son in a body like the bodies we sinners have. And in that body God declared an end to sin’s control over us by giving his Son as a sacrifice for our sins. He did this so that the just requirement of the law would be fully satisfied for us, who no longer follow our sinful nature but instead follow the Spirit."

We all fall far, far short of the standard God has set for us. But, through Christ, you have been made right with God. Not by your actions, but by the gift of Christ's blood, mercy, love and faithfulness on the Cross you have been made pure and holy.

Is there anything you would like to praise God for? If so, you can write in the space provided.

Step 9

Regarding our ability to love God, Chambers goes on to say:

"The springs of love are in God, not in us. It is absurd to look for the love of God in our hearts naturally, it is only there when it has been shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit. If we try to prove to God how much we love Him, it is a sure sign that we do not love Him. The evidence of our love for Him is the absolute spontaneity of our love, it comes naturally..." (To read more, go to 'DOCUMENTS' above.)

Is there anything you would like to ask of God? If so, you may do so now.

Step 10

Read Corinthians 13:4-8:

"Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!"

If you were sure that you loved God, what would you do?

When the answer comes to you, write it down, then go do it!

Step 11

The second part of the commandment is to ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Many of us make the mistake of trying to fulfill the second commandment before we have fulfilled the first.

How often do you find yourself in the business of trying to love others before loving the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind?

Step 12

Before you come to the end of this Trail, keep in mind that changing your priorities and standards does not take place on a single trek. It is a journey!

It is for that reason that Mustard Seed has been designed to make that journey as simple as possible.

Considering all the competing priorities in your life right now, how important is it to 'love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind' as the first priority in your life?

Step 13

Are you willing to turn that desire into action by scheduling this Trail again tomorrow?

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