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Monday, August 11, 2014

Power Of Simplicity

Starting off the New Week with.Then one of the scribes came, and . . . asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” —Mark 12:28 Few people take time to study the US Internal Revenue Service income tax regulations—and for good reason. According to Forbes magazine, in 2013 tax codes surpassed the four million-word mark. In fact, the tax laws have become so complex that even the experts have a hard time processing all the regulations. It’s burdensome in its complexity. The religious leaders in ancient Israel did the same thing in their relationship with God. They made it too complex with laws. The growing burden of religious regulations had increased to the point where even an expert in Moses’ law struggled to understand its core. When one such leader asked Jesus what mattered most in the Commandments, Jesus responded, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31). The law of Moses was burdensome, but faith in Christ is simple and His “burden is light” (Matt. 11:30). It’s light because God was willing to forgive us and love us. Now He enables us to love Him and our neighbor. —Bill Crowder I love Thee because Thou hast first loved me, And purchased my pardon on Calvary’s tree; I love Thee for wearing the thorns on Thy brow; If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus, ’tis now. —Featherstone God’s love in our heart gives us a heart for Him and others. Bible in a year: Psalms 81-83; Romans 11:19-36 Insight In Christ’s answer to the scribe in Mark 12:29, He quotes the “Shema” from Deuteronomy 6:4 which states, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.” The title “shema” is from the Hebrew word for hear. One source says this statement of the oneness of God is recited twice each day by observant Jews and is the most important part of Judaism’s prayer services.

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