Most Important

To a sick person that you might tell about the power of Jesus, they might want healing. To the poor person finding it challenging to put food on the table, they might want Jesus to provide for them financially. But in our Scripture today we will see what Jesus concentrated on, no matter what physical condition the person was in who was presented to Him. As His earthly representatives, I believe Jesus wants us to take note and apply His practice in our lives also.

DATE WRITTEN: Thursday, 2021-07-01
WRITTEN AT: Gallup, NM

SCRIPTURE FROM: Matthew 9:1-2
TRANSLATION: New Living Translation (NLT)

BIBLE TEXT: Jesus climbed into a boat and went back across the lake to his own town. Some people brought to him a paralyzed man on a mat. Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “Be encouraged, my child! Your sins are forgiven.”

APPLICATION: During my working career I was a banker. Whenever I met someone new and shared with them what my profession was, invariably I would be asked to share some of the money with them! Similarly, it seems like whenever we meet a doctor, we have lots of questions for them about certain health complications we have encountered. In the New Testament we see a lot of cases where people flocked around Jesus because they were looking for healing, or other miracles. This was the case with the paralytic. His friends knew that all they needed was to get this man close enough to Jesus and He would heal their friend. For the general reader, I believe this is what we all might have also imagined, that upon Jesus seeing this man on his bed of affliction, He would have reached out His hand to heal him and help him up. Surprisingly, Jesus was more interested in the man’s personal conviction first and foremost. He saw the faith of the man’s friends in getting him before the Master, so Jesus went straight for the most important thing needed by this man – his salvation. Isn’t that interesting when we think of our personal encounters with loved ones and friends? We talk about the weather, we talk about each other’s occupation, and we may even dabble in politics. But don’t we tend to wait until the last minute to determine the persons spiritual condition? Earlier in life I was asked by a faithful church member to kindly go visit her home and share Christ with her unbelieving husband. Having been warned ahead of time how important it was to build a rapport with this man before attempting to share Christ with him, my visit consisted of common themes and very generalized conversation. That following Sunday this wife thanked me for visiting, but shared her disappointment about me not sharing my faith with her husband. Not long after this, that husband passed away before I ever had opportunity to visit with him again. Based on our Scripture today, I believe Jesus would have chosen to speak about spiritual needs first and foremost, don’t you? I believe it is so important that we take note of all the lessons taught to us by Jesus. His steps and His practice were very deliberate, I believe, because He wanted us to take note and practice what He modeled for us. Friends, our prayer meetings and our prayer lists are usually 90+% concerned with medical issues rather than salvation. Where’s our heart? Are we truly determined to follow the example of Christ?

BLESSING(S) NOTED: Jesus cares more about our eternal well being as much as, or more than, He does about our earthly maladies. We should aim to be the same as Jesus in this.

PRAYER: Dear Lord, You cared so much about our salvation that You sent Your very own Son to die on a cruel cross so that we might be saved from our sin. In our story today, Your primary action was to clear the paraplegic of his sin, before ever looking at his physical needs. Oh Lord, unfortunately we have fallen into the world’s view of primarily taking care of our earthly needs first and foremost. Please forgive us for not following the pattern You established for us. People are dying and going to hell – even those who knew us, but were not told about the glories of heaven. Lord be glorified through us Lord, and help us to be true to Your teachings and Your example. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. You may also visit me on Spotify and listen to Nuggets while you’re out and about. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!

THE Most Important Commandment

Often when we are bombarded with a multitude of orders, we will either ask, or sometimes evaluate, what we need to concentrate on most, or at least first. I believe that God knew we needed direction in every aspect of life, so He gave us His Book of Instruction (the Bible) to do just that. However, seeing that God created us, I’m sure that He was the first to know that we need the priority items right up front, so that we don’t get overwhelmed and give up. These verses seem to do just that, so let’s pay very close attention to these two commandments today.

Wednesday, 2019-09-18

Bible Reference: Matthew 22:36-40
Translation: The Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Bible Text:  36 “Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. 38 This is the first and most important commandment. 39 The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” 40 All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets are based on these two commandments.

OBSERVATION: Often when we are bombarded with a multitude of orders, we will either ask, or sometimes evaluate, what we need to concentrate on most, or at least first. I believe that God knew we needed direction in every aspect of life, so He gave us His Book of Instruction (the Bible) to do just that. However, seeing that God created us, I’m sure that He was the first to know that we need the priority items right up front, so that we don’t get overwhelmed and give up. These verses seem to do just that, so let’s pay very close attention to these two commandments today.

APPLICATION:  Jesus knew that He and His Father had given us many commands over time, but here He chose to show us what constituted a priority for us. In fact, He teaches that these two particular commands will help us ensure that we are following all of the other commands given to us over time. Let us therefore examine these two very carefully:
1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind – Love comes from the heart, so to love the Lord with all of our heart means that we must love Him with all that we are. To consider this being a priority, means that all other things, or people, that attract our love is below the level of love that we have for the Father. In fact, Jesus goes on to say that we must love Him from the very depths of our soul – our very innermost being. And from our mind – in other words, be thinking of ways to love Him more and more, or ways to love Him better and better, than anything else.
2. Love others as much as we love ourselves – It is very natural for us to love ourselves. Often this love is prideful, and could easily lead to our greatest sins (envy, boasting, jealousy, etc). However, there is also a sincere self-love that is expected, because of the mere fact that God made us in His own image, and He loved us enough that He sacrificed His only Son to make us right with Himself. So if He loves us that much, ought we not to also love our own selves? Of course we do, but Jesus is teaching here that with that same love, we are to also always love others. In other words, love them because you recognize that God loves them in the same way that He loves you.
Isn’t it interesting that God added at the end of this revelation, that if we concentrate on these two important things, that we will master all other commands? I thought ‘yes’, I can see that, because I wouldn’t dare consider lying, or stealing, or murdering, or being envious, or any other wrongful act against God or against anyone else that I love as much as I love myself. So friends, I believe it all boils down to these two things, just as Jesus taught us. Can we put these at the top of our daily prayer list, and at the top of our to-do list, and at the very top of our personal priorities? If you are one to place stickers around the house filled with very important reminders, then these two priorities should probably be at the header and footer of each of those notes, so that you will be reminded of the most important things, before looking at the item you want to accomplish that day! Can we do this? Can we do it on our own? Why would we try, when we have been promised that God is always there to help us achieve the desires of our heart? Lean on Him friend, and let Him be your guide and your help, especially with these things that He told us are key commands that He wants us to do.

PRAYER: Father please forgive us for being so anxious to set our daily priorities, with so little attention to Your priorities You taught to us. I know that You are Master, Creator, Almighty God, and that You display ‘Love’ in its truest form, so there is every reason for me to be obedient to Your teaching, knowing that You have my best interest at heart. Please help Your children who might meditate on this devotional today, and myself, to put our selfish desires aside and dedicate ourselves to following Your commands, especially Your two primary commands taught in this lesson. May we love You, and those that we come into contact with today, with the love that You have shown towards us. For I ask these things in the precious and holy name of Jesus, my Savior, with thanksgiving, AMEN!

THE Most Important Things

THE HOLY BIBLE (The Contemporary English Version – Matthew 22:36-40): 36 “Teacher, what is the most important commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. 38 This is the first and most important commandment. 39 The second most important commandment is like this one. And it is, “Love others as much as you love yourself.” 40 All the Law of Moses and the Books of the Prophets are based on these two commandments.

THOUGHTS: In our fast-paced world today, I believe most of us like to set our priorities for the day so that we could make sure we don’t get side-tracked with all the other things that will be sure to bombard us and try to win our attention. Furthermore, we tend to try very hard to accomplish our top priority items more than anything else for that day. I believe that is good reason why this passage of scripture should be very important to us. Jesus knew that He and His Father had given us many commands over time, but here He chose to show us what constituted a priority for us. In fact, He teaches that these two particular commands will help us ensure that we are following all of the other commands given to us over time. Let us therefore examine these two carefully:

  1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul and mind – Love comes from the heart, so to love the Lord with all of our heart means that we must love Him with all that we are. Also, that all other things, or people, that attract our love is below the level of love that we have for the Father. In fact, Jesus goes on to say that we must love Him from the very depths of our soul – our very inmost being. And from our mind – in other words, be thinking of ways to love Him more or ways to love Him better than anything else.
  2. Love others as much as we love ourselves – It is very natural for us to love ourselves. Often this love is corrupt, and often leads to our greatest sins (envy, boasting, jealousy, etc). However, there is also a sincere self-love that is expected, because of the mere fact that God made us in His own image, and He loved us enough that He sacrificed His only Son to make us right with Himself. So if He loves us that much, ought we not to also love our own selves? Of course we do, but Jesus is teaching here that with that same love, we are to also and always love others. In other words, love them because you recognize that God loves them in the same way that He loves you.

Isn’t it interesting that God added at the end of this revelation, that if we concentrate on these two important things, that we will master all other commands? I thought yes, I can see that, because I wouldn’t dare consider lying, or stealing, or murdering, or being envious, or any other wrongful act against God or against anyone else that I love as much as I love myself. So friends, I believe it all boils down to these two things, just as Jesus taught us. Can we put these at the top of our daily prayer list, and at the top of our to-do list, and at the very top of our personal priorities? If you are one to place stickers around the house filled with very important reminders, then these two priorities should probably be at the header and footer of each of those notes, so that you will be reminded of the most important things, before looking at the item you want to accomplish in addition to these. Can we do this? Can we do it on our own? Why would we try, when we have been promised that God is always there to help us achieve the desires of our heart? Lean on Him friend, and let Him be your guide and your help, especially with these things that He told us are key commands that He wants us to do.

PRAYER: Father please forgive us for being so anxious to set our daily priorities, with so little attention to Your priorities You taught to us. I know that You are Master, Creator, Almighty God, and Love in its truest form, so there is every reason for me to be obedient to Your teaching, knowing that You have my best interest at heart. Please help Your children who might meditate on this devotional today, and myself, to put our selfish desires aside and dedicate ourselves to following Your commands, especially Your two primary commands taught in this lesson. May we love You, and those that we come into contact with today, with the love that You have shown towards us. For I ask these things in the precious and holy name of Jesus, my Savior, with thanksgiving, AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching pastor, or read through Biblical truths on How To Know Jesus, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com so that we can pray with you and give you help and or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Any words underlined above will indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, Sebring, FL! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!