I MET JESUS: A religious teacher (Mark 12:28-34)

What's your top priority?  Happiness?  Family?  Career?  Health?  Wealth?  Success?  Fun?  Love?  Sex?  Religion?

Yourself??? 

Jesus says it should be GOD first, then OTHERS...

Read Mark 12:28-34

In so many ways our world gets things upside-down and Jesus' words show us the right way up.  This is another example of that...

Often we live SELF FIRST.  It's sometimes even seen as a virtue in our culture...

"Follow your heart."
"You've got to do what's right for you."
"Don't give up on your dreams."

It's everywhere.  It has the appearance of virtue but is actually encouraging quite a self-centred way of making decisions.  What about other people?  What about self-sacrifcing love?  What about compassion for the lonely, help for the needy and justice for the oppressed?  SELF FIRST is the worst way to live!

Then sometimes our culture gets it slightly better: OTHERS FIRST.  We can think of examples of people we admire who live to serve others, putting their own needs second.  I expect each of us have benefited from people like this who have made a big impact on our lives.  They're on to something.  But WHY would anyone value the needs of other people above their own?  Isn't it a success-delaying, dream-denying, life-limiting way to be?  In what world does it make sense to live like this?

Only in God's world, which is this one! 

Jesus says we should put GOD FIRST.  Why?  Because he IS FIRST.  He's GOD!  And when we realise this, we find the only reason, the absolute security and best example we need to love others sacrificially.  When we put God first and know him through Jesus, we find forgiveness, peace and discover our proper place in the universe as his kids.  We can learn HOW to love others from the God who IS love.  And we can love others WITH the love we've received from God.

Jesus says, "Love God, love others" and that the one who understands this is "not far from the kingdom of God".

Are you far from the kingdom of God?