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Last post I wrote about the most important command that we have been given and how it should effect our daily outlook on life. The interesting aspect of that command though is that it comes in two parts. Part one, love God; Part two, love people. In Mark 12:29-31 Jesus answered the question of what was the most important commandment in all of the Law,

    [29] Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. [30] And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ [31] The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Love your neighbor as yourself – surely Jesus has to be kidding right? It sounds crazy to our ears that the most important command in all of the Scriptures, in fact the most important command in all of life, is to love other people like ourselves. Really? My question in this is, why? Why is it that loving people is placed on the same level as the command to love God? Read the rest of this entry »

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Out of all the things we should be doing in this world (evangelism, discipleship, giving, serving, etc) I find it curious that there is really only one activity that God wants from us. “But wait,” I hear you cry, “isn’t the Old Testament filled with rules and regulations? What about all those commands!” Ah yes, the Torah, the Mosaic Covenant, the Big Ten (along with its 600+ additional commands); while it is wonderful that we spend time studying the Old Testament to learn more about God in the end there is still only one command that we should be seeking to follow. In fact Jesus summed it up nicely for us in Mark 12:30-31,

[30] And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ [31] The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

That’s it! Out of all the commands that we could be following in this life the greatest is to love God and love people. Simple right? Yet the question that each of us must ask ourselves from time to time is, “Do I love God?”

While it might sound like a simple question to answer lets be honest with ourselves for a moment and take a good look at our lives. When was the last time we spend any significant time in his Word? Today? Yesterday? Last week? Last year? The Scriptures are God’s way of communicating with us, and the more welisten to what he has to say the more we will get to know him, and the more we will love him. That’s a funny concept right? Let’s look at it from a human perspective.

My wife and I have been married for almost thirteen years now (had to think about that one!) and there is no doubt in my mind that I know her better now than I did when we first were married. As the years have gone by I’ve been able to learn about her childhood and growing up, about her likes and dislikes (likes sweets, hates feet), and a myriad of other little things along the way. As I’ve grown closer to her by spending time with her and getting to know her I can say without a doubt that I love her more today than I did when we were first married. That’s the same with our relationship with God. Theology is not some dusty tome reading, gray beard growing, profession. Theology is the study of Godfor the purpose of knowing him better and so loving him more!

In a recent reading I came across this wonderful quote that I’ll close with for today (next post will be about the second part of this amazing command) from Bernard of Clairvaux, take some time and think about your relationship with God and ask yourself if you truly love him.

“You ask me, ‘Why should God be loved?’ I answer: the reason for loving God is God himself. And why should God be loved for his own sake? Simply because no one could be more justly loved than God, no one deserves our love more. Some may question if God deserves our love or if they might have something to gain by loving him. The answer to both questions is yes, but I find no other worthy reason for loving him except himself.”

When we consider Proverbs 31 we typically view it in light of what an ideal woman will be like. We consider the principles that are extolled in this passage and point out that it is these ideals that women should strive to attain. While this is true that it is these virtues that are desirable the passage is not designed solely with women in mind. In fact the larger context, and the structure of the poem, suggests that these words are meant as instruction for a young man in the selection of a wife. Thus the passage is not only to women (though certainly there is instruction to find here for you) but also to men, teaching the character and qualities that are to be valued and sought after. Read the rest of this entry »

Here in American one of the words that is often used to describe us is “proud.” After all we are a country that has advanced beyond most of the world, whether it is in government, technology, or various other things. We say that we are, “Proud to be an American,” and we teach and instill this pride in every area of our society. Yet while it is alright to have pride in our nation there is a negative side to pride that we have developed as well. Selfishness. Read the rest of this entry »

Men, today is going to be more geared towards you so ladies feel free to go out for a walk instead of reading this post. What I want to talk about today is keeping things interesting in our relationships with our wives, because the sad fact is that after we’ve been married for a while the spark will go away.

One of the best things you can do for your marriage is to take an interest in the things that interest your wife. Is she an avid reader? Then learn to love reading books and discuss them with her. Even if you can’t stand the things she’s into putting some effort into caring about whats important to her will demonstrate your love for her.

Go on a date. I know money can be tight today but it doesn’t have to be something expensive. Maybe you make a picnic and take it to the local park, or maybe just go out for a walk by yourselves to talk. One of the things that I do is make it a point to ask my wife about something from when she was growing up. Things like, “What was your favorite vacation spot?”, “What was your favorite Christmas present?” and things like that. Doing this really helps to get to know more about your wife which will show her that you care about her. Plus going on a date is a great chance for you to spend time together and focus just on the relationship.

Find your spouses love language. We all feel love differently and so we need to find out how we can show our wives that we love them. There is a great book called The Five Love Languages that is really good at helping learn this concept. The five discussed in the book are: 1) Words of Affirmation, 2) Quality Time, 3) Receiving Gifts, 4) Acts of Service, and 5) Physical Touch. I’m number 5 and my wife is 2/3.

Relationships are always going to be a lot of work and while these are just a few suggestions of things you might consider keep this in mind: we’re men and we like to work. Make it a goal to work on your relationship with your wife so that nothing can come between you.

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