Wednesday—This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things
Refresh: Begin today in prayer. Ask God for understanding through the Holy Spirit and for God’s character to be revealed.
Read: Matthew 22:37 in the English Standard Version (ESV). As you again read through this exchange, note 1-3 insights which stick out today that center around the possessive use of the pronoun “you.”
Reflect: When Jesus speaks of the commandments, a singular word sticks out over and over again which might seem out of place when regarding the greatest of God’s commandments—you.
Jesus was tested by the brightest minds in religion to determine what God holds most dear to His heart. Expecting to hear a lecture on the laws of Moses in all of their intricacies—along with obedience to Sabbath-keeping— as well as a doctoral dissertation on morality and ethics, or at the very least an impassioned sermon on tithe and offerings, they receive nothing of the sort. Faced with rabid Truth-keepers hell bent on murdering Him to silence His heresy, Jesus had the audacity to look at these men and reply that the most important thing to God is you.
Look at the text again and note the highlights: Jesus said, ”'Love the Lord your God with all your passion and your prayer and your intelligence and love others as well as you love yourself.’
The command is not to love some deity without personal conviction. The command is not to recite blind faith from borrowed devotion. The command is not to read dead scripts and regurgitate passionless rhetoric. The command is not to stand outside of the story and watch from afar. The command is conditional upon your full and passionate participation!
This is your God. This is your heart. This is your mind. This is your soul. This is your passion. This is your prayer. This is your intelligence. This is your love. This God is not about God for the sake of desired worship. This command is not law for the sake of law-keeping. This is God’s will for you to be included in God’s Kingdom built for you to live with God. For you to worship God. For you to experience the love of God. For you to know and be known by the One who created you. For the Spirit of God to live in you.
The most important commandments are not only about God. They are about God’s relationship with the ones whom He intends to love. They don’t thrive without your participation. Creation is incomplete without the sixth day. Rest could not be achieved until He was finished and it was good.
Both you and God are important in making the world good.
Recalibrate: Good or bad, what do you believe you bring to the table of the Kingdom?
Respond: Pray for God to reveal His desire to be with you. Ask for God to come into you and become the center of all decisions you make today.
Research: Challenge yourself today. Take the high road and see where it leads you and chart your progress as you go.
Live Wonder (ages 0–3)
What are some of the passions and gifts you see God has given your child? Tell them what you see in them and explain that it is God who has made them and wants to continue to help them grow. Pray over their developing relationship with Jesus.
Live Adventure (ages 4–11)
What are three things you’re really good at? Did you know God gave you those talents? In what ways can you grow closer to God by using those gifts and talents?
Live Purpose (ages 12–16)
Because we are made in God’s image, we are full of energy to build, create, and grow! Today, look for ways that you can use that energy to make the world a better place. As you do, stay in communication with God by working together!