Thou shalt love the Lord thy God

The first and great commandment

ISAIAH 40-43

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” Mark 12:30

Suggested Further Reading: 2 John 1-6

We are bound to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Thus, we deduce that we are to love God supremely. Thou art to love thy wife, O husband. Thou canst not love her too much except in one case, if thou shouldst love her before God, and prefer her pleasure to the pleasure of the Most High. Then wouldst thou be an idolater. Child! Thou art to love thy parents; thou canst not love him too much who begat thee, nor her too much who brought thee forth; but remember, there is one law that doth over-ride that. Thou art to love thy God more than thy father or thy mother. He demands thy first and thy highest affection: thou art to love him “with all thy heart.” We are allowed to love our relatives: we are taught to do so. He that does not love his own family is worse than a heathen man and a publican. But we are not to love the dearest object of our hearts so much as we love God. You may erect little thrones for those whom you rightly love; but God’s throne must be a glorious high throne; you may set them upon the steps, but God must sit on the very seat itself. He is to be enthroned, the royal One within your heart, the king of your affections. Have you kept this commandment? I know I have not; I must plead guilty before God; I must cast myself before him, and acknowledge my transgression. But nevertheless, there standeth the commandment—“Thou shalt love God with all thy heart” that is, thou shalt love him supremely.

For meditation: The Lord Jesus Christ preached what he practised (Matthew 10:37,38). His Heavenly Father’s house came first, but he was obedient in his earthly parents’ house (Luke 2:48-51); his Heavenly Father’s will came first (Matthew 26:39), but even while he was carrying it out, his earthly mother’s wellbeing was upon his heart (John 19:26-27). We love our families, our fellow-believers and the lost ones best, when we love and obey God first.

Sermon no. 162     8 November (1857)

All rights belong to the collection of Charles Spurgeon(C)

WHO GIVES THEE LIFE?

What will your life accomplish?

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“You have decided the length of our lives. You know how many months we will live and we are not given a minute longer.”

Job 14:5 

Miracle Baby

John and Betty Stam met at Moody Bible Institute while both were studying to become missionaries to China. After going there separately under the China Inland Mission (CIM), they were unexpectedly reunited and a year later were married. In September 1934, their daughter, Helen, was born. Their lives were suddenly changed on December 6, 1934, when communist soldiers arrested the Stams.

The Stams were forced to make a difficult march to the town of Miao-shou. They were horrified to hear the soldiers discuss plans to murder their baby to make the trip easier. An old farmer stepped forward to object. Little Helen was spared when the man agreed to take her place — and was shot on the spot.

Arriving in Miao-shou, Helen was taken from them. Marched to a place of execution, a local Christian doctor begged for their lives. He was condemned to die and John begged for mercy for the doctor. John, Betty, and the doctor were all beheaded.

Helen was found by a Chinese evangelist named Lo who, at great risk, was able to bring her to her grandparents in Tsinan. The news of the “Miracle Baby” and her parents’ martyrdom spread around the world. Hundreds pledged their lives to missionary service. A fellow missionary wrote “A life which had the longest span of years might not have been able to do one-hundredth of the work for Christ which they have done in a day.”

From The One Year® Book of Christian History by E. Michael and Sharon Rusten (Tyndale) pp 682-83

Content is derived from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation and other publications of Tyndale Publishing House