Do you remember the times you played a ball game as a kid? Sometimes the branch of a tree may block your view of the ball. Sometimes you would trip over something that shouldn't have been on the playing field. Even a playful dog could interrupt the game. "Do over!!" someone would shout and we would do that play again. Not everyone always agreed to a "do over" because their team was leading or had an advantage because of what had happened. Most times we were given a second chance. It all depended on the rules laid out before the game. As we go from childhood to adulthood, life can become more challenging and perplexing. The rules seem to change and there appears to be more gray area instead of black and white. How many times in the course of our life have we wished we could get a "do over" when things don't turn out the way we want.
Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
In the days of Jesus' ministry, the law handed down by God to Moses, set the standard of how things were supposed to be. In Genesis God gave Adam and Eve rules to live by in the garden of Eden. In Exodus, you have the 10 commandments. In Leviticus you have laws pertaining to the priesthood and other laws. The law was to show man what God required.
Holiness is not taken lightly by God. It does not require near perfection. It requires perfection! Mankind has always fallen short of this. The law showed men how far from holy they were. Centuries later, Jesus came and started to turn their religious system upside down. The leaders were afraid of how the people loved Him and the authority with which He spoke. He was perceived as a threat to all their religious customs. To this day, Jesus is the only one in history who has ever been able to keep God's law and not break it. In the above verses, one of the religious leaders tries to trap him and asks about the law. Jesus made his answer very simple and clear. He sums up the entirety of the law in a few short words.
To me, this is a miracle in itself to be able to get that much information in such a concise form. All we have to do is to love God with all our hearts, minds and souls. Then we have to love everyone the way we love ourselves. Wow! That's simple, right? I really hate to be the one to pop your bubble...but doing this is not possible apart from God. Making the law more concise didn't change the fact it's still the law. No matter our desire, we still fall short of perfection.
You see there are three types of love. Eros is a sensual type of love. Philia is a brotherly love. The type of love spoken in the verses above is Agape love. This is the kind of love God has for us. It is a sacrificial love...a holy love. Apart from Christ there is nothing holy in any man or woman except the breath of life God gave us! Sure, there are some people that are pretty nice once you get to know them. However, I really doubt they would hang on a cross for you. It wouldn't do you any good even if they did. That price has already been paid.
God in His mercy has offers us a "do over" for the condition of sin. He planned it, He made the way for it and He paid for it. God's way is for us to have forgiveness for our sins. A fresh start! A clean slate! Jesus' purpose in His earthly life was to fulfill the prophecies of scripture and to pay our sin debt with His own blood! All He asks is that we yield our heart to Him. We accept Jesus into our hearts by trusting Him and taking Him at his word. To trust in someone that you cannot see is an act of faith on your part. For those willing to take that step of faith, He will change you from the inside out. Scripture says that you become a "new creature."(2 Cor. 5:17) I know this to be the case. You don't have to worry about trying to clean yourself up to come to Him. He wants you just like you are right now! God will fill you with the love you need to love Him and to love others. He will give you peace. I cannot explain this peace. It is something you must experience.
Let me ask a question... How is it with your life? Do you feel something is missing? Do you feel an emptiness inside? Do you wish someone understood you? Well, someone does understand you. He made you! Who better to understand than your Maker Himself? He loves you very much!! He wants to give you a "do over." He will teach you the meaning of true love. He will give you what you need to live your life...in this world and the next.
Say this prayer aloud with me and I can promise your life will never be the same!
Heavenly Father, I am a sinner. I admit this sin before you and I am sorry that I have sinned against you. I lay my life down before you and I turn away from my sin. Forgive me God. I accept the fact that Jesus died in my place because of sin. I ask for Jesus to come into my very being and I make Him the Lord of my life. From this day forward I will live for you and do your will as you lead me. Show me what you would have me do from now on. I thank you for hearing this prayer and making me your child. In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.
My prayer for you:
Father God, I thank you that you hear the prayers of a sincere heart. I ask that you would hold and keep the soul that has cried out to you. I ask your blessing upon them and their household. I ask you to bless all people they come into contact with. Hedge them from all attacks they encounter and lead them through all they may face. Teach them your ways and your Word. For those who read and didn't pray, I ask that you would continue working on their hearts and minds until the day they can come to a knowledge of your glory. Protect them and keep them until that day Lord. Lead them to yourself. For those who know you and read, I ask that you would bless them in abundance Lord. Encourage their hearts and renew their spirits. I give you the honor and praise for all who read. I thank you for all of them. In Jesus' holy name I pray, Amen.