MONDAY, MAY 10
One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The LORD our God is the one and only LORD. And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
Mark 12:28-31 (NLT2)
LOVE GOD, LOVE PEOPLE: RIVALS
Dr. Henrietta Mears was born in 1890 in Fargo, North Dakota, and when the doctors told her that her worsening eyesight would have her blind by 30, she didn’t listen to them, and instead went to college. A couple of years into college, she fell in love with a man who did not share her faith in Christ. She wanted to be married and have children, but ended up breaking her engagement when she surrendered her desires to serve the Lord. She taught high school chemistry for a few years, and then in 1928 became Director of Christian Education at Hollywood Presbyterian Church. In her first three years, Sunday School attendance went from 400 to 4,000. She took over teaching the College group and began training and discipling Christian leaders. Through her direct influence, more than 400 young men and women went into full-time Christian service, including Bill Bright (Campus Crusade for Christ), Richard Halverson (former Chaplain to the Senate), and Dr. Paul Carlson (martyred missionary in Africa). She founded the Gospel Light Curriculum company to publish her Bible Studies, and started a retreat center in the mountains, Forest Home. It was Henrietta Mears who helped a young Billy Graham at a Forest Home retreat. At a crisis point in his faith, she encouraged him to trust in the Lord and believe in the Bible.
Henrietta Mears chose to spend her life doing what Jesus said was most important and that was Loving God and Loving People. She faced challenges along the way but kept her focus on Christ. In Mark 12, the religious leaders of the day wanted to debate and push back against God’s desire for His people. There have been and will always be rivals to God’s simple plan of loving Him and loving others.
During the sermon yesterday, we had the privilege of hearing from several ladies who are living out God’s command to love Him and love others. All of those ladies admitted that rivals to loving God and loving others are a real and daily challenge. Which of the challenges did you most identify with? Spend some time confessing that challenge with God and asking Him for the strength you need to stay strong.
Thank God for the simplicity of what He asks of you. Thank Jesus for loving you first.