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Centering Down – Focusing on God

Focusing on GodTwo factions of Israel’s religious leaders were temporarily allied in playing “stump the chump” with Jesus.

First Jesus silenced the Sadducees. Then the Pharisees pitted their expert against Him.

The Pharisees had classified more than 600 laws, often trying to distinguish the more important from the less important.  So to their minds, the question their expert posed was luring Jesus into a quagmire.

Interact with God’s Word

Matthew 22:34-40 Matthew 22:34-40

  1. Do you think the Pharisees placed more emphasis on what people should do or what they shouldn’t do?
  2. Which aspect did Jesus emphasize?
  3. How can you love God as a person, not a mere force (See John 14:9 and 16:27)?
  4. What spheres of love are suggested by “heart,” “soul,” and “mind”?
  5. How does the word all restrict the way your love may be attached to other objects?
  6. In the second commandment, why is a person’s self-love taken for granted?
  7. How would displacing your self-love with God-love make it easier to engage in true neighbor-love?

Spend Time in Prayer:  Ask God to help you penetrate through daily responsibilities and church involvement to a personal encounter with Him.

Matthew 22:34-40

34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. 35 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the law of Moses?”

37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

Matthew 24:12

12 Sin will be rampant everywhere, and the love of many will grow cold.

Prayer for the Week: When I feel driven and distracted, Your voice gets drowned out. Help me, Lord, to discover how to focus on Your presence in my life.

 

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