Good morning. This is a devotional for single adults from Parenting Solo, but the message also applies to single adults without children who may one day marry a single parent and be a step-parent. Feel Free to forward it to a friend.
Scripture: Matt. 12:48-50 (The Message) Jesus didn’t respond directly (to his mother and brothers wanting to speak to him), but said, “Who do you think my mother and brothers are?” He then stretched out his hand toward his disciples. “Look closely. These are my mother and brothers. Obedience is thicker than blood. The person who obeys my heavenly Father’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
Family was important in the Jewish culture. It was important to have sons to pass on their lineage. Sons and daughters tended to live nearby, even after marriage. Sons would marry but usually stay in the same town. Fathers would teach their sons the business, because it would one day be their own. Blood relatives were important to the culture.
But here, while Jesus is teaching, the Pharisees are looking for a miracle to prove he is who he says he is. Jesus declines. He knows they still wouldn’t believe. When someone mentions that his mother and brothers are outside, he tells the crowd that anyone who obeys his Father’s words is his brothers, sisters and mother. He was setting obedience above blood. He was telling the people how important obedience is.
When Jesus was asked about which commandments were the most important, he told the people to love God with all their hearts, souls and minds, and to love their neighbors as themselves. Simple. If we obey those two commandments, everything else in life falls into place. If we truly love God with all our heart, soul and mind, loving others comes naturally. It’s a byproduct of who God is. When they asked him to define “neighbors,” he told them that everyone was considered a neighbor in the kingdom. They were looking for loopholes.
It seems so simple, yet obeying those two commandments gets tricky. Every day, we are disobedient. What God cares about is where our hearts are. Do we feel remorse when we stumble? Do we immediately come to God and confess our sins? Or do we take the attitude that God forgives all our sins anyway, so what’s the big deal? The big deal is that we must try to be obedient. Of course we’re going to stumble; we’re human. The good news is that Jesus died for our sins, all of them. We need a savior, and Jesus is he. It’s in the scriptures, and we can trust God’s word. We just have to believe and be obedient.
How does this apply to my life?
Today’s prayer: Lord, help me to be obedient, even when it hurts. Help me to be obedient, even when it’s difficult. Amen
Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Vol. 3, No. 86
This week’s reading plan can be found at http:/www.oneyearbibleonline.com/july.asp?version=51