This devotional was written by Jim Burns
Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." This is the first and greatest, commandment. And the second is like it: "Love your neighbor as yourself." All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. Matthew 22:37-40
Our love for God goes beyond lip service or sitting in the pew on Sunday. God wants all that we have, and all that we are, to become His. Sometimes the actions of people of other faiths or causes puts my actions to shame. The following letter is written by a Communist student who broke off his engagement with his fiancée. While you read this letter, think how it compares to your commitment and dedication to Jesus Christ.
"We communists have a high casualty rate. We are the ones who get shot and hung and ridiculed and fired from our jobs and in every other way made as uncomfortable as possible. A certain percentage of us get killed or imprisoned. We live in virtual poverty. We turn back to the party every penny we make above what is absolutely necessary to keep us alive. We communists do not have the time or the money for many movies, or concerts, or T-bone steaks, or decent homes, or new cars. We have been described as fanatics. We are fanatics. Our lives are dominated by one great overshadowing factor: the struggle for world communism. We communists have a philosophy of life which no amount of money can buy. We have a cause to fight for, a definite purpose in life. We subordinate our petty personal selves into the great movement of humanity; and if our personal lives seem hard or our egos appear to suffer through subordination to the party, then we are adequately compensated by the thought that each of us in his small way is contributing to something new and true and better for mankind. There is one thing in which I am dead earnest about, and that is the communist cause. It is my life, my business, my religion, my hobby, my sweetheart, my wife, and my mistress, my breath and meat. I work at it in the daytime and dream of it at night. Its hold on me grows, not lessens, as time goes on; therefore, I cannot carry on a friendship, a love affair, or even a conversation without relating it to this force which both drives and guides my life. I evaluate people, books, ideas, and actions according to how they affect the communist cause, and by their attitude toward it. I've already been in jail because of my ideals, and if necessary, I'm ready to go before a firing squad."*
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1. What two important commandments are given in Matthew 22:37-40? What parts of your life do these commandments directly apply too?
2. Can you speak similar words about your commitment to Jesus as the Communist student did about his faith in the Communist cause? What does it mean for you to love God with your whole heart, mind and soul?
Deuteronomy 6:5, Leviticus 19:18, Matthew 5:43, 44, Galatians 5:14
* Bill Bright, Revolution Now (San Bernardin Campus Crusade for Christ, 1969), pp. 186-87.
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