Weekend Extra – Mind Your Maker

February 14, 2011 at 5:15 am Leave a comment


The other day, I stumbled across an internet quiz which, if you answered a few simple questions, claimed to tell you whether you follow your head or your heart.  The questions included, “Is kissing in public cute or should it be avoided?”  “Are flowers, little romantic notes, and romantic restaurants an important part of dating for you?”  After seven simple questions, I learned that I followed my head more than my heart.  I’m not surprised.  After all, I’ve considered this characteristic of my personality before…in my head.

There is a regularly peddled belief, often lapped up by our emotionally inundated society, that it is better to follow your heart rather than your head.  Just look at the sappy sentiments that permeate greeting cards which are being given all over our country on this Valentine’s Day.  In her book Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert chronicles how she traveled the world after divorcing her husband, looking for insight into life, which she gains from a medicine man in Bali.  Apparently, even a Divinely witnessed moral commitment made in marriage is no match for the whims of a human heart.  And, indeed, it shouldn’t be according to Gilbert.  To follow a moral commitment made in marriage rather than your heart would be no less than, well, immoral!

Certainly, the human heart is important.  The wise man of Proverbs reminds us, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life” (Proverbs 4:23).  But at the same time the human heart is capable of great good, it is also prone to deep evil.  Jesus warns, “Out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander” (Matthew 15:19).  The heart, then, cannot and should not be the summit and sum of human decisions and desires.  This is why Jesus, in our text for this past weekend, says, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).  In His words, Jesus is quoting the Shema, a Hebrew word meaning, “Hear,” based on Deuteronomy 6:4-5:  “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”  Faithful Jews still recite the Shema two times a day and it is traditional for them to recite this as their last words before they die.

What is so striking about Jesus’ recitation of the Shema in Mark 12 is His addition to it.  The original Shema reads:  “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”  But Jesus adds another way in which we can love the Lord, our God.  Not just with our hearts and souls and strength, but also with our minds:  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”  It is not just the heart that loves God and follows Him, it is also the mind.  The mind is important to Jesus!

The apostle Paul writes, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2).  In order to follow God, we need not just properly disposed hearts, but miraculously transformed minds.  Minds which love to ponder the things of God.  Minds which diligently studies the Scriptures.  Minds which use their intellectual capabilities to study God’s world and marvel at its grandeur and intricacies.

Do you love the Lord, your God, with all your mind?  Are you learning new things about God and His Word?  If you’re not, you’re missing out on a fantastic part of your life in Christ.  So join a Bible study, listen to good teaching, and ponder anew what the Almighty can do.  For our God always gives us something new – and exciting – to think about.

Want to learn more on this passage? Go to
www.ConcordiaLutheranChurch.com
and check out audio and video from Pastor Tucker’s
message or Pastor Zach’s ABC!

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Sermon Extra – True Treasure ABC Extra – For Thinkers Only

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