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Faithlife

Do the Word

Spiritual Habits  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Introduction

One of my favorite things to do is to watch the Barrett-Jackson Auto Auctions that come on this time of the year. I believe this week it was in Phoenix. These cars roll across the auction block and bring thousands of dollars, sometimes 10-20 times what their original value was. Many of these buyers purchase these incredible cars and never drive them. They just put them in a warehouse and wipe the dust off of them occasionally. These cars are not doing what they were designed to do and it seems like a waste to me.
When it comes to spiritual habits, many Christians are like these cars. They are just for show and are not being used for what they are designed to be!
There are many spiritual habits that are beneficial to a Christian. They are not necessary to be a Christian because the Bible clearly tells us that the only thing we have to do to become a Christians is to accept Jesus Christ as one’s Lord and Savior. However, if we want to grow and if we want to be what God has called us to be and what He has designed us to be, we must spend in Bible study and in prayer.
And, we must live out .
James 1:22 NIV84
Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.

How Does One DO the Word?

Perhaps James had some insight from the lessons learned from watching Jesus. Both the Gospels of Matthew and Mark share a story of Jesus spending time with teachers of the law. These teachers were called Saducees and they were one of the major groups of teachers that gave no place to the overruling providence of God and emphasized later in their teachings that all happens to us as a result of the good or evil that we do. They didn’t believe later in the resurrection and certainly did not believe that Jesus was the Messiah. Because they didn’t fully understand who Jesus was, they did not follow Him....and that made them Sad, you see.
Mark’s gospel gives us great detail in this story about doing the word.
Mark 12:28-35
Mark 12:28–35 NIV84
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘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.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions. While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, “How is it that the teachers of the law say that the Christ is the son of David?
Mark 12:28–34 NIV84
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘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.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

The Greatest Commandment

These teachers of the law held to a Rabbinic tradition that counted 613 commandments in the Torah which was the written narrative of the first five books and the oral tradition that consisted of interpretations of the rabbinic tradition that was handed down from generation to generation.
These 613 commandments consisted of 365 commands of not to do something and 248 commands of what to do. Some were heavy, some were light.
The teachers of the law loved to debate the scriptures. They wanted to test Jesus about His knowledge of the law. This particular teacher of the law recognized the importance of all the commands and asks, “Which one of these commandments supercedes all of the others?”
Jesus says, the most important is this:
Mark 12:29–30 NIV84
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘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:
This is known as the SHEMA, which is the Hebrew word from the first word of this confession HEAR. We have this in our Bible as . The most devout Jews would say this confession every morning and every night.
In our New Testament, in Mark’s Gospel, we see the word “all” used four times.

Love the Lord Your God with ALL YOUR HEART

The HEART is the control center of the human personality. It is the center of our complex being. From it comes everything: the physical, the moral. the spiritual, and the intellectual of all that we are.
Psalm 40:8 NIV84
I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.”
What are you putting in your heart?
What are you doing to take care of your heart?

Love the Lord Your God with ALL YOUR SOUL

The SOUL is seen as the self-conscious life. In the New Testament, it is used as the meaning of life. In fact, the same word in Greek translates both life and soul. It denotes life in the distinctness of individual existence.
The Greek philosopher, Plato, perceived the soul as the eternal element of man. That’s actually a good definition we can use here.
God desires my soul and your soul to be free of sin and to live in holiness for eternity.
Jesus said in
Matthew 16:26 NIV84
What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?
The Word of God can save it and recovery from error rescues it from death. The outcome of faith is the salvation of one’s soul.
The soul can have access to the holy of holies through Christ!
Hebrews 6:19 NIV84
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain,
1 Peter 1:10 NIV84
Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care,
Hebrews 10:29 NIV84
How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?
Hebrews
Hebrews 10:2
The flip side is that the soul can be banned.
Matthew 10:28 NIV84
Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.
Are you taking care of your soul?
Are you taking care of your soul?
Is your soul prepared for eternity?

Love the Lord Your God with ALL YOUR MIND

The MIND is the thought capacity. It is the disposition of what we think. It gives us understanding, especially moral understanding.
God gives each of us the ability to think and to reason. It can be bad or good. we can choose.
A couple of verses in scripture show us the bad:
Romans 1:28 NIV84
Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.
R
Ephesians 4:17–18 NIV84
So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.
Colossians 1:28 NIV84
We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ.
Ephesians 4:
Colossians 2:18 NIV84
Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you for the prize. Such a person goes into great detail about what he has seen, and his unspiritual mind puffs him up with idle notions.
Titus 1:15 NIV84
To the pure, all things are pure, but to those who are corrupted and do not believe, nothing is pure. In fact, both their minds and consciences are corrupted.
Colossians 1:21 NIV84
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.
Colossians
Thank God the mind can be RENEWED:
Romans 12:2 NIV84
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.
Ephesians
Ephesians 4:22–23 NIV84
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
In fact, we are to have the mind of Christ:
1 Corinthians 2:16 NIV84
“For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
1 Corinthians
Revelation 13:18 NIV84
This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man’s number. His number is 666.
Jesus opens our minds:
Luke 24:44–45 NIV84
He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.
Luke 2
Our minds must be inclined toward God and in harmony with Him:
2 Corinthians 10:5 NIV84
We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.
2 Corinthians
What are you putting in your mind?
Are you reading scripture and meditating on it daily?
Colossians 1:21 NIV84
Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior.
I want to encourage you to do just that!

Love the Lord Your God with ALL YOUR STRENGTH

STRENGTH is about your bodily powers, your might. The term strength in the Bible is used many different ways. Here it refers to seeking strength. It is similar to many Old Testament thoughts:
Judges 8:21 NIV84
Zebah and Zalmunna said, “Come, do it yourself. ‘As is the man, so is his strength.’ ” So Gideon stepped forward and killed them, and took the ornaments off their camels’ necks.
Proverbs 20:29 NIV84
The glory of young men is their strength, gray hair the splendor of the old.
Proverbs
Proverbs
1 Samuel
Proverbs 31
Proverbs 31:17 NIV84
She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
Psalm 84:7 NIV84
They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
1 Samuel 2:4 NIV84
“The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength.
Proverbs 24:5 NIV84
A wise man has great power, and a man of knowledge increases strength;
Deuteronomy
Deuteronomy 11:8 NIV84
Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess,
Job 17:
Job 17:9 NIV84
Nevertheless, the righteous will hold to their ways, and those with clean hands will grow stronger.
Nahum 2:1
Nahum 2:1 NIV84
An attacker advances against you, Nineveh. Guard the fortress, watch the road, brace yourselves, marshal all your strength!
Strength is the inner resolve to be strong, effective and to be able to do something.
You can build your strength physically be exercise, diet and sleeping effectively.
What are you doing to help strengthen your body so that you can Love the Lord your God with all your strength?

Love Your Neighbor as Yourself

Jesus says the second greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. He is quoting:
Leviticus 19:18
Leviticus 19:18 NIV84
“ ‘Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against one of your people, but love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.
Jesus is telling here in essence, if we love God, we will experience His love within and express this love to others. You and I do not live by rules but by relationships, a loving relationship to God that enables us to have a loving relationship with others.
It doesn’t say, “do unto others and run.....” It is telling us to love your neighbor as your self.
We cannot love God and hate others.
Saucer/cup illustration
Are you practicing forgiveness?
Are you able to love the way you are loved?
You see, if you are taking care of your heart, your soul, your mind and your strength, you will be able to love yourself- and in turn from the overflow, you will be able to love others!
Mark 12:32–34 NIV84
“Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.
Mark 12:32-
How close to the Kingdom of God are you?
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