“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “Love the Lord 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: 36-39 40
When the Pharisee asked Jesus which commandant was the greatest Jesus replied with the “Great Commandment.” Of course the Pharisee was trying to back Jesus into a corner to trap him but Jesus’ answer was startlingly simple and revolutionary for the time. Moses received the Ten Commandments, and by the time Jesus came into the world there were over 600 “laws” some major some minor, some from great prophets and then some from who knows. Jesus told his disciples and the crowd to obey the law, but do not follow these men the Pharisees; they are hypocrites, “they do not practice what they preach.” Instead they used the law to exalt themselves and oppress the Jewish people, keeping them under their control—keeping themselves in power at all costs. They knew the law, but did not know love.
That was the situation in Jesus’ day, between the “have” and the “have-nots,” and Jesus called them out. He called them a brood of vipers. When relationships are based on power and control it’s not a relationship, its abuse. Our need to be right at all costs proves to be wrong for all the right reasons. When Jesus talked with people he talked of love first; the love of God and love of people and love of self. Love of self? Isn’t that self-centered? No, Jesus is saying if we pour all our love into him we will be transformed and can share God’s love with others; we become a reflection of what Jesus is. Jesus isn’t saying that the Law is not important, he is saying it becomes abusive if love isn’t at the center. If you have ever been thumped over the head by a judgmental bible thumper you’ve been Pharisized. But, the Cross changed everything.
The Bible has a lot to say about our modern day relationships. A lot of people come to Celebrate Recovery because some facet of their life is out of whack. I am convinced that no matter what brings you to CR, sooner or later you will find relational issues at the core of your situation. Relational issues may revolve around God, ourselves and how we perceive ourselves, and of course our relationships with each other. Some may be stunned that our relationship with false gods (idol worship) can create a huge mess in the middle of our human relationships. The price we pay for success; lusting after power, prestige, control, money, and material objects, all this—and more—can be relationally devastating. Anything I put ahead of God is going to create a mess sooner or later. To quote Toby Mac, “I don’t want to gain the whole world and lose my soul.”
How do you know when you are in a healthy relationship? My guess: when each of you gives more than you take. If you have God at the center of your life then you also have his spiritual tool kit to cover the rough spots: love, grace, mercy, forgiveness, faithfulness. A word about forgiveness—in CR and in our Christian faith we need to forgive each other but that doesn’t necessarily mean we are to reconcile the relationship—that is another story all together. Jesus called the Pharisees out and for good reason; he knew they were dishonest and untrustworthy. Jesus paid the price for our sins; past, present and future. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise or hold you to an impossible/immoral standard as a way of keeping you captive.
“Through him everyone who believes is set free from every sin, a justification you were not able to obtain under the Law of Moses.” Acts 13:38-40
“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails…” 1 Corinthians 13: 1-8
God loves you; Jesus died for you; His spirit lives in you! Say Yes to Jesus!
Celebrate Recovery at Crossroads Church Calendar
February 25-March 3, 2019
Friday, March 1: Lesson Night
- 6pm: Our Hospitality Team is preparing a wonderful dinner for you. Please join us for food and fellowship.
- 6:30pm: Please join us for an hour of worship and a recovery message.
- 7:30pm: Open Share Groups.
- 8:30pm: Solid Rock Café