Mark 12:33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
I have for some time now wondered how people were defining the word ALL? It is not a menacing word, yet it seems to be one many desire to redefine. Hence, it fits into a category that suits one’s current lifestyle or interpretation of what it highlights as action servants are called to do within our Father’s first commandment.
Here is where the difference between coping and dealing really stands out. Here is where we see how one Coping with life will redefine the word “ALL” to suit their belief of what righteousness is and how they are walking within that righteousness as commanded by God in His first commandment.
For those redefining the word ALL, within this definition of righteousness, their sacrifices will only represent the atonements for men’s transgressions of the moral law; they were of no power except they expressed repentance and faith in the promised Saviour, and lead to moral obedience. And because they have not thus loved God and man, but the very reverse, therefore, condemned sinners; needing repentance and mercy.
Whereas one dealing with life knows and accepts the meaning of ALL and commits themselves fully to enacting to the best of their ability to fulfill that commandment, even to the point of dying if necessary.
This knowledge of the law leads to a conviction of sin, repentance, the discovery of our need for mercy, and understanding the way of justification by Christ.
The great commandment, which indeed includes all, is that of loving God with all our hearts. Wherever this is the ruling principle in the soul, there is a disposition to every other duty. Loving God with all our heart will engage us to everything by which he will be pleased.
Thus sinners think, by justifying themselves, to escape being judged of the Lord. The noise the cattle made, like the rust of the silver, James 5:3, witnessed against him. Many boast of obedience to the command of God; but what means then their indulgence of the flesh, their love of the world, their angry and unkind spirit, and their neglect of holy duties, which witness against them? See of what evil covetousness is the root; and see what is the sinfulness of sin, and notice that in it which above any thing else makes it evil in the sight of the Lord; it is disobedience: “Thou didst not obey the voice of the Lord” Carnal, deceitful hearts, like Saul, think to excuse themselves from God’s commandments by what pleases themselves. It is hard to convince the children of disobedience. But humble, sincere, and conscientious obedience to the will of God, is more pleasing and acceptable to him than all burnt-offering and sacrifices. God is more glorified and self more denied, by obedience than by sacrifice. It is much easier to bring a bullock or lamb to be burned upon the altar, than to bring every high thought into obedience to God, and to make our will subject to his will. Those are unfit and unworthy to rule over men, who are not willing that God should rule over them.
God speaks many ways to the children of men; by conscience, by providences, by his voice, to all which we ought carefully to attend; but he never spake at any time so as he spake the TEN COMMANDMENTS. This law God had given to man before; it was written in his heart; but sin so defaced it, that it was necessary to revive the knowledge of it. The law is spiritual, and takes knowledge of the secret thoughts, desires, and dispositions of the heart. Its grand demand is love, without which outward obedience is mere hypocrisy. It requires perfect, unfailing, constant obedience; no law in the world admits disobedience to itself. Whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all, James 2:10. Whether in the heart or the conduct, in thought, word, or deed, to omit or to vary any thing, is sin, and the wages of sin is death.
It is common with people not to apply to Christ till they have tried in vain all other helpers, and find them, as certainly they will, physicians of no value. Some run to diversions and gay company; others plunge into business, or even into intemperance; others go about to establish their own righteousness, or torment themselves by vain superstitions. Many perish in these ways; but none will ever find rest to the soul by such devices; while those whom Christ heals of the disease of sin, find in themselves an entire change for the better. As secret acts of sin, so secret acts of faith, are known to the Lord Jesus. The woman told all the truth. It is the will of Christ that his people should be comforted, and he has power to command comfort to troubled spirits. The more simply we depend on Him, and expect great things from him, the more we shall find in ourselves that he is become our salvation. Those who, by faith, are healed of their spiritual diseases, have reason to go in peace.
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