MAR 05  / Sunday | Series: Impossible Commands – Read Mark 12:28-31

Overview: None of us love God or our neighbor the way he commanded us to. So how does Jesus expect us to obey what seems impossible?

06 / Mon – “I can’t help falling in love…”  |  Read Mark 12:28-31

Love is a popular topic in our culture. It inspires our song lyrics and is the theme of many books and movies. We fall in (or out of) love. It’s not something we chose. It just happens. Or so we believe. Yet, in the Old Testament, God commands his people to love and Jesus reiterated that command. It seems impossible. Is it because we misunderstand that love isn’t just a feeling but also a choice?

07 / Tue – How well do you know Him?  |  Read Psalm 19:1-4a / John 14:7-9

Love God? “I can’t. I’m sorry. Please help me.” That is an honest prayer God will answer. The better you know him, the greater your capacity to love him. So what do you know about God as a person? The first thing to understand? He is good – his heart toward you, his intentions, his plans for you – all good. He understands you and he is for you. He reveals himself through nature, through his Word, and through the life Jesus lived. Will you ask him to show you what he is really like?

08 / Wed – What next?  |  Read John 14:23-24 / 1 John 2:3-6

How can you move forward in following this command to love God with ALL your heart, soul, mind and strength? How do you put into action your desire to love him above all else? Maybe it starts with honest self-assessment. What temptations do you most easily fall into? What are the things (maybe even good ones) that steal your time and attention away from the Lord? How often do you talk to him? What keeps you from listening? Where do your strongest loyalties lie? What changes do you need to make? Next, take an action step. The Lord gives the power to change.  

09 / Thu – Loving your neighbors  |  Read Mark 12:31 / Matthew 5:43-48

Who are your ‘neighbors’? Are you loving them well? In Impossible Commands, Jonty Allcock labels a love that spontaneously arises when you meet a likable person as reactive love and compares it with what it takes to love someone you can barely tolerate (active love). Who fits into that second category for you? Write their name _________. Admit you can’t love them. Own the guilt because God sees your heart and knows when you don’t even want to. Then ask him to show you how to love that person with active love. Maybe you’ll want to start by praying for them regularly?

10 / Fri – The logic of love and the ability to do so  |  Read 1 John 4:7-11 and 19-21

Sometimes we bask in God’s love for us, forgetting he loves that difficult person next-door just as much. Shocking, right? John does a masterful job in 1 John 4 of showing the rationale behind what Jonty Allcok calls the ‘logic of love’ especially 4:10-11. And the gospels demonstrate how Jesus, our example, loved others. If you pray “I can’t and don’t even want to- I’m sorry- please help me” God can open your eyes to next steps. Whatever HE commands is accompanied by HIS power to obey.

11 / Sat – Why these two commands are so important  |  Read Matthew 22:35-40, esp. v. 40

Think of a typical clothes closet. There is usually a horizontal rod sturdily attached at each end so it can hold many hangers on which you place your clothes. What happens if one end gives way? The result is a chaotic mess! This is what Jesus is saying about these two commands. Both of them are essential, the two prerequisites on which the rest of your life hangs, and in this order: first, love God wholeheartedly and then let his love flow through you to others. Is this the standard you measure your life and actions by? It must be.

The GPS (Grow, Pray, Study) Guide provides Scripture and insights to enhance your journey, whether you’re just starting to explore the Christian faith or are a long-time Christian.

If you have a question or comment about the GPS Guide, please send it to: [email protected]

The GPS (Grow, Pray, Study) Guide provides Scripture and insights to enhance your journey, whether you’re just starting to explore the Christian faith or are a long-time Christian.