Daily Devotionals

3 P's In A Pos: Week 3 - Monday

And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. Mark 12:30

What is the most important thing in your life right now? One of the tell-tale signs of what matters to you is how you spend money. If you take a quick look at your credit card or bank account statement, you will find out what you place value in. If you find that one out of every five purchases is for coffee at Starbucks, you will see that you love coffee. If you enjoy long walks down the isles at Target, you might find multiple charges for at least $50 to $100 every visit. When entertainment is high on your priorities, you might realize that you have spent tons of money on going to the movies. What we spend money on indicates what is most important to us.

In a world that constantly competes for our attention and focus, God calls us to put Him first. The best example of this is found in Mark's gospel. When a teacher of the law asked Jesus, "What is the most important commandment?", Jesus response was one that would have been familiar with the Jewish people who were standing there listening. Jesus quotes the "Shema" from Deuteronomy 6:4, words that Moses had given to the Jewish people before they entered into the Promised Land. He says that the most important command or focus that we can have is to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Jesus was making the point that our attention and focus needs to be on the things of God over everything else.

If we put God first over all other things, it changes our perspective. Instead of being consumed with an addiction, habit, hobby, or sports team, we choose to worship. Rather than pursuing success and accolades at work, we make time for our family and teach our kids about Jesus. Instead of keeping a tight grip on money or possessions, we begin to let go and give generously to those in need and to the things of God. When you make the decision that God comes first over everything else, your relationships, finances, and outlook on life begin to be realigned around Him.

Moving Toward Action

Take some time to think through what is the most important thing in your life right now. Write out below where your time, talents, and resources are being spent. When you take the time to account for these areas, start thinking through changes you need to make to put God first. It could be that you need to start tithing 10 percent, you need to spend less time on your hobbies or at work, or maybe it's that you need to spend more time with your family. Work through what is most important, then write out some ways you plan to put God first.

Going Deeper

Read Mark 12:28-34 (NLT)

One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”

The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth by saying that there is only one God and no other. And I know it is important to love him with all my heart and all my understanding and all my strength, and to love my neighbor as myself. This is more important than to offer all of the burnt offerings and sacrifices required in the law.”

Realizing how much the man understood, Jesus said to him, “You are not far from the Kingdom of God.” And after that, no one dared to ask him any more questions.