The Five Stones:
This week we will focus on the first half of Stone 1 as we answer the question "what are we to do as we follow Jesus?" This week, we will seek to understand and apply the Great Commandment that God calls His people to love God and love others. This commandment is the heart of God's Kingdom. Loving God and loving others is what followers of Jesus are called to do.
Daily Scripture Reading:
Monday, October 12: Deuteronomy 10:12-22
As the Israelites prepared to enter the promised land, Moses asked and answered the question, "What does the Lord require of you?" Very clearly, Moses explained that God calls His people to love God and love others. What reasons does Moses give for this way of life? What are the tangible actions of love that God's people are called to demonstrate?
Tuesday, October 13: Micah 6:6-8
Even though God instituted the sacrificial system, it had always been clear that religious ritual was never the main point. The true requirements of God are not religious rituals, but loving hearts and actions toward God and others. People went to the Temple and sacrificed animals because they had failed to do the requirements of God. What religious rituals are you tempted to make the "main point" instead of genuine love for God and others?
Wednesday, October 14: Luke 10:25-37
In this famous passage, Jesus makes clear that the heart of God's Kingdom (eternal life) is loving God that overflows in love for others. The Good Samaritan is a picture of the sacrificial love that God has demonstrated to us and the tangible love that we are called to show to our neighbor. How will you live as a neighbor today?
Thursday, October 15: James 2:8-26
Even the early followers of Jesus were tempted to view faith in God merely as knowledge apart from loving action. James strongly points out how foolish this is by explaining that even demons know who God is, but refuse to live His way of life. As Martin Luther famously said, "We are saved by faith alone, but not by faith that remains alone. If our faith in God doesn't overflow into tangible love for God and others, then we must examine the authenticity of our faith.
Friday, October 16: 1 John 4:7-21
Real love is God's faithful, sacrificial pursuit of us, not the fleeting feelings we often call "love." We are called to love as God has loved us. This kind of love is a response to the overwhelming love of God demonstrated in Jesus Christ. His love enables us to love and our love reveals Him to others. If you are struggling to love someone today, the answer is to look more intently at the love that has been shown you by God. Never take for granted the depth and riches of God's love. Only in His love can our hearts be truly set right.