20th March 2020

Impossible Commands

“For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
Mark 12:44 (ESV)

As Jesus and his disciples were people watching, he highlighted the example of the widow whose love for God was so great and consuming that she gave all she had. In this humble display of giving and great sacrifice she chose, in an act of obedience to God and faithfulness, to allow her desire for God to take precedence over all other concerns.

We are not told much else about this lady and perhaps I am reading too much into the story. However, this passage contrasts attitudes: pretence with sincerity, and pride with humility. It reminds us that God wants to get to the heart of the matter. In our humanity we know we can’t achieve perfect love and obedience, but thankfully “God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us”(Romans 5:5). Therefore, we live in hope as part of the community of faith while reaching out to the world to give our offering, our ‘two mites,’ like the widow. It means something and makes a difference.

“The greatest command in all the world is that we should love God.”* It is a love based in obedience, fidelity, desire and choice. This love saturates the Christian mind, influences the thoughts and provides the motivation for actions. When through God’s grace we know and live this truth and obey the inherent command to love God and neighbour we “are not far from the kingdom of God” (Mark 12:34).

Jesus was asked “Which commandment is the most important of all?” (Mark 12:28) The answer is shown in what we think, say and do. To summarise Allcock; we can’t truly love in our own power, we must be honest with God (and ourselves), we need to pray for help in our time of need and now we go in grace to perform our labour of love. “It will be a lifetime battle, but there is joy here. Deep and lasting joy.”* A joy from being in communion with God and sharing in extravagant generous love.

Prayer
Loving Father, help us to love, hear and obey. May we reflect your heart loving with all our being. In Jesus’ name we pray.
Amen

Study by David Gibbs

* Allcock, J. (2019) Impossible Commands. The Good Book Co:UK p55

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About the Author:
David Gibbs in an Elder and Pastoral Worker for Grace Communion International in Northern England, the Midlands and Wales.

Local Congregation:
Gracecom Birmingham
All Saints Church
George Road
BIRMINGHAM
B23 7QB

Meeting Time:
Saturday 1:00pm

Local Congregational Contact:
David Gibbs
Phone: 07777-667635
Email: birmingham@gracecom.church