Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind and with all your strength.’ And here is the second one. ‘Love your neighbor as you love yourself.’ There is no commandment more important than these.” – Mark 12:30-31 (NIrV)
Big Idea: Loving God and others helps us become like Jesus.
Have you ever seen someone act like a turkey? I don’t mean trotting around the yard, gobbling and eating acorns. I’m talking about someone who is acting selfish. Some people show it by whining or complaining. Others fight over toys or refuse to do their part to help out. Still others show it by being greedy or throwing a fit when they don’t get their way.
Unfortunately, sometimes grown-ups act this way too. Take Ahab, for example. Ahab was a king from the Bible. He was wealthy and could have had pretty much whatever he wanted. Except for one thing.
There was a man named Naboth who owned a vineyard near Ahab’s palace. That’s a place where people grow grapes. Ahab thought this vineyard would make a great vegetable garden so he asked Naboth if he could buy it, but Naboth refused.
How did Ahab react? He acted like a royal turkey! The Bible says:
“So Ahab went home. He was angry. He was in a bad mood because of what Naboth from Jezreel had said. He had told Ahab, “I won’t give you the land my family handed down to me.” So Ahab lay on his bed. He was in a very bad mood. He wouldn’t even eat anything” (1 Kings 21:4, NIrV).
Eventually Ahab’s pouting led him to sin. His evil wife came up with a plan to get rid of Naboth and steal the vineyard for the king.
As you can imagine, God was not happy with Ahab. So, he sent a messenger named Elijah to tell the king that he was going to take the kingdom away from Ahab and his family.
Why did Ahab act like such a turkey? Because he was just thinking about himself. He wasn’t thinking about God or Naboth. It was all about him.
Think About It:
Has that ever happened to you? To be honest, we all have a little turkey in us that comes out sometimes, don’t we? When we just think about ourselves, it leads to all kinds of trouble. But the good news is God can help us to change all that.
Jesus said the most important things we can ever do are to love God with everything in us and to love other people as much as we love ourselves. When we focus on God and others, it tames the turkeys in our lives.
Over the next few weeks we will discover four things we can do to love God and others better. By being thankful, humble, helpful and worshipful, we can have the best Thanksgiving ever and keep the turkeys on the table where they belong.
God, thank you for loving us even when we act like turkeys. Please forgive us and help us to love you and love others this week. Amen.
Talk About It:
What’s one thing you can do this week to put God and others first?
Read More About It:
You can read more about what Jesus said about the greatest commandment in Mark 12:28-34.
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