Youth Musical – “Surrender”
Scripture Reading: Matthew 22:34-40
When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” He said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” (Matthew 22:34-40)
Monday March 11 — Deuteronomy 6:4-9
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 is known as the Shema. For centuries, these words have been part of Jewish prayer services, passed down from generation to generation. It is a reminder that we worship God, not only because we are in awe of God, but because we love God. We remember that God loves us and is worthy of our love and adoration. Loving God is our primary purpose in life. What does it mean to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might”? How do you express your love for God? How does God’s love for you affect your life?
• Prayer: Loving God, thank you for loving me in ways and for reasons that are beyond my understanding. Increase my love for you. Amen.
Tuesday March 12 — Matthew 22:34-40
When Jesus was asked to name the greatest, or most important, of the many commandments in the Hebrew Scripture, he quoted Deuteronomy 6:5. He then quoted Leviticus 19:18 and said that these verses summarize the primary message of Scripture. These great commandments help us understand God’s priorities for our life. They serve as a lens that helps us focus our attention and our actions. How would you describe your purpose in life? Is your life purpose aligned with God’s purpose for your life? What helps you focus your attention and your action?
• Prayer: God of love, forgive me for failing to love you fully and failing to love my neighbor. Grant me courage to obey your Word. Amen.
Wednesday March 13 — Matthew 18:1-5, Matthew 20:25-28
On more than one occasion, Jesus’ disciples asked him who was the “greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” (Matthew 18:1) It seems that they were jockeying for position in the Kingdom, and were looking for status and recognition. Jesus’ response was to say that in God’s Kingdom greatness looks like humility and service. Jesus clearly had a different definition of greatness than his disciples or the rest of the world. How do you define greatness? How do you feel about Jesus’ definition of greatness? How does Jesus’ definition change your life?
• Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for the teaching and example of Jesus. I am humbled and willing to serve you today. Amen.
Thursday March 14 — Matthew 9:35-38
According to the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ ministry, he called men and women to follow him not only so that they would learn about God and God’s Kingdom, but so that they would also share his ministry and serve God’s purposes in the world. The greatest of Jesus’ disciples are the ones who answer Jesus call to follow him and to serve him in the world. In what ways do you serve God’s purposes in the world? In what ways do you participate in Jesus’ ministry? Do you labor for the harvest?
• Prayer: Merciful God, forgive me when I fail to answer to your call and join you in ministry. Here I am, Lord, use me today. Amen.
Friday March 15 — Matthew 28:16-20
Before he ascended into heaven, Jesus sent his disciples into the world to make more disciples by baptizing and teaching them. The church calls this the “great commission.” It is one of the two “great” pillars that individual Christian life and the Christian community (the Church) is built upon: the great commandments to love God and neighbor, and the great commission to make disciples of Jesus Christ. How is your life built upon the two “great” pillars? In what ways do you participate in the two “great” pillars of the church: loving (worshipping) God and helping make disciples of Jesus Christ?
• Prayer: Almighty God, grant me the courage and desire to be “great.” Increase my ability to love and my willingness to serve. Amen.
Saturday March 16 — 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Second generation Christians, like the apostle Paul, saw themselves as ambassadors for Jesus Christ. They believed they were the resident representatives of the risen Jesus Christ in the world, and that God was using them to share the Good News and invite people to be reconciled to God. To become an ambassador of Jesus Christ is to accept a new identity with a new set of responsibilities. It is what happens when “everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Do you see yourself as an ambassador of Jesus Christ in the world? If you were the only Christian a person ever met, what would they think about Jesus Christ? Does your life inspire anyone to follow Jesus?
• Prayer: Merciful God, by your grace make me a new creation. I am willing to be a resident representative of Jesus Christ in the world. Amen.