The Only Compass

“Then Jesus was approached by some Sadducees…”

As they presented an unlikely scenario in Mark 12 (verses 18-23), it is the response Jesus gave that made me pause:  “Your mistake is that you don’t know the Scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God.”  

In considering those profound words, I am reminded that I, too, will head towards error and mistakes – of any kind –  when I don’t take into account these two things: the Word of God and the power of God.  Or – what He says and who He is.  It is His Word and His character (His attributes) that must be my compass in all things.  

That decision that needs to be made?  What’s His Word say?  What’s in keeping with His character? 

That response we want to give?  Is it in line with the Scriptures and who He is?

The thoughts that we allow to occupy our time, the words we choose to listen to?  What would HE say about them?  

In reading the previous chapter, Mark 11, we read that “Jesus was in the center” of the procession (the Triumphant Entry).  I had written in my Bible, “Oh yes, be the center of it all!  Be my center, Who everything revolves around, Who everything is directed toward or focused upon, the most important One – be the center of my thoughts, words, actions, life, home, and all I do, that it may be all about You.”

And I realized the answer to that prayer was given in the response to the Sadducees from so very long ago.  The context is completely different, yes.  But in asking Him to be my center – and yours too – it comes down to being a people who know, and have been and continue to be changed by, His Word and His power.  May His Word and His character be the center of all His people do, say, and represent.  May His Word and His character be the central, shaping influence of His Church.

With these two thoughts in mind, we can pray along with the psalmist:

“Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow.

Lead me by your truth and teach me,

For you are the God who saves me.

All day long I put my hope in you.

Remember, O Lord, your compassion and unfailing love,

Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.

Remember me in the light of your unfailing love, for you are merciful, O Lord.

The Lord is good and does what is right;

He shows the proper path to those who go astray.

He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way.”

Psalm 25:4-9


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