Bible Reading: John 11:1-19
Did you know that what the entire Old Testament and every one of the commandments teaches us to do can be summed up in one single sentence? Yep, here it is…“Love God with everything that you’ve got.” And the really cool thing is that that sentence is based on another sentence…”God loves you with everything that He’s got.” It is that second sentence that enables us to keep the first sentence. Check this out.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
Well, that’s it. They voted and Jean-Luc Picard won. That’s right. You do remember who Picard is, don’t you? Oh, come on! You know…Star Trek. Captain of the USS Star Ship Enterprise. You’ve got to know who I am talking about. Aren’t you a Trekkie…a fan of Star Trek? Just in case you recently fell through a wormhole and don’t know what I am talking about…Star Trek is a sci-fi television and movie series about a space ship and its crew. Surely you remember their mission…
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no man has gone before!
Oh, that Star Trek. Well, yeah. Is there any other?
So anyways, when the Enterprise was commissioned it was given a Prime Directive. That means a command of all commands. It is the most important of all of their commands. Everything that they did would ultimately be determined by this command. What was it? The Prime Directive (also known as Starfleet General Order 1 or General Order 1) was a guiding principle of the United Federation of Planets prohibiting the crew of the Enterprise from interfering with the internal development of alien civilizations. They could not help, or hinder, the development of the aliens that they encountered in their travels across the universe.
Not long ago, they took a pole to determine which Captain of the Star Ship Enterprise had done the best job at keeping the Prime Directive. 27,000 fans voted and the winner is… Oh, yeah, I’ve already told you…Jean-Luc Picard. But, I didn’t tell you who came in next. They were…#2-Kathryn Janeway, #3-Benjamin Sisko, #4-James T. Kirk, and #5-John Archer.
On many episodes of Star Trek the Prime Directive took central stage as the Captain had a vital decision make. If he decided one way…then it would affect an alien civilization…but, it would spare the lives of crew members of the Enterprise. However, if he decided to take another course…then the alien civilization would be left undisturbed…but, it would cost the lives of many crew members. What to do? Ultimately, there was no decision for the Captain to make. You see, the decision had already been made by the Prime Directive. Just follow the Prime Directive…no matter what.
And so it seems that fans believe that Picard upheld the Prime Directive more effective than any of the other Captains.
Did you know that Christians have a Prime Directive? That’s right. Our Prime Directive is to love God with everything that we’ve got and everything that we are. All of our life, all of our decisions, all of our actions, all of our…well, you name it…is to be guided by that one command. But there is something important to keep in mind. John, the author of this Gospel, also wrote a letter. In it, he says that the reason that we can love God…is because God first loved us (1 John 4:19). God started it all. God loves us. There are times when you need to remember that God loves you.
Let me give you an example from the Bible…from right where we are reading, today. It seems that Jesus had a friend named Lazarus, who had become very ill. In fact, he was so sick, that before Jesus would get to his home he would die. Now, the story ends with a miracle…Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. But for several days, before Jesus got there, Lazarus lay dead in the tomb and it seemed hopeless. But listen to this. His sisters, Mary and Martha, kind of suggested that if Jesus had gotten there a little sooner He could have been able to stop Lazarus from dying. I have to tell you something…if it was me…I would not be the one to be critical of Jesus…just sayin’. At any rate, remember that when John wrote this Gospel all of this had already happened and he knew there would be a happy ending. However, he also knew that there may be people who read the Gospel who didn’t know the happy ending and halfway through the story they would join with Mary and Martha and get critical of Jesus…and like I said… if it was me…I would not be the one to be critical of Jesus…just sayin’. I don’t think that John wanted people to get ahead of the story and be critical of Jesus, either. So, he says something veeery (I spelled it right) important at the beginning of the story that sets the stage for what is about to happen. In a way, John reminds them of God’s Prime Directive. He says, “Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.” That’s it, right there. When John wrote those words, He was telling the reader that no matter what they read in the next several sentences…Jesus loved Martha, and Mary, and Lazarus…and there was nothing that would happen that was not in keeping with that love…with the Prime Directive. Jesus loved them…and that love is the premise on which the rest of the story is told. John is telling his readers that if they will remember that, everything else will be okay. Everything else will make sense. God is in control. Don’t forget it…“Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.”
Now, listen closely. There is a good chance that at some time in your life something is going to happen and you need Jesus to fix it. You need Him to do it, now. Not tomorrow. Not tonight. Now. But it doesn’t happen. Jesus doesn’t fix what you want fixed. Kind of like how it happened with Lazarus. Here are your options. Option #1-be like Mary and Martha. Get critical. Have I told you that…if it was me…I would not be the one to be critical of Jesus…just sayin’? I thought so. Option #1 is not good. Jesus will still love you (remember the Prime Directive)…but you will miss out on an opportunity to express your faith and show God your love in return. So, Option #2-remember the Prime Directive…God loves you and there was nothing that will happen that is not in keeping with that love…and trust God. I know, it looks good on paper and it makes sense. But believe me, on the day that you need to remember that…it’s probably not going to look so good on paper and it will not make sense. But regardless, do it. Trust God. Even in the most difficult, craziest, worst day of your life…trust God. He loves you with an ever-lasting love and He will not allow anything to happen in your life that is not in keeping with that love. Trust Him. There…that is your Prime Directive…love God with everything that you are.
Love you more than bunches and bunches,