Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Loving God with All Your Heart

Chuckle: "There would be fewer problems with children if they had to chop wood to keep the television going."
Quote: “I did not hear the words you said, instead I heard the love you showed.” --Unknown source
"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these" (Mark 12:30-31 NIV).
What does "with all your heart" mean to you and me? Obviously, when Jesus says we are to love God with all our hearts, he's talking about something much different than the organ in our chests that pumps blood throughout our bodies. In Scripture, the heart is mentioned numerous times and usually describes the very center or totality of your being. All your heart, as used in our passage known as the Great Commandment, includes your appetites, emotions, passions, intellect, will, thoughts, and spirit. One scholar has suggested the Great Commandment might be better translated: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart -- that is with all your soul, mind, and strength."
When you love God completely, with every fiber of your being, then you have fulfilled the intent of God's command. However, I think many of us want to love God with only parts of our hearts. We may love God with our emotions but insist on holding back our passions and wills as private property belonging only to us. That tendency explains God's command to love Him with ALL your heart -- holding nothing back.
God is more interested in the condition of our hearts than he is in our actions for Him. You may be involved in every activity of your church, but activities will not satisfy God and will not cause Him to overlook a disobedient and sinful heart. It doesn't matter how active you are in your church unless you devote yourself to knowing Him and loving Him with all your heart.
As a Christian, you remember full well, the joy, excitement, and peace that entered your heart and life when you first gave your heart to Christ. But over time, temptations of the world may have drawn your heart away and you no longer love God with all your heart. If so, you are being disobedient to the Great Commandment and need to turn your heart back to Him in an attitude of repentance and ask his forgiveness. When you do this, the great joy of your salvation will return and you will be amazed at how clearly you will once again hear God's voice as He reveals His will for your live.
As you face each day life and are uncertain about which course of action to follow in a given situation, just ask yourself which action best demonstrates love for God and love for others. We are reminded that "If anyone says, 'I love God,' yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And He has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother" (I John 4:20 NIV). One of the best indicators that we love God with all our hearts is how we love other people.
Love, Jerry & Dotse


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