05 Mar Love God and Allow Him to Love Through You
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with 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: 28-31
To the love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength means to love God with a wholeheartedness that holds nothing back from Him. At the heart level it means that you are to bring your whole heart to Him and love Him more than anything else in life. To love Him with all your soul means to be more passionate in living for Him than any other pursuit in life.
To love Him with your mind means to make a commitment to have the mind of Christ in all things and walk in purity of heart and mind before Him. To love him with all your strength means to put God first in all things and to give Him the best of your efforts, your time and your talents.
In today’s American culture, there are a lot of things that we can end up loving in this life, that can sometimes become too important to us. We love good food! Some of us love Thai food, some of us love Chinese food, and some of us love any kind of food! We love Ice Cream! In Seattle, we love our coffee! We love the Seahawks, the Mariners, and the guys on sports radio still talk about what we can do to get an NBA team back in Seattle.
I am struck by how far short I live of this ideal of loving God wholeheartedly. I am inspired by these words to live for God with all that is within me. These days I find the Holy Spirit drawing me into constant intercession for the people I pastor. I yearn for people to experience all that God has for them. This world has so much to offer that actually amounts to fool’s gold. I want to pursue the true riches that are only found in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. That relationship with Him helps me to be very rich in my relationship with my wife, my children and my friends. But, we also need to remember the last part of this command: I need to love my neighbors as I love myself. That takes time and sometimes some hard work! Sometimes that means doing something tangible of service to the people who live right next to us and across the street from us. Sometimes that means serving as a volunteer in our public schools; sometimes that means feeding the homeless on Saturdays. And it’s always worth it when we know we have obeyed the Lord by serving people.
Father God, I come to You today to offer my whole heart, soul, mind and strength. I love You Lord and I lift my voice to worship You and live for You. Come Lord Jesus and fill me with your your Holy Spirit so that I may please You in all my thoughts, words and actions. Give me opportunities to tangibly love my neighbors. Help me to be a visible expression of your love, so that people will know that God is truly for real.