Friday, January 6, 2012

Love the Lord your God Pt 1

Love the Lord your God with all your heart
and with all your soul
and with all your mind
and with all your strength.
Mark 12:30

What does it look like to love the Lord with your heart, soul, mind and strength? The kids at our church have started to sing a song  with this verse (and it sounds wonderfully sweet) and it got me to thinking - what does this look like with my skin on it? What does it mean for me to love my God with all I have? And of course since I wondered about it, I thought you might be interested as well.

So, let's break it down over the next few days.

1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart.

What is a practical application for this our daily lives? Jesus said, "If you love me, keep my commands." [John 14:15]. So we show our love for God by striving to keep His commandments. In order to do this, we must know the commandments. We will talk more about that when we discuss the "mind". But for now we are on the heart issue.
Do you know what it is like to obey with all your heart? Obeying because you love God and trust Him, not because you feel forced? Here is an illustration of a child and her Dad.
Sally was sitting in church with her family. It came time to stand for worship, but Sally wanted to remain seated so that she could draw some more on the weekly bulletin (she was working on a pretty fancy picture of a princess and just knew God would understand her not standing for this one song). Her dad gave her "the look" that meant she had better stand up, however, she remained seated. Now her dad leaned over and whispered a gentle reminder of the consequences of disobeying. Sally stood up, however, she still had a defiant heart. She was not obeying because she loved God or even her dad. She was obeying so she would not be punished. She was standing on the outside, but still "sitting down" in her heart.
We need to choose to obey God with our whole heart because we love Him with our whole heart. Pray for God to shine His light on a commandment that you can work on.

One that the Holy Spirit has convicted me on is found in the Proverbs:

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

God commands me to have a gentle and quiet spirit and all to often, I react in my flesh to my husband and children (the ones I love the most) with harsh words instead of soft answers. I want to please God with my words because I love Him - therefore, I will choose to work (with the help of the Holy Spirit) on this with my whole heart.

How about you? Is there a part of your heart that is still "sitting down"? Won't you lay that on the altar and start loving the Lord your God with all your heart?

Be sure to come back for the next part,  Love the Lord your God with all your soul.

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