Loving the Lord
Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (NIV)
This is one of the Scriptures that Jesus quotes in the New Testament. He is asked by a religious leader and lover of the law which was the greatest commandment. Of all the commandments in the Old Testament, Jesus quotes Deuteronomy.
We throw the word ‘love’ around so easily these days. In my counseling, I continually hear people proclaim their love for one another while engaged in some of the most disrespectful rhetoric and behavior. Our society has limited love to a warm affection we might have toward someone when we think of them.
Even couples on the verge of divorce, when they can slow down the vitriol, still have a warm affection for that person. They will still say they love them many times and admit they had some good times together. Almost every parent has a warm affection for their children, but this does not preclude them from emotional or even physical abuse when they lose their temper. Love must be redefined.
If love were only this small, how easy it would be to follow this commandment to love God with all our hearts. But love is so much more than this.
Here is a shameless plug for my last book which is all about this passage. It’s called With All Your Heart and I would encourage you all to get it and read it. I trust the Spirit will use it to do great things in you and for you.
Love is doing what honors and what is best for the other all the time. This requires sacrifice and suffering. How well do we sacrifice our own agenda, passions, and desires to honor God first? The answer could be found in all the times we sin. Or even when we don’t commit overt sin, but ignore His requests, this is a diminished love.
The passions of our heart must be removed from self and placed upon Him and this requires a deeply spiritual transformational process for life. We need the help of the Spirit to be transformed. Transformation begins as we know the depth of God’s love for us. As we are transformed, His promise is to make our paths straight, to lead us into a spiritually promised land of abundant life.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, fill me with Your power to know the vast love of God for me and transform me from the inside out. Amen.