5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (NIV)
The word ‘love’ in our passage today refers to ‘pure affection.’ This is more than a strong affection. It is the difference between being ‘in love’ and loving with all our hearts. Being in love is easy. Loving with all our hearts requires selfless maturity.
When two people first begin a romantic relationship, there is affection. We see these people and our soul experiences a frenzied sensation from a desire to be with them. We find ourselves thinking about them during the day. But as romantic relationships move to the long-term, affection is not always what we feel. Frustration, irritation, and apathy may characterize certain moments of the relationship. It is at this point that we can discern how deep our affection is for those people.
In the beginning, these relationships take nothing away from us. In romance, those we date do not let them be seen except at their very best. Everything about people at this stage contributes to our well-being and positive disposition. But the Bible would say it is easy to have affection for people who always add to our happiness.
Pure affection does not change in deficit moments. Pure affection is more concerned with contributing to the other than receiving from them. As Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than receive.” Pure affection requires the help of the Holy Spirit. We must seek His help daily to lay aside our natural desire to be indulged to set our goal to be a blessing more than to be blessed. Then we can love with all our heart.
The command today is to love God like this, with pure affection. There are moments in our relationship with the Lord where He allows hardship to give us the opportunity to move from strong affection to pure affection toward Him. Without hardship, we never have this opportunity. And He knows a pure affection for Him allows for greater faithfulness on our part. Greater faithfulness results in greater alignment with Him so that we might think His thoughts, move in His steps and navigate life in His wisdom. God knows this will bring us the best life. But for us to come to this place, first, our strong affection must be purified. This is what it means to love the Lord with all our heart.
Prayer: Lord, help me to lay aside my need for Your indulgence so my love for You may run deeper. Amen.
CarolFebruary 1, 2023 at 11:56 am
my goal is to always be a blessing in someone’s life today and always. Amen
Pastor LeeFebruary 2, 2023 at 11:36 am
I love that Carol!