Luke 10:27-29 (NLT)- 27 The man answered, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” 28 “Right!” Jesus told him. “Do this and you will live!” 29 The man wanted to justify his actions, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
Our deepest motivations for following Jesus always come from the outside, not the inside. We do not begin with what we do for him, but with what he has done for us. Everything in the Christian life flows from the grace that God has for us in Jesus Christ. [Loving Jesus More, Ryken, p.52]
When we don’t know how much we have been loved by God, it becomes our natural tendency to probe the borders in order to define who to love and who not to love. When we don’t encounter the extravagant grace of God for us, we end up trying to define the boundaries of our love for Jesus rather than loving Jesus with everything.
Let’s encounter afresh his great love for us. Let’s come to the Lord in prayer, confessing that God has loved us first, and sent Jesus to die for us while we were still sinners. May the Spirit lead us to a renewed amazement at God’s grace and mercy for us. Let’s worship to the song “Amazing Grace” (click here) by Hillsong.
Psalm 119:34-35 (NIV)- 34 Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart. 35 Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.
If we want to love Jesus with all we have, we should read his Word the way a lover would, as a message from our beloved. Whenever we open our Bibles, we should pray, “Lord Jesus, I’m not just here for these words; I am here for you, and for the love message you want to send from your heart to mine.” God has promised to meet us in his Word, which makes Bible-reading a place to rendezvous with our Savior… When we respond to his invitation, we are loving God. [Loving Jesus More, Ryken, p.48]
How wonderful it is that God has given us his word. Jesus, the one whom we love, is not silent but speaks to us in the scriptures. Let’s respond to Jesus’ invitation and ask him to speak to us today in an intimate and personal way through the scriptures. Spend time reading God’s word. Let’s worship to the song “Loves Goes On”(click here) by Hillsong.
Mark 12:29-30 (NLT)- 29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’
When the Bible tells us to love God with mind, heart, soul, and strength, it is not telling us to do four different things but giving us four different ways to do one and the same thing. Moses was not trying to make a careful distinction between heart and soul, and when Jesus added the word “mind,” he was not giving a new commandment. The point is to love God with everything we have. This is driven home by almost poetic repetition. In adding “all your mind” and “all your strength” to “all your heart” and “all your soul,” Jesus makes the strongest possible claim on our affections. [Loving Jesus More, Ryken, p.46]
The Spirit activates and stirs our whole being into greater affection for Jesus. We don’t have to get fixated on individual parts. Rather, ask and trust the Lord to lift our whole lives in love for Jesus. Let’s worship to the song “All in All” (click here) by Phil Wickham.
Luke 18 (NLT/MSG)- 28 Peter said to him, “We have left everything we had to follow you!” 29 “Yes,” said Jesus, “and you won’t regret it. I assure you that everyone who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, 30 will be repaid many times over in this life, and will have eternal life in the world to come.”
Loving Jesus with everything is demonstrated by sacrificial living for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Every hour spent in prayer for the sake of the Kingdom of God is an hour not doing something for ourselves. Every hour spent in loving others in ministry is an hour we lost living for ourselves. We could have been sleeping. We could have been doing laundry, or catching up on assignments, or exercising. However, Jesus assures us that when we love him with every part of our lives, we don’t have to fear any loss. In fact, our lives are enriched. Not just enriched when Jesus comes back, but enriched “in this life”. Loving Jesus with everything affords us the opportunity to experience the most blessed life now while we’re alive before Jesus comes back!
As we grow in loving Jesus with everything, ask that may we experience the immediate impacts of God’s blessing here and now. Let’s worship to the song “Holy Overshadowing”(click here) by Graham Kendrick.
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 (NLT)-4 “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.”
Have you ever heard of the expression, “Too much of good thing is a bad thing”? Or “Too much of a good thing is not a good thing”? The idea behind these expressions is that we should be careful not to over indulge in certain areas of life. These expressions advocate the idea that being too excessive in some things can be detrimental to us, that it’s possible to go overboard and harm ourselves. That might work for different things in life like drinking or desserts or sweets, but it won’t work with our love for Jesus. There is no loving Jesus in moderation. There is no loving Jesus in a measured way. Our love for Jesus is to be excessive and overflowing. Our love for Jesus is to be with everything.
Let’s ask the Spirit to increase our love for Jesus, that it would encompass all areas of our lives. Let’s worship to the song “More Like Jesus” (click here) by Passion.