You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.
Deuteronomy 6:5 NLT
God is Love, not law. God is not interested in compulsive religiosity. He is unimpressed by punctilious rule keeping. His standing order is crystal clear—love Him with all we are. It is the highest wisdom to place our love for God above all—nothing could make our life sadder than a heart estranged from our Heavenly Father. God expects intensity in our love—half-heartedness is totally unacceptable!
Devotion is more than ideal—it is imperative. To avoid disappointment, we should refuse to give allegiance to counterfeit gods. To avoid heartbreak, we should refuse to give contemporary rivals a hearing. To advance in holiness, we should not be enamored by pleasure or fooled by the treadmill of advancing in social status. To find real joy, we must trade society’s dissatisfying lifestyle for Christ’s restful way and exchange our vicious cycle for His victory celebration.
We should love God with all emotions—being sincere in our feelings. If we consider love’s deepest meaning at Calvary’s cross, we will love our Savior more and prove our love by wholeheartedly obeying Him and affectionately serving Him.
We should love God with all our ego—being serious in our faith. The Holy Spirit sensitizes our conscience to distinguish good and evil. If we wholeheartedly love God, we will love the world through our personality and find ways to creatively serve Him.
We should love God with all our energy—being strong in our focus. Commitment to our Master will motivate us to use our vitality to demonstrate we have a heart for God. We’ll do more than announce to the world that we love God—we will prove it by our actions. The Almighty reinforces us with response-ability for responsibilities. If we surrender wholeheartedly to the King of kings, we can enthusiastically serve Him.
We should love God with all our education—being sharp in our fact finding. Ennobling our mind through daily Scripture intake changes how we think as we wholeheartedly think God’s thoughts. It does not take a great mind to be Jesus’ disciple; it does take all the mind we have. Realizing nothing could make our mind more distressed than to be of a different mind than our Lord, we will seek to intelligently serve Him.
God wants to be more than words to us—He wants to be intertwined with our innermost being. It is not far from where we are to where God is—He is nearer to us than our hands and feet; He is closer than our breathing. We do not reach God by traveling, but by loving.
The best way to live is to fall in love with Love and stay in love with Love. When we give God our heart, He gives us His.
Johnny R. Almond
Pastor, Hull’s Memorial Baptist Church – Friends on a Journey of Faith
Author, Gentle Whispers from Eternity—Scripture Personalized
This devotional based on day 95 of Gentle Whispers from Eternity
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