All Your Heart

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart [emphasis added] and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31 ESV).

Yesterday we looked at the majestic beauty of creation as a motivation for continuing to develop our relationship with our heavenly Father. Today I want us to look into what has become known as “the Great Commandment.” Jesus was asked the question as to the greatest commandment. He answered, “…you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (v. 30). We are going to look at each of these separately for the next few days.

The first is to love God with “all your heart.”  It means to love God with all of your feelings, with all of your emotions and with all your passion. Now, passion is a very hot term in our contemporary culture. People ask, “What’s your passion?” What they’re asking you is what is it that really gets you excited? It could be a certain ideology, social cause, activity, or interest. Perhaps it’s a passion about the theatre, movies, or music; or it could be something as basic as making money, physical fitness, or watching college football. You can be passionate about a lot of things, but the number one passion of your life needs to be your relationship with God.

Think about your relationship with God this way. When you first came to Christ there was no problem in feeling passionate about God. You had a hunger for the word, to be in worship, and to tell others about Christ. You were excited about it and there was a very real passion rooted in your mind. As time went by and life presented its many challenges and opportunities, it became easy for other things to become a higher priority. That’s our natural response to everything. New things, new relationships, new seasons of our life are always more exciting in the beginning. As we settle into the routine of those things, we simply don’t feel as passionate about them any longer. If we were talking about your marriage, we might be tempted to think we were no longer “in love.” The truth is that we simply let our passion shift to the next newest thing. The solution is not someone or something new. The solution is to change our focus. We accomplish that by revisiting what we already know through our experience. Remember the great gift God has given to you; recall the incredible wonder of His grace; and, recount the many blessings of His presence. How’s your heart?