This is the first commandment, and it was the first memory verse in our book What Happens When Women Say Yes to God by Lysa TerKeurst. Jesus repeatedly told us this in both the Old and New Testaments. So why? Why is it the first commandment?
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophet.” Matthew 22:37-40 (KJV)
Loving God should not be an option for us, but it is. He has freely given us that option. It is a commandment, but…… Do you love something or someone more than God, the King of Kings, the Creator? I think we can all relate to loving our families, our pets, and even some friends or earthly things in this manner, but we should not love them more than our Father. I truly believe there have been times in the past where I loved my husband so very much, and placed him on a pedestal so high that he might have occasionally been my hero above my King. That’s sad to say today as I think about it, but I am happy to say that just spending time with my King has shown me He has first place in my life.
What does loving God with ALL our hearts mean? I looked up the definition of all in Merriam Webster. Here is what I found:
- nothing but, only
- the whole amount
- completely taken up with, given to, or absorbed by
- as much of
We should love nothing but our God. He is the only God – the whole. We should be completely absorbed in Him desiring as much of Him as possible.
Simply said we should love as Jesus loves.
Think about this. When you love someone, you want to do anything for them. When we love God completely and care for others like He cares for us, only then will we have fulfilled His commandments to love with ALL our hearts, souls and minds and only then will we fulfill Matthew 22:37
Can you love God too much? No, No, No – absolutely NOT – NEVER! What does He ask of us? It is so, so simple – that we love as He loves us! Everything God does for each one of us is because of His love for us. He gave His son (Jesus) to die for us. We should love Him that much in return? We should love others as He does. We should do for others as He does.
This week’s memory verse is straight forward. The more I study the Bible, the more I grow in His word and the more I grow each day in love with Him. The more I love Him, the more I will be equipped to love others, and desire to love others.
What does it mean to love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind? I can never love the Lord too much. It is impossible. I think I will always fall short of loving Him with all my heart. He has to be center stage – first place every day in all I do because my relationship with Him will affect and impact everyone and every thing in my life, and that includes all future generations.
So what can we do to improve upon loving God with all our hearts, souls, and strength? These are some of the things I have incorporated in my own life over the years. Trust me it has taken time. It did not happen over night, but over years for me:
- Daily seeking Him through Bible study and prayer
- Worship Him – Praise Him as I study, as I clean, as I minister, as I drive in my car with praise music or a sermon on the radio
- Seeking fellowship with other Christians at church, on-line Bible studies, at work
- Acknowledging Him in all areas of my life whether it is bad or good
- Acknowledging Him in daily in my conversations with others and wherever I go
Here are some verses that I believe will also help:
- WHATEVER I do each and every day, His glory should govern every act and motive. (1 Corinthians 10:31)
- MEDITATE on His Word each day. Rise up early (my favorite time to spend with Him). PRAY. (Psalm 119:97)
- SEEK Him each day and find Him in all I do. SEEK him when I look around at all He has blessed me with – my family, home, job, a sunset, a sunrise, birds, clouds, flowers around my home. (Jeremiah 29:13)
- TREASURE His Word that I might not sin. (Psalm 119:11)
- REMEMBER in bad times and goods not to be discouraged and to give thanks know that He is working all things together for our good (Romans 8:28).
- FELLOWSHIP with Him all through the day in all I do gazing upon His beauty. (Psalm 27:4)
- DELIGHT each day to do His will (Psalm 40:8).
- CONTENT in knowing He will never leave me nor forsake me. (Hebrews 13:5).
PRAISE him, SING to Him, and DECLARE His glory. (1 Chronicles 16: 23-24) PRAISE His holy name (Psalm 103:1)
- SEEK Him with all my heart and FIND Him (Jeremiah 29:13)