The greatest man who ever lived gave us the greatest command ever given that we might experience the greatest life ever offered.
Last week and this week our headlines are filled with promises from our two national political party conventions. We are hearing an assembly line of speeches promising to “make America great again,” and “put America back to work.” The theme of both parties is for each and every American to have a better life. Promises and politics aside, Jesus, offered us the greatest life ever presented to humankind.
Then one of the scribes came…and asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”
Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. (Mark 12:28-30)
Jesus says this is the greatest command, this is the first thing, the main thing, the indispensable principle for all of life. Jesus gives us four clear ways to love Him and have a laser focus on the greatest life possible.
Heart. First, Jesus says, “love the Lord your God with all your heart.” Do you realize that this is totally impossible with your natural heart? It can’t be done. But, when we give our lives to Christ and become His disciples, we get a new heart. A new heart is our birthright as a Jesus follower. Jeremiah prophecies of this new work of God, “Then I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord; and they shall be My people, and I will be their God, for they shall return to Me with their whole heart.” (Jeremiah 24:7). Ezekiel speaks of a new heart and spirit being poured into us (Ezekiel 11:19-20). As a result of our new life in Christ, it is now possible to love God with all of our heart!
This is about being wholehearted. It takes courage to be wholehearted. The word courage is derived from the latin, cour, and means heart. To love God with all of our heart, to be wholehearted, is the way of courage.
Loving God with all of our heart is about an emotional, intimate, courageous love relationship with Christ. It is the act of daily pouring out our life to Christ in prayer, worship, and conversation. It is a passionate love affection for our Savior.
Loving God with all of our heart involves an affection that grows into enthusiasm. Did you know that enthusiasm is a 17th century word meaning, “possessed by God?” When we contend to love Jesus wholeheartedly, we are transformed into an enthusiastic, energetic, passionate disciple! Loving God wholeheartedly is step one in the journey into the greatest life possible.
On the Road,