History of Redemption: Blog Post 36
(So) LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. - Matthew 22:37 NASB; 1 John 2:15 ESV.
“God has a single relentless stance toward us: He loves us” (Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel). Now Jesus tells us that WE are called to a single relentless stance toward God, that we love Him. This verse does not suggest love is some fleeting feeling that you may or may not have at any given time. It is a command. You are to love the Lord your God. You are to love Him with the entirety of your being. You are to love Him with all of your faculties. And you are to be active, not passive, in this pursuit.
How do you love God with all your heart? You do so by reminding yourself daily of the great price that was paid for your salvation. You do so by preaching the gospel to yourself every day, and every night. You do so by remembering constantly how much He loves you.
How do you love God with all your soul? You do so by taking time to meditate on the glorious attributes of God, His goodness, mercy, love, holiness, righteousness, jealousy, wrath, omnipotence, perfection, beauty and glory, and then worshiping Him in light of these attributes. You do so by quieting your mind from the distractions of this world and allowing His Holy Spirit to come and fellowship with you.
How do you love God with all your mind? You do so by seeking greater and greater knowledge about Him. The amount of knowledge about God that we have access to through His word is astounding! If only we will take the time to chew on it, to feast on it, to humble ourselves beneath it, and to let it transform our minds in light of eternity.
It is fitting that the second verse above accompanies the first, because it is the world and the things of the world that will cause us to stumble and fall as we seek to Love God with all our hearts, souls and minds. We are a people created to worship, but that worship is so easily focused on the wrong god, on a god that is no god at all, and therefore lacking in worthiness to be worshiped. We must guard ourselves CONSTANTLY against the idols that seek to distract us from our God. This too is an active process. The second you allow yourself to be passive in this, is the moment that the idols of your heart will overtake you. Do not be passive in your pursuit of God. Love Him, with everything you have, continuously, relentlessly, passionately. You will find in the end that He alone is worthy of your love.
“All thoughts, all passions, all delights,
Whatever stirs this mortal frame,
All are but ministers of Love,
And feed his sacred flame.” - Samuel Taylor Coleridge
“If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing ...... So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love” - 1 Corinthians 13.