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What Does It Mean to Love God with All My Heart? Manage It (Victorious in Christ) Monday

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Faith's Firm Foundation: What Does It Mean to Love God with All My Heart? Manage It (Victorious in Christ) Monday

Sunday, March 13, 2011

What Does It Mean to Love God with All My Heart? Manage It (Victorious in Christ) Monday

Credit: Pinkpucca
We say we love chocolate and we love God.  What does it mean to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.  We've heard this verse so often, our eyes glaze over when we read it.  Jesus said this is the first commandment--the most important.

What does it mean? We think we know what love means, don't we.  I was surprised.

This is the definition from the 1828 Websters dictionary:
1. In a general sense to be pleased with; to regard with affection, on account of some qualities which excite pleasing sensations or desire of gratification. We love a friend, on account of some qualities which give us pleasure in his society. We love a man who has done us a favor; in which case, gratitude enters into the composition of our affection. We love our parents and our children, on account of their connection with us, and on account of many qualities which please us. We love to retire to a cool shade in summer. We love a warm room in winter. We love to hear an eloquent advocate. The Christian loves his Bible.

"In short, we love whatever gives us pleasure and delight, whether animal or intellectual;

When I read this, the word delight jumped out at me! It made me think of one of my favorite verses.

Delight thyself also in the LORD: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.
Psalm 37:4

In this verse, it's a command to "delight thyself," so we must be capable of producing delight by a conscious initiative on our part, not just responding to something which pleases our "flesh"...

If we "love" what delights us and gives us pleasure, it makes sense to me that we must foster delight--cultivate it--in our Lord.  We must create an environment in which love can grow.  Like a newly started houseplant, we can starve it or feed it!  If we starve love and delighting in the Lord:  neglecting time alone with Him, not communicating with God in prayer or listening to what He has to say through His Word, not allowing Him entrance into our lives' concerns, but closing Him out "unless and until we need Him"--we will wake up one day to find love has died--like most of my neglected house plants.  But, in reality, we have killed it.
We are creatures made to delight in something.  If we do not delight ourselves in the Lord, we need only look around to find we have transferred our delight to something or someone else, by allowing it our attention and time and giving it ample opportunity to delight us. That is a competing affection. (I'll be talking more about competing affections next week.)

Does the Lord have all my heart? Does He have yours? Or is anything or anyone competing with the Lord for your affections?
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