Something is bothering me. This “something” has been bothering me and haunting me for years, yet I daily choose not to address it. It is a question that demands an answer and a statement that demands obedience.
“Love the Lord you God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” – Jesus (Matthew 22:37-37 NIV)
Mark quoted Jesus this way:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” – Mark 12:30 (NIV)
The statement has been made but the question remains, do I love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind and strength? To evaluate this we must ask some other questions:
- How much time am I spending with God?
- How much time am I spending with others?
- Do I spend time with the TV or computer more than with the personal message God has given in His word?
- Do I continually think about what God has for His Kingdom?
- Do I share the greatest message mankind has ever known with others?
As these questions haunt my spirit, mind and soul, I notice I have little to no strength. I feel like David who said, “My strength is dried up like a potsherd, And my tongue cleaves to my jaws; And You lay me in the dust of death.” During this time, David was experiencing the consequences of sleeping with another man’s wife and then having him killed. So then the next question comes to mind, “Am I living in sin that is quenching my strength?”
With all these questions, how do I sort this all out? We can only evaluate our own personal situations. Are we eating right? Are we spending time with God? Do we pray for others and ourselves? How much time are we poisoning ourselves with the things of this world? Am I coming down sick? Regardless of the questions that come to mind, we can cling to some principles that will help us live like children of the King.
First, make sure you are spending time with God every day. For me reading is not a strong point, therefore, it is very easy for me not to read the Bible. What I started doing is writing “RS” in my calendar. Every time I read Scripture, I note that in my calendar so that at the end of every month, I can see if I am making His word a priority.
Second, time should not be a matter. When we spend time with our loved ones, we don’t worry about the amount of time we spend. We don’t care how late or early it is, we only care about being with them, talking with them and doing things together. The same should hold true for us and God. We should spend the best part of our day, not keep track of time and spend time with God in His Word and prayer.
Third, we need to see if there is anything that is getting in our way and get rid of it. It may be some hobby we have. It may be working late. It may be doing the dishes. Are we living in sinful habits and behavior? Whatever makes us too busy to spend time with God, makes us distracted and ineffective. We can get rid of TV, computer time and late work nights. We can even put off cleaning the house but we should not put off spending time with God.
For me to love God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength, I need to focus on certain areas. I won’t give too many details, but I will share the generic areas that need work.
- Heart – Spending more time in God’s Word. Specifically praying for others and praising God.
- Soul – My life must be totally committed to God and His purposes.
- Mind – I need to fill my mind with God’s Word. Listen to music that is uplifting and praises God. Maybe start by listening to K-Love (www.klove.com).
- Strength – I need to eat healthy and exercise.
Obviously, there are more details and areas we need to work on, but this is the starting place. As with any race or competition a starting line is where everyone begins on equal ground. That is the great opportunity God has given to us. Each day is a new day and a new starting point. We race everyday in order to win the prize that God has for us. We do not need to work for our salvation, but we need to work in response to God’s love for us.
So with all this in mind, why am I sharing this now? Starting next month, I will be rearranging time in order to spend more time with God in order to write what He wants me to write. I am not sure where this is going to go, but I know that if I spend time with God, I will be writing the right message. I will also be rescheduling things in my life and reorganizing areas that need it.
Come with me in this journey and start at the beginning. Read, pray, eat right, exercise and think about what God is doing. This way we will love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength and know His life directives. God bless and encourage someone today.