Love God with all
Jesus was asked by a religious leader, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" Jesus responded, " YAHVEH OUR GOD IS ONE LOVE YAHVEH YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH". How do you love God with all ? Loving God with all your heart may include loving Him more than your spouse or children or family or others you love and especially yourself. Loving Him more than, is not just saying words like "I love God" but action. Putting God ahead of physical pleasure with others, which may include a drinking buddy or a person in a romantic relationship or a family outing or sports team or TV or the internet or Facebook or an unnatural relationship or a favorite sin, etc. It can be a life style. Do you look for opportunity show love to God and feel love for Him in your heart or do you look for "loop holes" to give the least amount of love while still appearing to be able to say you love Him? 1
Loving God with all your soul may include loving Him more than any other object of worship. Many find it easy to exclude other gods but some love their hobbies more than God or their possessions, including their money. Some put more loving care into their cars that will end up rusting in a junk yard than they do showing love to God. Some may show more love to their fishing gear or golf equipment or Facebook than they do to God. Some will look for opportunity to love to God by giving back ten percent of what they receive while others will look for opportunities to give as little as possible while still claiming they are tithing. In income tax there are opportunities to reduce taxes or legal "loop holes" to help people but looking for "loop holes" with God, does not fool God. Some may look for ways to love God while others may look for ways to just appear they love God.
Loving God with your entire mind can be making an effort to show Him love and think of ways to love God more. Do you seek God guidance when you pray to know how to show Him more love or do you try to think of ways or "loop holes" to just convince yourself you love Him. Do you use your mind to study what God says and what Jesus says in the bible so you may know God better and love Him more or do you use your mind to avoid thinking about to God by watching TV or reading book or daydreaming? One group of corruptions from the heart or the mind, that Jesus lists, are "evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness". Is your mind focused on any of these? What begins in our minds can become sin. Do you love to think about your favorite sins more than God? 2
Loving God with all your strength can apply to heart, soul and mind. It can take strength to resist or overcome the loves of your heart or soul or mind that interfere or conflict with love for God. Jesus tells us if we want to become His followers, we need to "deny" ourselves, which takes strength. It can take special strength to put God ahead of a favorite TV show or a favorite possession or a favorite sin fantasy. To overcome some of our loves that are in conflict with our love for God, we may need spiritual warfare. Remember Jesus has given us "authority to overcome all the power of the enemy". Use your authority. If in doubt, cast it out! It takes strength, if you realize you love a person more than God. God may not want you to eliminate that person from your life but God wants to be first. Always remember God said, "I, Yahveh your God, am a jealous God". If there is something or someone you love in your heart, soul or mind more than God and you refuse to remove or reduce that love and to put God first, God may find you are expendable or your love object is expendable. Being expendable can be the extreme when God killed Ananias and his wife, who loved their money more than God but we can be expendable by simple falling away. Jesus mentions how people can hear God's message and yet "the worries about this life, the love for riches, and all other kinds of desires crowd in and choke the message". If your possessions are taking love from God, God may guide you to "go and sell all you have". For some that thought will strike fear in their hearts. Are your possessions so important that the thought of "robbers break in and steal" a devastating thought? It may take a lot of strength to put the love for God ahead of your love for your possessions or any other object of your love. It is better to follow Jesus and "store up riches for yourselves in heaven". 3
1. Mk 12:28-30 (ET)
2. Mk 7:20-23 (NKJ)
3. Lk 9:23; 10:19 (NI); Ex 20:5 (ET); Ac 5:1-10; Mk 4:19; Mt 19:21; 6:19-20 (GN)
note: click here for bible verse and translation abbreviations
A Psalm for reflection "How I love to do Your will, my God! I keep Your teaching in my heart" Ps 40:8 (GN)
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Understanding the Teaching: What I share in the teaching is what I believe God wants me to share. All the direct quotes from God are highlighted in royal purple. Of course the words of Jesus are in red. Rather than follow some made up doctrine, remember that Jesus said that every thing He said (Jn 12:49) and everything He did (Jn 14:31) comes from God. All teachings and all opinions should be supported by what we learn from God or Jesus (see the scripture referred to in the footnote).
MARRIAGE WORKSHOP MOMENT
In February 2010, a CBS poll found that 9 out of 10 married Americans said they would marry their spouse again. As we give you the tools to improve your marriage, remember that over 75% of married Americans are still on their first marriage and 90% are happy with their choice of spouse. When a discussion seems to be turning negative, it is time to say, "I need a time out". For those of you who have never had a discussion get bad, this might be when voices get louder and louder or when you are calling each other names that are not nice or when you both are hearing things more negatively than intended or when there is a subject that one of you refuses to discuss. After you say "I need a time out", it is a good time to take authority over the enemy (the devil) and pray for your marriage. Once you are both calmer, it is a good time to resume the conversation by using the Speaker Listener Technique. Click on the preceding link and learn more about how to use the Speaker Listener Technique and as always if you have any questions about how to use it you can email me at Ed@JesusCenter.net or call me at (918) 835-3787. Note: the Speaker Listener Technique is one of the most important concepts that we teach in our Marriage Workshops. It is so important that we teach it in all six workshops.
The Better Half "When your partner won't support your efforts to make your marriage better" Without your spouse's support to improve your marriage, you can still pray daily for God's will to be done in each of your lives and your marriage. Jesus said, "all things are possible with God", Mk 10:27 NI). When a discussion is turning negative, you can stop your contribution to the conflict. This is a good time to pray privately for your marriage and for guidance on what to say and do. This is also a good time to take authority in the Name of Jesus over the enemy who wants to destroy your marriage. Remember that over 75% of married Americans are still on their first marriage and 90% are happy with their choice of spouse. When a spouse calls "time out", it is an opportunity for a couple to calm down before continuing the conversation at a later time (anywhere from an hour to no later than the next day) using the Speaker Listener Technique. Initially after calling time out it is an opportunity to take authority over the enemy and pray for the marriage. Example: "In the name of Jesus I command you demons to shut up and leave our marriage and not return" "Thank you God for helping our marriage be in Your will and guiding us in our relationship, in Jesus name, amen." When a spouse will not cooperate, you can still take authority over the enemy and pray for your marriage.
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