Book of Rememberance

Malachi 3:16

Love The Lord Your God

on May 3, 2012

Love the Lord Thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind and strength. Mark 12:30

When I came to this verse, I have always taken it for granted that I, by default of my love for the Lord would naturally be fulfilling this command. However, it was really insistent to me that I study it and be sure that I am not just assuming but truly do fulfill the greatest commandment.

I took for granted that if I love God then I love Him in all of these capacities. But that is not necessarily the case.

The definitions of each area of life is defined below. I study from  Strong’s Concordance and looked up the definition in both Hebrew and Greek for the meanings.

Heart: is the being or inner self including the conscience. but also includes thoughts and courage.

Soul: defined by emotions and desires

Strength: is power and ability, however in Deuteronomy 6:5 the command is Love thy Lord with all thy heart, soul and might. The word might, speaks more about quantity rather than physical power or ability. synonyms being great, exceedingly, very.

Mind: is choices, and the processing of information into understanding.

Once I knew what was expected of me I could clearly see that I myself was not living up to this at all. In fact I had my heart in another mans hands, as were all my emotions thoughts and choices focusing off the Lord and onto a human.

I asked the Father to show me examples of living this out in the Bible. I myself always find things to be a bit too spiritual and need more practical everyday approaches to the scriptures. I am so thankful that the Lord wrote the bible for people like me! If we but come to Him and His word in Childlike thinking we will clearly see His Word to be direct, and easily understood.

Love in this verse is not a feeling or emotion at all, but refers to active love. The love of God for His Son and His people. We can see this in 1 John 3:18 Love not merely in Words but in deed. John 3:16 God so Loved the world that He gave His son. Luke 9:51 Jesus steadfastly set his face to Jerusalem. These are all actions made out of Love. Jesus knowing what would befall him in Jerusalem set his face there anyway. For us. Even before the cross and the praying in the garden we see that Jesus is choosing actions out of His love for us fully knowing what was to come from them.

Following are the examples I feel the Lord gave me in order to see clearly the act of Loving in each of these capacities:

#1 Love the Lord your God with all thy Heart:   Job.

His conscience was God focused. He was jealous for the name of the Lord so much so that he sacrificed for his children just in case! Jobs courage rested in the Lord.  We see in 2:10 that he was willing to except calamity from God, not just the good. This is a dangerous declaration! Yet he trusted that no matter what he would accept it as long as God was dealing with him in one way or another. Either Good or bad he didn’t care he just wanted to be on Gods radar. His heart was truly set on the Lord. Notice also that Job only spoke good of God. He gave no credit or glory to satan. We typically say “good from God, bad from satan” but that’s not the truth is it? For we know God is all-knowing and all-powerful and in complete control. Satan has no power accept what God allows and he can do nothing without Gods permission. Everything that comes to us is filtered through Gods loving hands first. A very good reason to rejoice and praise Him for His goodness! Though He may also set you up! 🙂

I do not believe Job was set up because of sin though, otherwise you can simply set me down with Jobs “friends” and I can attack and judge him as well. The Bible says in all these things Job did not sin. Job 1:22, 2:10. In fact God was angry at his friends, saying you did not speak right of me as my servant Job has 42:7.

No I believe Job was given a heavenly assignment, that  he alone could be trusted by God. He was the only man God could use for such a great purpose and the only one God knew would respond appropriately to the task he was given. How we respond to tragedy is vitally important to God and may in fact have eternal/heavenly significance. I believe that’s why the opening of the chapter took place in heaven rather than on earth with men. God is showing us something that Job was not privy to, which didn’t matter but we need to know that this situation with Job was directly from Gods throne and Jobs response truly did have repercussions though he himself didn’t know that. Jobs response and the tragedies that befell him had more to do with heaven and the Father than Jobs own life. Job was counted worthy to suffer for Gods name and that is an amazing assignment in itself that many of us do not have the privilege of experiencing.

#2 Love the Lord your God with all thy Soul: Woman at the Well.

Remember this is about emotions and desires. The example can be found in John 4:7 the Woman at the well. We see in the previous verse that it was the 6th hour. Think desert in the middle of the day when the sun is the hottest. Not many people venture out at this time of day. I think this is why the woman came to draw water at such a time, when she would be left alone and hardly noticed. I’m sure she had a reputation and I am sure when people saw her they whispered about her promiscuous lifestyle. But I find this story to be amazing as she went to draw water with her bucket, yet after a brief chat with Jesus left the well and her bucket! Jesus had promised her living water and she got exactly that – so much so that she had no more need of the bucket and the purpose for going to the well that afternoon. The questions she asks Jesus herself are clear indications of her desires. She is waiting desperately for the Messiah and even more so she is so very eager for it to be Him! 4:20 says Our fathers worshiped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. She is testing Jesus to see if He may be the one she’s been waiting for. See it again in verse 25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messiah cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Another challenge – shes wanting it to be Him and she just wants to be sure. Her desire for the Lord was so much so that she even forgot her shame! But openly preached evangelizing nearly a whole town in 4:29. Her soul, emotions, desires were so in Love with God that people took notice of that even over her reputation! Not only was she a woman preaching to the town but she was a questionable woman. In most cases this type of woman (if even a woman) is not trusted at all, especially to be teaching a man – yet that’s exactly what we see here! She was flowing with the Love of God, the living water pouring out of her all over the town evangelizing and bringing the Messiah to many. John 4:39, 41, 42 if my love for God could be as great as this – to the changing of a whole town and the many people I meet each day. Her Soul was truly devoted.

#3 Love the Lord thy God with all thy strength: Peter in the Garden.

Luke 22:36-38 Then said Jesus unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And He was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end. And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And He said unto them, It is enough.

The example of strength I have taken is from John 18. Peter in Gethsemane. This is not typically considered Peters shining moment of strength, Many claim his greatest weakness. But I cant see it that way. Peter was willing to Love God with all that was within him. We see in verse 3 that a band of men with weapons were sent to take Jesus. Peter loved God so much that his first instinct was to protect his Lord. Peter didn’t care about the consequences he only cared about Jesus well-being. Peter misunderstood Gods plan but even so his greatest concern was for the Lord he loved. Now little fisherman Peter with his sword is going to protect God. Its amazing! I wonder if Peter knew how to use it? What about the guy with the other sword what was he doing? Obviously he was too scared to fight . But Peter was ready to take on (according to some commentaries) over 1000 men! By himself! He put it all on the line for Jesus and I think that in this case Peter is the strongest man I have ever heard of.  I too wonder if my own love for God is nearly that strong that I would fight for Him at all costs and against all odds?

Later Peter denied Christ John 18:15-17 But I don’t think it was out of fear really. Personal opinion. But we know John was there too – no fear in John in fact he was calling the shots – ordering for Peter to be brought in. If there was a threat for Peters life I don’t think John would have brought him in at all.

We see the scripture records the girls words ALSO one of his disciples. Also means as well as , in addition to, too. They knew who/what John was and he was doing all right, they were just wondering about Peter and how he fit into the mix to be called into the closed gate at such an hour.

in verse 17 I think it reveals Peters real issue. The question given him was “this mans disciple” because of Peters misunderstanding Gods plan and how Jesus was going to reign as King I think we was thinking NO! Not THIS man, the man I have followed for 3 years is the Son of God, King of Kings, the all-powerful God, the Messiah who will save us — but this man? Taken? and arrested without a fight? No, this is not the man I thought I was following!

But the amazing thing about the strength Peter had at this time is shown in the fact that despite it all – he never left! His love was still strong even though he was confused, hurt, worried and unsure. Peter – the Rock. I myself would probably have ran home and hid, cried and doubted the last 3 years of my life. But Peter in all the uncertainty stayed nearby just waiting to see how God would unfold His plan. He resolved to do it Gods way through confusion and disappointment and maybe even fear. 🙂 Waiting on God, especially in confusion is a great way to actively show your love for Him with all you have!

#4 Love the Lord thy God with all thy mind: The Bereans.

This is choice, and processing of information. This is beyond merely thoughts but working out and processing what to do with those thoughts. Acts 17:11 Bereans. When you love God that much you want to know everything about Him! They searched out the scriptures. Their love is more than just traditions and emotions. I’m sure Paul was an amazing preacher, they had goosebumps and the anointing presence of the Lord Himself in that place yet they went beyond all that to examining for them selves what God said. This is a love that “works”. and puts in effort. There was no computer to cross reference or concordance to look up the verses – not even a book! I can easily find things in my bible I remember the pages, and about where in the middle or beginning of the page or paragraph to find what I’m looking for – yet they just had scrolls! It was tedious and time-consuming to examine all the Scriptures yet that’s just what the bible says they did! They were driven by their love for God to know Him more and deeper than ever before. Truly they are demonstrating their whole minds in love with God!

Conclusion: Gods love is action! and involves all of our capacities, every part of us consecrated to Him, submitted to Him. Everything I do, think, feel ect.. do it in Love for God – 1 Corinthians 116:14 than I can be sure I am loving Him the way I am meant to!

Blessings!

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