Starting with Deuteronomy 6:4-5, “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God; the Lord is One. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and all your might.” Some might say this was for the Jews only, but going into the New Testament, we get further instructions that apply to everyone. (all emphasis mine)
Matthew 22:36-40, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law? And He (Jesus) said to him, ‘you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets” (Mark 12:30 adds strength after ‘all your mind.’)
For Jesus to repeat the instructions that were given to Moses, it should be an indicator that this is something very important. When He said all the law was in this, He was referring to the 10 Commandments as they were first given by God to Moses. We can take them and by applying the 2 given by Jesus, we can see where those commandments are in them all.
Matthew 5:17, “Do not think I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have not come to abolish them, but to fulfill them.”
When we are told we must love God so deeply, it can be somewhat frustrating. Some will say, “How can I love something or someone I have never seen?” Others will express a desire to really love God, but don’t know if they can do so to the degree the Bible instructs us to. It gets intimidating.
When I came back to the Lord over 30 years ago, I asked Him to give me the capacity to love Him more each day. And because Jesus and the Holy Spirit are also God, my request covers them also. To this day, I still make that petition to Him. Yes, I do love the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, but am still not satisfied that it’s enough. I believe there’s always room for my capacity to increase, but it will only do so with His help.
Do I still slip and sin, knowing that when I do it’s against the Father? Absolutely. David said in Psalm 51: 1-4, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love, according to your abundant mercy; blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my transgressions and my sin is ever before me. Against You only have I sinned, and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.”
God can tolerate no sin, no matter how great or small. That was why when Jesus took all my sins upon Himself at the cross, the Father had to look away until the sacrifice was complete and fully paid for. My Savior’s blood shed for me that day “cleansed” me. When I slip and fall, because I have accepted Jesus as my Savior, I have 1 John 1:9 to rely on. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” This applies to all who have accepted the free gift.
This does not give me license to continue on a path of sin that was present before I called out to Him. However, God is well aware we are weak humans, and our sin nature comes through at times. When it does, I have come to the realization that I cannot hide it, and according to His will, I ask forgiveness for committing the sins.
Those who do not have Jesus as their Savior do not have this pathway to forgiveness. They have not been cleansed by the pure blood that was shed for them. If they leave this earth without truly accepting Jesus, they will have to answer for every sin they ever committed at the Great White Throne (Revelation 20:11-15).
God wants everyone to be saved and accept His Son (2 Peter 3:9), but He knows the majority will refuse (Matthew 7:13-14). He is going to eventually take His anger (Wrath) out on the sinful world, but first He has promised to remove all believers who have truly accepted His Son, Jesus, to keep us from that wrath. How can I not love Him for this?
No, I have never seen God, but I have seen evidence that He is real; He does listen to and answer prayers; I have felt His loving presence during some very trying times; and I firmly believe His love letter (Bible) was given for all of us. We just have to talk to Him and read His word, and place ourselves in His will. Hebrews 13:5 tells us that He will never leave us or forsake us. Are there issues that are difficult to deal with? Absolutely. However, when we find we can give it to God, it makes the stress less difficult to endure.
This world is but a blink of an eye compared to eternity, yet all too many put everything they have into worldly things. Eternity is a long time, and my desire is to be with Jesus after leaving here. If it’s by death or rapture, I have no problem with either, as I know with my last breath here, my next one will be in His presence.
As some may have already figured out, there’s a song that goes along with this message. In 1998, Damaris Carbaugh released a song called, “Heart, Mind and Soul.” Please consider the words of this very moving song.
(verse 1) What can I bring as an offering; what can I lay before your throne? What can I give as a sacrifice, to let you know?
(chorus) All that I am, and all that I have; all my heart holds dear. It’s all because of You, O Lord; so I draw near.
Heart, mind and soul; heart, mind and soul; My offering, My everything; heart mind and soul.
Heart, mind and soul; Heart, mind and soul; My offering, My everything – Heart, Mind and Soul!
(verse 2) Words can never be enough; they only seem to fade away. How can I express my gratitude to you today?
(verse 3) Everything is yours, O Lord, in Heaven and in Earth. Yet still somehow I feel compelled to bring to you… to give to you…
(finale) In Joy or pain, in loss or gain, Heart, Mind and Soul.
In life or death, in every breath, Heart, Mind and Soul.
My offering, My everything, Heart, Mind and Soul.
Needless to say, this is one of my very favorite gospel songs. I always consider just how insignificant I am, yet the Creator of the universe loves Me! How could I not love Him?
He will be fulfilling His word very soon by bringing this age to an end. The signs are all here, and it could be any day now. To delay is gambling with your eternal soul. Jesus is there, waiting for your call. He will turn no one away, but will not force Himself on anyone either.
Ask the Father to help you love Him, and to increase that love daily. After a time, you will be able to say you also love Him – Heart, Mind and Soul!
Ahava B’Shalom Yeshua (Love in the name of Jesus)