LOVING GOD WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH

Deuteronomy 6:5 says, Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. What does that mean? “All your heart” means spiritually. Those that worship God must worship Him in spirit and in truth (John 4:24). “All your soul” means mentally. If you keep your mind on God, He will keep you in perfect peace (Isaiah 26:23). “All your strength” means physically, and refers to your body. The Bible tells us to honor God with our body (I Corinthians 6:20). That’s what it means to love God with everything we have.

As I meditated on our need to love God with all of our strength, I began to think about how our love for Him is more than just the emotional high we feel during worship, but it’s about taking action. So how do we love God with all our strength in tangible ways? We do that by taking the following ACTIONS:

  1. Keep His commandments. Jesus says point-blank in John 14:15, ”If you love me keep my commandments.” The converse of that is, if you don’t love Me, you won’t keep my commandments. Therefore, God’s love language is obedience. We have to take action to obey the Word of God if we want to love Him with our strength.
  2. Love others. I John 4:20 says, “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.” In other words, you cannot love God without loving your neighbor first. Therefore, loving God with our strength requires that we love people by taking action and meeting their needs.
  3. Love yourself. We cannot love God with our strength if we don’t take action and love ourselves. For example, when you decide that you will take care of your body, the Temple of the Holy Ghost, by eating right and exercising, you are loving God. When you set boundaries with people to protect the treasure God put in you, you love God. When you take time to identify and attack wrong thinking so that you can believe right and act right, you are loving God because again you are able to keep His commandments. When you take time to renew your mind with the Word so you can be your best for Christ and represent him well and make His name great, that’s loving God. When we take the proper actions to love ourselves, we love God.

To sum this up, when we love God, others, and ourselves in a balanced and proper way with corresponding ACTIONS, only then are we are loving God with all our strength. We are not loving God with all of our strength if we are failing to love God in any one of these areas. We can say we feel love for Daddy in our heart, but when it comes right down to it, loving God with all our strength is about what we do, NOT what we feel, amen?

In what ways do you feel you can love God more with all your strength?

Image above courtesy of Stuart Miles via Freedigitalphotos.com

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EVERY DAY IS CHRISTMAS FOR CHRIST FOLLOWERS!
We must be mindful of the fact that the personal relationship we have with God on a daily basis is possible only because Jesus was born into this world to die. I encourage you to celebrate Christmas all year long and prepare to make a deliberate effort to keep Christ firmly anchored at the center of your family’s Christmas holiday beforehand. Get your copy of my latest book Keeping Christ in Christmas: Thought-Provoking Ideas for Making Jesus the Center of Your Child’s Christmas Holiday at Amazon.com or purchase copies for those you know and love with small children! Help the Revolution that began in 2020 to continue in 2021 and beyond!

CONNECTING WITH GOD THROUGH WORSHIP

Today I want to focus on a very important topic in the Christian life: Worship. Worship is our opportunity to remind ourselves of how great and powerful our God really is. Worship allows us to intimately connect our spirit with God’s Spirit. He says those who worship Him, must worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).

i love to worship God. However, I’m far from perfect. I don’t know about you, but sometimes my mind tries to wander during worship. Honestly, if I don’t make a deliberate effort to stay on track, I can be singing one thing and thinking about something on my To-do List! That’s when I have to self-correct and reel it in! Is it just me?  Has anything similar ever happened to you?

You see, the devil is always trying to distract us when we worship because it’s such a powerful spiritual weapon. Therefore, we have to make a deliberate effort to keep our mind stayed on God or we’ll lose focus. In order to enter into a deeper spiritual connection with our heavenly Father, here some important steps we can take to enhance our worship experience:

  1. Focus intently on the words being sung. I know this seems so elementary, but it’s so important. Deliberate concentration will help to keep us from just singing words while thinking about something totally secular. Not only should we think about what we are singing, but most importantly, Who we are singing to. This is worship to our Daddy, the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe, and we are attempting to connect with Him on a deep, intimate level. We must be intentional if we want to keep ourselves from going off on a mental tangent during worship and end up thinking about things like, “What am I going to have for lunch?”
  2. Focus on what He has done in your life during the week. We need to come into every worship service with a mental list of what God has done for us the past week. If He opened a door for you, that’s fuel for worship! Has he resolved an issue that you had been concerned about? Have you seen incremental personal and/or spiritual growth that only God could have accomplished in you? Did He rebuke the devourer for your sake (Malachi 3:11)? When you have a mental list of things God has recently done for you at the top of your mind, you will be able to quickly connect with Him and easily get into “the zone.”
  3. Focus on what He has done in your life since you got saved. How much have you grown since Jesus came into your life? I remember how crazy I was B.C. (Before Christ) Has he delivered you from craziness? Did He extract you out of a life of sin so that you don’t even have the desire to do what you use to do? Do you remember how the burden of sin was lifted off you when you realized you had received Jesus’ righteousness? Deliberately meditating on His goodness, His power, and past personal victories during worship is a great way to foster a divine connection with God.

Saints, I just wanted to remind you (and myself) of some things that will make our worship time with Daddy more fruitful. When we lift our hands and worship our God, we effectively plug into heaven and get recharged and energized for our spiritual journey. Let’s refuse to allow spiritual amnesia about the goodness of God to get the best of us and cause us to lose our spiritual fervor in worship. 

What insights do you have about worship? Please leave a comment below.

Photo by Charlie Balch from FreeImages