Summary: The first part of a winter retreat on giving your whole self to God. Workbook and Powerpoint available.




-it’s a simple story, a little girl, only 5, but what were on her and her Dad’s hearts? Telling people about Jesus.

-that little girl at five, her whole life should have been about having fun, playing with dolls, being loved by her family, and instead it was filled with worry and fear, but instead of focusing on that worry or fear, her whole life, all that she had, was devoted to Jesus.

-this retreat is based on one verse that focuses on that. If you can’t read it in your book, look on your shirts:

**Mark 12:30 -> 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength. (NCV)

-the way this statement came up, Jesus was in a debate with some Sadducees about people being raised from the dead. So, Jesus told them what would happen and it says one of the teachers there liked His answer, so he decided to ask Jesus another question. He asked Jesus which commandment was most important. Out of the 613 laws given to Moses by God, which one is number one.

-Jesus’ answer is found in Deut. 6. It’s called the Shammah. The Hebrew people were to say this every morning and many still do. It starts by saying the Lord our God is One. Basically, there are no other gods, there is no one else, there is one God and He alone is the true God. The next verse takes the focus off of God and onto what we should do with that knowledge. Love God with all that is in us.

-because really, after those four things, what else is there? What other part to you is there besides your heart, your soul, your mind, and your strength, your physicality?

-there’s nothing! God is asking that we give everything that is us to Him.

**Deut. 11:13-14 -> 13If you carefully obey the commands I am giving you today and love the Lord your God and serve Him with your whole being, 14then He will send rain on your land at the right time, in the fall and spring, and you will be able to gather your grain, new wine, and oil. (NCV)

-we are supposed to be serving God with our whole being, all that is in us, every part of us.

-we’re not supposed to give God our mind, believe in Him, but then not our body, don’t serve people or help them. We’re not supposed to give Him our soul, be emotionally happy or feel His presence, but then not show people love. We’re supposed to be giving all of it to Him.

-that verse we just read, huge! And I mean huge. Anthropologists see it as a turning point in history right there. See, before that verse, you have all sorts of peoples and tribes who believe in all sorts of gods. Now how do you make gods happy? Sacrifices. You offer food or children or something. Now here’s a big problem. If you don’t have enough, if you have a bad year, the gods are mad at you, so you do what? Give them more. If you have a good year the gods are smiling on you and need to be thanked for that. How? Give them more.

-so here we have Israel, what does God tell them? He gives them a list of sacrifices and what they’re worth. Suddenly people know how to please God, what He wants. How much. It’s a total change in how people view God.

-then, in the middle of that, you have a tiny little verse that changes it even more. Obey the commands, but also serve Him with your whole being.

-we talked about it in NewSong last week if you were there. Before, people could give these sacrifices but you didn’t really need to be sorry or feel anything. God wants more than hollow footsteps following what He says. He wants all of you, not just rituals.

-so what does that mean? Give God everything? How? Why? Those are the types of things we’ll be talking about this weekend.

-because this is what we want, you to have the best relationship with Jesus you possibly can. I know sometimes I can seem like I’m pushing people a little, but it doesn’t help me. It’s not like I’m going to get to heaven and there’s going to be a big tally board showing how many people Troy helped serve in church. And even then, I can’t do it for you. All I can do is tell you why I think you should and help all I can.

-we are supposed to give ourselves completely to God so that He can make us completely whole.

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