Summary: First message of three-part series on loving God from Mark 12:30.
Loving God with All Your Heart and Soul
January 10, 2010
Folks, you just need to know that this message is going to be a little longer today, okay?
But let me clue you in on something: you get better service and they put out fresh food on the buffet after the main rush, okay?
And the parking’s better anyway.
Last week we started on the journey that we’re calling, “The Year the Family,” and we’re going to spend our time this year looking at how to strengthen the family of God and individual families.
And one of the reasons we’re doing this is because I feel that God wants us to take some time and really work on the bonds of fellowship that should exist in the family of God and individual families.
So we started last week and looked at 1 John 4:7-12, and 19-21, and the main point I wanted to make last week was that our love for each other reflects the love of God in us.
And that’s what I want us to keep in mind as we work through this over 2010.
But I also feel that for us to properly love each other as we should, we need to love God like we should.
So for the next three Sundays we’re going to look at how we can do that, on a real-life, practical level.
God: Our basis for the next three weeks is Mark 12:30 –
“’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’”
A powerful piece of Scripture that I think is easy to just kind of gloss over, because I don’t think we take the time to really examine what Jesus is saying here.
Remember the context of this verse is someone asking Him which is the most important commandment, out of all the commandments in Scripture.
And Jesus says, “Here it is: Love God. With everything in you, with everything you’ve got, love God.”
Listen to this from the Expositor’s Bible Commentary:
God is to be loved completely and totally because He, and He alone, is God and because He has made a covenant of love with His people. In the covenant God gives Himself totally in love to His people; therefore He expects His people to give themselves totally in love to Him. (EBC)
Listen to this from The Message translation:
“’…so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’”
God wants us to love Him PASSIONATELY.
“Here’s the amazing thing. In America it’s ok to be passionate about anything except God. That is not politically correct -- to be passionate about God. I can be passionate about movies. I can be passionate about sports. I can be passionate about politics. I can be passionate about fashions and clothes. I can be passionate about restaurants (and some of us really are). But I cannot be passionate about God. That’s a no-no.”
(Reigniting Your Passion for God, Sermoncentral.com)
All of us can relate to the kind of passion Rick Warren talks about. I’m passionate about my Minnesota Twins and the fact that it’s only 87 days until Opening Day, and only seven more days until their first game in their new stadium, Target Field.
That’s the kind of passion we need to love God with.
I think some people look at this idea of loving God and think we’re talking about loving God like you love your boyfriend or girlfriend, and that’s not it at all.
We’re saying that we need to be excited about God even more than we get excited about all that other stuff.
And we need to show that excitement and passion by loving God.
So how do we do that? Let’s look at some ways to do that.
And you have to remember something here, and that is that love isn’t primarily an emotion, but what? An action, according to Scripture.
So let’s look at some ways to love God.
Some of you are looking at your note-taking guide and going, “Hey this looks a bit familiar. Seems like I’ve come across something like this, but didn’t have to do with having a good marriage?”
And you might recognize this list, because it’s one that we see when we talk about human relationships, especially in a husband and wife relationship.
As I was working on the message, I got to thinking, “Hey – if we were to apply some of what we know about loving people to how we can love God, what would that look like?”
And I thought of the five love languages made popular by Dr. Gary Chapman.
Now, I understand that God isn’t human, but I think that as we go through this list, you’ll find that this is at least one good way to look at how we can love God with all our heart and soul.