Summary: Love the Lord you God with all your heart, soul, and mind - God wants a passionate relationship with us. Because of sin, our relationship with God has been tarnished but God is constantly seeking you out, wanting to restore you to a passionate love of Him

Passion – A Sermon on Matt. 22:34-46

Grace, mercy, and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit.

When asked what the greatest commandment in the Law is, Jesus replied “Love the Lord you God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” He wasn’t giving a new commandment, it’s from Deuteronomy 6. Jesus was repeating what Moses had taught the Israelites as they prepared to cross the river Jordan into the Land that God had promised to them when He brought them out of bondage in Egypt. It perfectly encapsulates the first three of the Ten Commandments that God had given to Moses on Mount Sinai.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. Love the Lord with every ounce of your being. Love the Lord with passion. He wants a relationship with you, a passionate heart-felt love, a love that is based on the knowledge of His character and His promises, a love that saves you, body and soul. Do you love the Lord? Your presence here this morning in God’s house indicates that your answer is ‘Yes’. But do you love Him with passion? Do you love everything about Him? Do you know Him well enough to love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind?

Our relationship with God is like a good marriage. After years of marriage, a man and a woman can know each backwards and forwards. They know each other’s likes and dislikes. They know what makes their mate happy and what makes them unhappy. They know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. They know each other so well that they can finish each other’s sentences. But this kind of marriage doesn’t just happen on the wedding day. It takes an intentional effort to share with each other everything about themselves, to know each other with the mind and to love each other from the bottom of the heart.

That’s how God wants us to know Him. When He created Adam and Eve, He walked with them in the garden of paradise. He spoke with them. He knew them perfectly and they knew Him and loved Him. But when sin came into the world, Adam and Eve’s relationship with God was broken and no longer did men and women love the Lord their God with all their heart, with all their souls, and with all their mind. Because of sin, our relationship with God has been tarnished but God is constantly seeking you out, wanting to restore you to a passionate love of Him because He is passionate towards you.

A relationship between a man and a woman begins with an introduction. I met my wife at the grocery store we both worked. She says that when she first saw me stocking the shelves as she was being trained that she knew that I would be her husband. But it required an introduction before the two of us could begin to know each other and allow a love to blossom. And our relationship with God also requires an introduction. Someone who knows God and the love He demonstrated for us in Jesus Christ must tell us about Him. Every passionate love for God begins with a believer introducing an unbeliever to Jesus. And when our own love for God is a passion of the heart, soul, and mind, that introduction is just like introducing someone to your best friend.

After the introduction of a man and a woman, if they are each interested in the other, they may become infatuated with each other. Infatuation can feel like real love, but it’s a passion of the heart without a passion of the mind. Infatuation is based on appearances and perceptions and not the reality of the other. It’s a passion that comes before the fullness of a true loving relationship, before a couple begins to know the depths of each other’s character. When you light a campfire with some dried grass and some twigs, the fire can leap high and burn brightly and then fizzle out because the logs never catch. Infatuation is like that. A relationship between a man and woman can quickly ignite into a blaze of heart-passion and fade just as quickly because the passion of the mind and soul doesn’t follow. The passion of the heart may not extend to a passion of the mind. A new believer’s passion for God may be like an infatuation and quickly fade if he doesn’t nurture the flame. When someone comes to faith in God and hears the wonders of God’s grace and mercy in the forgiveness of our sins through the blood of Jesus Christ, a new believer can ignite in a blazing fire of passion for the Lord. But if that believer doesn’t dig deeper into the mysteries and the character of God, his passion and his faith may turn to ashes.

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