Summary: We must not limited or love of God, our worship and faith to only our intellect, service or emotions.
1. The christian church is being fragmented in many ways - liberal vs. conservative, charismatic vs. non-charismatic, contemporary vs. traditional.
2. Differences can be some significant matters as to whether church or people are real thing or can be in how we as Christians experience and live out our faith.
3. Today we listen to God tell us how we are to love Him - how we experience Him and live out our faith.
1. We are to love God with all our being and yet Jesus breaks our being down into three areas.
2. I believe that He does so because each of us may tend to relate to God and love Him with only one aspect and fall short in the other two.
3. As we consider this this evening I ask you, do you love God and experience him with all you heart soul and mind?
4. For our love to be complete we must love with all three.
a. The heart is the source of our thoughts words and deeds.
b. The soul is the centre of our emotions
c. The mind is our intellectual, thinking center as well as our disposition and attitudes.
5. Sometimes meaning of all three vary in Scripture. We could summarize that we are to love God with our mind, our emotions and our will.
6. Let’s look at some trends today, perhaps generalize and perhaps exaggerate.
7. Trend in the majority of churches today is to check our minds at the door and pick them up when we go home. God is to be experienced and we don’t need to rationalized Him. Just trust and believe let His Spirit guide and direct you. Know many people who love Lord so much but say I don’t need to understand Him. For many theology is dry and cold and considered ungodly. The danger is that truth becomes relative. What is true for me may vary with what is true for me. I’ll live may faith out in the way that feels right for me. We could call them HEART CHRISTIANS.
8. Another trend is to focus on the mind. Many teaching ministries are growing and there seems to be a renewed interest in theology among many Christians. See it in conferences and books sold. "The more we learn about God the deeper our relationship will be. In fact I’ll know exactly how I am to live out my life." No guessing or feelings involved - saw with Job’s friends this morning. "The answers are all there and I simply need to learn them and live according to them."
9. In part this is reaction against emotionalism, empty-headed faith of many. The danger is that it can become legalistic, cold, fact oriented rather than ministry oriented. It can even let faith become only a matter of facts. If we teach people about God they will believe in Him - its a matter of logic.
10. Third trend is those who love God with will or strength as we read in Mark. We don’t need to learn or get high on experiences. We simply need to serve God in ministering to others. Seen in person went to school with. Gave up big job and became pastor. Started ministry to needy. I admire his great love for hurting, gives timelessly of energy and abilities. But in my opinion the work may easily become more important than God.
11. Others aspect of loving with will only is that the will to live holy lives becomes focus.
12. Even in our church many of us will lean toward one of these areas. Do you tend to love God with your heart, mind, or soul?
13. Sometimes can be critical of each other - no feeling, no knowledge, no serving God.
14. But challenge to us is to look at self - in which area do I not love God fully. Do I need to experience Him more, learn more, or serve more?
15. Stanley Jones says our faith must be balanced.
16. We can thank God for differences. Rather than be critical, thank others for reminding us to be more balanced and helping our church to be more balanced.
17. Three small but NB words in verse.
a. Love God with ALL - not hold back in any area of life. Easy to give all in area we enjoy or reflects our personality, but don’t hold back in any area.
b. YOUR - we are not all the same. Don’t compare experiences with others, knowledge or service or even our holy living. This leads to arrogance or to insecurity. Rather ensure you love and experience fully in all areas - don’t hold back. Study word, worship and experience God and serve Him with holy living and good deeds.