Love God With All
“And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:and thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” Mark 12:29-30
It’s hard to fully imagine or understand how much God loves us, and how much He does not take account of all our missteps, fumbles, foibles and human errors, because all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Now we know this in theory but in practice we are more often given to believing that somehow we are out of favor with God or that the course of our lives have gone toward trouble and particularly unmet needs and hard times because of something we did to cause it.
Now while we are responsible for our words and our actions in general [death and life are n the power of the tongue, Proverbs 18:21] we are not responsible for every negative situation or circumstance that may come to invade our lives. Tribulations, Jesus said, arises because of the Word in us. [Mark 4:17] We can actually occasionally be targeted by the devil because we love God and are seeking to do His will, living by the truth of His commandments.
When such times come we do not despair or fear because we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous Savior, the Messiah to plead our cause and defend us. God will never leave us or forsake us, so in times of tribulations tests and trials we look unto Jesus, the Author and finisher of our faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross despising the shame and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. [Hebrews 12:2] And He, God the Father has made us to sit together with Him in Heavenly places far above principalities and powers and every name that is named.
“And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” Ephesians 1:19-23
What this means for us, if we can believe it, is that God’s love for us is so great that He has made room for us in the same place of authority and power over the works of darkness as Jesus. In His calling and His commission to us to go into the all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature there is also the assurance that He will be with us to make us succeed in fulfilling it.
God is love and He will not be separated from Himself. He will not be separated from us. Therefore, we can never be separated from His Love.
Now we have been commanded at the most fundamental place of our existence, first and above all other things to love God with all that makes us who we are, all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Is this a payment we are required make in order to qualify us for His love? Obviously not, because He gave us that while we were yet sinners. Is it to add something to His glory that is lacking? No, Because He is perfect and possesses all things. Is it to dominate our lives and bend us unwillingly to His will? No. Because He has left the choice solely up to us to choose whether we will obey or not. [Deuteronomy 30:19]
Then why are we commanded to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength? Because in doing so we will possess the greatest defense against the works of the principalities, powers and the spiritual wickedness in high places to dominate control and ultimately destroy our lives.
“Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” 1 Peter 5:6-10
All of us would like to see endless days without struggle, pain or sorrow, endless joy-filled relationships and years of living care free with more than enough for whatever the need or Godly desire of our hearts. And the Word does promise that we will have those days but it also tells us that their will be days of tribulations, tests, trials, weeping, hope deferred and occasional disappointments. But, in the midst of it all we can be and will be of good cheer remembering that Jesus has overcome the world, and through Him and with Him we are also overcomers by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of our testimony. [Revelation 12:11]
So in the midst of lack we testify that we are more than abundantly supplied because our Lord God meets all our needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. [Philippians 4:19] In the midst of sickness we testify that He was wounded for our transgressions. He was bruised for our iniquities , the chastisement of our peace was upon Him and by his stripes we are healed. [Isaiah 53:5] In the midst of uncertainty we testify that we have the mind of Christ and we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us. [1 Corinthians 2:16; Philippians 4:13]
In the midst of weakness we testify that Jesus’ strength is being made perfect in us. [2 Corinthians 12:9] In the midst of sorrow we testify, joy will come in the morning. [Psalm 30:5] In the midst of loneliness we testify Jesus is with me never to leave me or forsake me. [Hebrews 13:5] In the midst of waiting we testify that we will receive in due time and we will not faint in waiting. [Galatians 6:9]
In the midst of the myriad circumstances of this life, we testify that with God all things are possible [Mark 10:27] therefore, we trust Him and believe that we are blessed, we are a blessing [Genesis 12:2] and we will be continual blessed and filled to overflowing to the glory of God in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. [Ephesians 3:20; 5:18]
When we love God with all, we open and expand daily our capacity to receive and embrace the full measure of His love for us in everything, in every way, in all times and for all eternity.