“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30)
“Hey Dad guess what“, my son Ethan said as he looked at me with his ocean blue eyes and mischievous smirk. Okay, I’ll bite, I thought to myself as I smiled back at him. “What Ethan?” I asked. Seeing I had taken the bait, Ethan’s eyes lit up and his smirk broke out into a full smile as he quickly replied rather loudly “I LOVE YOU!”
It is a game that we like to play. We attempt to catch each other off guard with a simple question like “Guess what?” As far as I can remember my Grandfather started this game and it is still going on today. Truth be told, Ethan is rather good at it and at times he blindsides me with his spontaneous expressions of love.
-Expressions of love-
What do our expressions of love look like when it comes to our Heavenly Father? Does He receive our “first fruits” of love or just the left-overs? When asked about the commandments and which was the most important, Jesus said “The most important one is this:…Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:29-31)
Do we understand realistically how important our love for God truly is? Without this “first love” as our reference point all other ‘loves’ (including people) cannot be fully realized! Jesus doesn’t just say “love God” but He goes on to say “With all your heart, soul, mind, and strength” (it is known as the Shema or “hear”). In other words our expressions of love to God and the way we express THAT love is to be all or nothing. This love is to be complete or completely useless. Jesus’ usage of the word “ALL” means we must employ EVERYTHING in order to express our love to God. From that love relationship with and to God, we can then begin to love those around us even those who we have deemed ‘unlovable’.
How much do we love the Lord our God? How much have we expressed that love to Him?
Are we holding anything back? Are we giving Him our first fruits of love?
Can we say to the Lord: “Guess what? Lord, I love you THIS much!” as our arms are outstretched as far as they can possibly go?
The depth of our expressions of love to God will determine the depth of love that we are able to show to those around us. How is your love today?
-Just something more to ponder.