And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Deuteronomy 6:5
This was the first commandment, and according to Jesus it summed up all ten. That simplifies it, but it doesn’t make it any easier. Jesus preached a simple gospel that is most difficult to accept. He said leave it all behind and follow me. He said die to yourself and live for me. He said the world will hate you as it hates me. He said love your enemy, reach out to the outcasts, become of no reputation. It wasn’t a complicated messege, but it was hard to swallow.
That’s why we’re always trying to add to it or take away from it. We add rules here and there so we can feel like we’re doing rather than having to feel like we’re dying. We want to be noticed instead of being of no reputation. Our flesh resists the cross at all costs, but if we’ll just listen to His voice of love, we’ll count the cost and realize that the reward of knowing Him is more than worth the price we pay.
We have to continually examine our hearts. Are we really loving God with everything in us or are we flirting with the world on the side? Are we trying to impress “the right people” to get our way or on the flipside are we trying to shut people out in an attempt to protect our wounded hearts? Are we happy with our cliques or do we open our hearts to others? It’s really not so much about what we’re doing, but how we’re dying.
James minced no words when he said in chapter 4 4″You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” He stuck with Jesus’s method and made it simple, not easy. We can be a friend of the world, or a friend of God, but we can’t be both. We have to choose our enemy.
Loving God with all our heart, soul and mind means that those who love the world with all their hearts, souls and minds are going to hate us and persecute us. Jesus didn’t teach a course on How to Win Friends and Influence People. He said follow me. You’ll make enemies doing it. Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. And He also said that if we choose Him, He would call us His friend. It doesn’t get any better than that.
And thou shalt love the Lord your God with all your heart…