JESUS SAID: Love the Lord Your God

If you were to summarize in one word what God wants from you, what would you say?

I know it’s not an easy question, but it’s an important one. Seriously, if you were to state what you feel the Lord needs from you, what would it be?

Your time? Your money? Your devotion? Close, but not quite.

Probably the best word to use to describe what God wants from us is our love! Not just surface love, total love, the kind of love that is all encompassing. The kind of love that results in absolute trust and faith.

Love. That’s the answer to this question, and it’s found in Mark 12:29-30 (NASB). The answer comes right from the words of Jesus, and it goes like this: “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’”

What this text is saying is that there is a central message that Jesus wants us to hear, and it is this: the Lord is the one and only God and we are to discover our love for Him so that we can love Him with all of our our emotions, being, thoughts, and activities.

How do you give someone your love so that your love comes from the deep place of heart, mind, soul, and body devotion? There’s really only one way. You have to know them. You have to understand what their heart is made of. You have to spend time with them so the endearment is founded on real “knowing”. You have to trust them, which only comes from knowing them.

You’re probably reading this right now as you are rushing through your day. Could you stop just for a moment, to breath in this fact: the God of the Universe is trying to tell you that He loves you and He longs for you to love Him in return and this love will change your day.

The Message Bible has a great way of summarizing this scripture: “Jesus said, “The first in importance is, ‘Listen, Israel: The Lord your God is one; so love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’”

When I read this, I am drawn in to sit down and ponder these words. I just can’t casually pass them by. My God is asking me to love Him with my total being. This love between God and you, between God and me, one-on-one, is where it all begins. If we can just get this part right, the rest of the loving directed at others and ourselves will work itself out naturally.

What I have discovered from this text is that God has a love for us that is targeted to make us a whole person. Think of all the research going on right now that is geared toward being whole, but the real answer lies, simply, in our first-hand relationship with Jesus.

Are you focused right now on the love you feel you don’t have from others? Are you searching for wholeness but can’t seem to find it?

First and foremost, we need to live in that intimate, personal love between God and us. Truth is, we have no idea what kind of love this is. That’s why Mark 12:29-30 starts out with “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel!’” We need to read the verse again with a clear focus that there really is something vital we need to hear, so let’s fill in our own names this time: The most important thing is this, so really hear it, [your name]! The Lord our God is one Lord and He’s always the same; you, [your name], really need to discover how to love the Lord your God back with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.

Today, can you hear the words of Jesus calling out to you? All He wants from you is for you to see Him as the One who loves you, and then accept the invitation to share in a love relationship that will never let you go.

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