As we continue today with our How To Series we come to one of the main teachings of the Bible, and that is how we as human beings are to love God our Creator. It is important to note that the keys shared in the How To Series are meant to become a daily spiritual exercise that grows until it becomes a Godly Christian lifestyle.
Todays Scripture Reference
Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.
The New Testament was originally written in the Greek Language and it is significant to realise that in the Greek Language there are four different words used to describe the same word LOVE, each Greek word describes a different type of love.
When Jesus spoke of the importance of loving the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength He used the word Love (Agape) rather than the other words for love. Agape is the God type of love, He loves us not because we are worthy of His love, but because He is Love. Love (Agape) is the way that God chooses to interact with His creation.
The significance of Agape love is that unlike the other 3 words used to describe love it is not based primarily in human desires or emotions but rather identified as purely an action and as an act of the will flowing from God's unconditional love
The reason why I am elaborating on this point is that for us to become successful in loving God we must learn not to base our love merely in our emotions but we must learn to love as an act of our will, love must become an action that we do despite how we feel or what our situation or circumstances may be at any given moment.
we must learn to love as an act of our will, love must become an action that we do despite how we feel or what our situation or circumstances may be at any given moment.
Loving The Lord With All Your Heart
For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
(Hebrews 11:6) But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him
Loving the Lord with all our heart may often need to begin when we may feel little or no emotional love toward Him, this is often because we are distracted by the circumstances of daily life. The good news is that if we begin to humble ourselves and love God through an act of our will it won't be long until our emotions catch up and because our focus is now upon Him we will begin to greatly enjoy being in His presence.
Our heart is the base God uses to enable us to believe in Him and it is in this aspect of loving God that I would like to focus upon today. Our heart is the way through which we believe, I like to describe it as my personal 'believer'. Often throughout the day I choose to turn on my believer (heart) and 'practice' believing in Him! This may seem strange initially, but if you decide as an act of your will to believe in God (rather than doubt Him or fear your circumstances) for the next minute and then begin to do that regularly throughout the day I believe that like me, you will feel a significant rise in your daily faith level.
Our heart is the way through which we believe, I like to describe it as my personal 'believer'. Often throughout the day I choose to turn on my believer (heart) and 'practice' believing in Him!
*To LOVE God With ALL of our HEART we need to spend some quality time each day loving God by truly believing in Him!
Loving The Lord With All Your Soul
(Matthew 6:9-10) In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven.
Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
(Romans 6:13) And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.
When the soul of man is discussed in the Bible it is generally agreed that it is made up of 3 separate parts. These parts together which form the soul of man are his mind, his will and his emotions. Now seeing Jesus has already identified that the Mind as one of the four primary ways we are to love God we will discuss that solely in the next section.
*The area of our emotions will be looked at in another teaching.
It is in the area of the will that I believe we can learn to successfully love God. As we see the scripture above from "The Lord's Prayer" the yielding of our own will and acceptance of God's will is a vital part that we play in helping God's kingdom come!
A daily laying down of our own desires and plans and the pursuit of those things that God has decided for our life is paramount if we are to be His disciples.
A daily laying down of our own desires and plans and the pursuit of those things that God has decided for our life is paramount if we are to be His disciples. To do this will require us to continue daily to humble ourselves before Him.
As soon as the Holy Spirit reveals an area in our life that is not in line with His will or His word (Bible) we need to begin the process of yielding that area to Him. The realisation that our lives are no longer our own, but belong to Jesus Christ our Saviour is the first step toward finding victory over the areas that seek to hold us back from the fulness of God's blessing.
*To love God with ALL of your SOUL is to make Him Lord of every area of your life!
Loving The Lord With All Your Mind
(Romans 8:5-6) For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
(Colossians 3:1-2) If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.
(Isaiah 26:3) You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You
Our mind is probably the most crucial area that we need to master if we are to be successful as a Christian. We can not allow random thoughts and images to have continual, unhindered access to our mind if we desire to conquer this area. The mind is the battlefield that Satan chooses to attack daily with negativity, doubts and temptations. If we can learn to stand guard over the entrance to our thought life, then we can truly enjoy the victory of a spiritual life with God.
The mind is the battlefield that Satan chooses to attack daily with negativity, doubts and temptations
Many people allow their minds to be a thoroughfare for every thought and imagination that passes by their life. As long as they allow this to continue they will be unable to overcome the mental defeat that often follows, bringing with it negativity and depression.
But God has empowered believers in Christ by giving us His Holy Spirit and through Him we have spiritual weapons that can literally change the way we think and enable us to live victoriously.
If God said it, I believe it!
(2 Corinthians 10:4-5) For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,
If we are to be successful in our thought life, the foundation we must build has to be based upon the acceptance of God's Word (The Bible) as the truth that our lives follow. If God said it, I believe it, and will not allow thoughts or imaginations that are contrary to God's truth to stay or be believed in my mind.
The best way to maintain victory in our thought life is to read your Bible daily and search out the scriptures for the hidden truths and wonderful wisdom that is available there for us all!
As we fill our minds with God's Word the spiritual power held within it begins to give us victory over negativity, doubt and depression.
Memorising specific scriptures that stand out to you in your Bible reading and meditating upon or thinking about these promises when you can throughout the day begins to rebuild your mind into a spiritual fortress that can withstand mental attacks.
Praying and praising God for the promises He reveals to you is another way to help you overcome mental struggles.
(Mark 10:27) But Jesus looked at them and said, “With men it is impossible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible.”
*Loving God with All of Our Mind takes constant awareness and mental discipline and this is achieved by daily Bible Reading, Scripture Memorisation, Praying and Praising God for the promises in His Word!
Loving The Lord With All Your Strength
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20) Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.
(2 Corinthians 3:3) clearly you are an epistle of Christ, ministered by us, written not with ink but by the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of flesh, that is, of the heart
In the Old Testament we read much about the history of the Jewish Nation of Israel, how they escaped from slavery in Egypt and were led by God out of captivity and into the promised land. After they were established in the land King David arose and began preparations to build God a place where He could be worshipped, and where His Holy Presence could reside. This building was called the Temple of God and was eventually built in the city of Jerusalem by David's son King Solomon.
Within the Temple of God the children of Israel offered God sacrifices for sins, and there they came to pray to God and to praise and worship His Holy Presence. People came from near and far to be able to worship God in this great Temple that King Solomon had built, in the hope of being able to find God themselves personally.
But ultimately God did not desire to be worshipped in temples made of stone, His desire was for His people to know Him personally and intimately, no matter where they were in the world. God accomplished this through sending His Son Jesus Christ, who paid the price for the sin of all mankind by freely giving His own life as a perfect sacrifice. God Himself rose Christ from the dead and has now offered forgiveness and eternal salvation to all who believe in Him.
But ultimately God did not desire to be worshipped in temples made of stone, His desire was for His people to know Him personally and intimately, no matter where they were in the world.
Believers in Jesus Christ not only have their sins forgiven, but are spiritually reborn inside through the receiving the Holy Spirit. Now we don't need to travel to Jerusalem to worship God in a man made Temple, because we are enabled through the Holy Spirit to worship Him in our own hearts. We are now the Temple of the Holy Spirit, the one that God always desired to live with and in!
To worship God with All Of Our Strength is to allow our physical body to truly become a place where God desires to live. We are now a living Temple and can offer God prayer, worship and praise daily.
How do you rate as a Great Dad?
Dads' UNI can also assist you in continuing to develop your own fathering style through a Free subscription that emails you a Fathering Tip each week.