Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Love the Lord your God

 "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." Mark 12:30

All too often, I catch myself trying to see how little I can get away with in my spiritual life. How short can I make my quiet time in the morning, how quickly can I pray, and which prayer requests can be left out? Written out (or typed, as it were) it sounds awful, but it's sadly true sometimes. Even while I'm reading or praying, some days my attention wanders.

Does that sound like someone who is loving the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind and strength?

Of course not! Naturally, I'm sure none of us has the time to spend all day reading the Bible, or to spend 4 straight hours in prayer, but this is an attitude. Instead of trying to "get it over with" so I can move on to the next "task," I should be thinking of my Bible-reading as a privilege. I may have a busy day, and only have a half an hour to spend, but that half-hour should be a joy, and while you may not be able to spend much time in what I think of as "focused" prayer, there should always be a "pray without ceasing" (1 Thes. 5:17) connection to God through the day.

I think what it all comes down to is this: what is REALLY most important to you -- THE most important thing in your life? Is it drawing closer to God, allowing yourself to become more and more the likeness of Jesus, bringing Him glory in every moment of your life? When I find myself lacking interest in my relationship with God, He can always point out something or someone else who is taking that place of "most important." Something I'm stressing about (instead of giving it to Him), or a friendship that isn't going well, or just a busy week and I feel like my mind is running in circles trying to keep up. 

Whether you spend 10 minutes or 2 hours reading the Bible and praying each day, loving God is not something you get done, and then leave until the next morning. It's the way you live. He should be the focus of everything we do as Christians, and if I can't even pay attention in my quiet time, that's not a good sign for the rest of my day.
"So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." 1 Corinthians 10:31

It's easy for me to get caught up in the temporary things I'm doing now, and forget about eternity. When I think about spending eternity with Jesus, so little about this life seems important. This life is such a short flash compared to eternity; a length of time that our feeble minds can't even fully comprehend. I spend too much effort trying to have a pleasant life here, when all that really matters is bringing God glory, wherever it is that He has me. We've been saved from a fallen, sinful, devastated life. He loved us so much that He gave His life so that we could be redeemed. What could possibly be more important than complete devotion to Him?

"Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it." 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24

1 comment: