“Jesus answered, ‘The most important [commandment] is, Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 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 12:29-30
To love God with all your heart means to love God with all of your feelings, with all of your emotions and with all of your passion. Now, passion is a very hot term in our contemporary culture. When people ask, “What’s your passion,” what they’re really asking is what gets you excited? What gets you out of bed each day? What can you get lost in doing? It could be a certain ideology, social cause, or politics. Perhaps it’s a passion for the theater, movies, or music. It could be a passion for making money, physical fitness, or watching college football. You can be passionate about a lot of things, but the number one passion in your life should be your relationship with God.
Think about your relationship with God. When you first came to Christ, there was such a joy and a hunger to learn all you could about this God who would sacrifice His Son, Jesus, on the cross in order to offer you redemption from sin and a relationship with Him. You had a hunger for the Word, to worship and praise Him, and even to tell others about your undeserved and often uncomprehensible life transformation through Christ Jesus. There was true excitement and passion in those early days, months, even years. But time passed and life’s many challenges and opportunities returned, distracting you from your relationship with God. Eventually, other things (very often important things) became a higher priority than your walk with God. And that’s a problem. If we’re more passionate about anything else in life than our relationship with God, then our priorities are simply out of whack. Jesus reminds us that when you give your heart to God, you want to maintain that passion and love Him with all your heart.
Examine your heart. Have you lost some of that original passion for your faith? Have you put anything else in life before God? If so, ask God to forgive where your heart has wavered. Ask Him to bring you back to that moment when you first experienced God’s unearned and undeserved grace, love, and redemption through faith in Jesus Christ. Reflect back on your personal faith journey and all the ups and downs that God has walked through with you. May today be the day that you return to that first love – where you love God with all your heart.