Friday, February 17, 2012

A Goal That God Has Gotta Love

Deuteronomy 6:5 (NASB)
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.

Deuteronomy 6:5 (AMP)
And you shall love the Lord your God with all your [mind and] heart and with your entire being and with all your might.
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Everyone felt it – especially the woman standing half-dressed in front of the condemnatory crowd. Even a passerby could sense the crowd’s impatience, eager to inflict “righteous judgment” by stoning the woman caught in adultery.

She stood alone – afraid to look up, fighting back tears. Surely her fate was sealed.

Or so it seemed.

“I do not condemn you. Go and sin no more,” Jesus said after sending her accusers away to consider their own sinful history.

This story can be found in the eighth chapter of the Gospel of John. We’re not told what the woman did after this encounter with Jesus; but I know how I would’ve responded. Although I’ve never committed adultery, I too have been forgiven much.

And since I’ve been shown great mercy, I love God a whole lot.

However, I don’t love Him as fully as I could.

What would it be like to love God with every thought, and with all my strength? How would my actions and my motives change if I esteemed Him with that much intention and energy?

As I continue to recall times I experienced His mercy, would it stir within me an increasing desire to love Him with all my heart?

As we memorize or meditate on Deuteronomy 6:5, let’s make practicing to love God with our entire being this week’s goal. And as we pray for each other to succeed, can you picture how delighted God would be to hear those prayers?

What do you think?

• Does recalling times God has forgiven you, make you want to practice loving Him more?

• What does it mean to you to love God with everything that’s in you?

• What changes do you hope to see in your relationship with God as you pursue this goal?

• If you have chosen another goal, let us know how we can pray for you.

13 comments:

  1. I like this verse all I need to do is memorize the address.

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    1. I'm glad you like this verse, Suzy. I like it, too! I hope you're able to incorporate it more and more into your everyday life. Let us know how you're doing and how we can pray for you.

      And thank you for commenting. Are you a subscriber? (I'd like to put your name in the drawing.)

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  2. This week's verse is the most thought-provoking one for me yet. As I pondered on what this is supposed to look like, I too can say I don't love Him as fully as I could or should. But what is that supposed to be like? So, I did a little searching (both of my heart and on the internet) and see that obedience to His will for me, loving others when I want to be anything but loving, doing for others what I would have them do for me . . . the list could go on and on. God certainly has not had all of my heart only pieces of it when I make choices to be less than loving to others He created. Lord, forgive me and help me to love you with the love that you have given to me.

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    1. MJ, I love the question you asked, "But what is that suppose to be like?" In fact, in my original draft I asked the same kind of question and gave some thoughts. But I try to keep my posts brief. You'll be glad to know that next week's verse will go into some of the things you brought up.

      I join you in that great prayer, MJ. Keep it up. I know God will help us love Him more and more.

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  3. I wonder, did the woman ever sin again? Most likely because we are all sinners, throughout life. People are still anxious to cast their stones, even at loved ones who have wronged them. We Christians profess to love God, yet we still sin, even if only in thought. If we all knew of each others sins and stoning was legal, we would need to walk around with full armor, at least helmets.

    Anon in AK

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  4. Anon in AK, I don't doubt the woman sinned many times throughout the rest of her life. I hope it wasn't as an adulterer; however, I know I've repeated some sins over and over again. Thankfully God always forgave me when I sincerely repented. And today, I no longer do some of those things. And you’re right, Anon in AK, it’s a good thing stoning isn’t legal, today. But I hope we will all keep praying for each other to be less judgmental and more forgiving. Thank you for your comment. It was nice hearing from you again.

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  5. Isn't it true that if we commit any sin, we are guilty of all? If it is, then we repeat all sins over and over. We can commit a sin such as adultery in our minds alone. Looking and lusting.

    Anon in AK

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    1. But wouldn't you agree, Anon. in AK, that we do break free from some entangling sins? Have you not experienced victory over at least one sinful habit? Jesus' death and ressurrection provides that victory for us, if we walk in it. Certainly, it's not easy. That's why we need to stay in His Word, pray for each other, and yield to God's grace. Does that make sense, Anon. in AK?

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  6. Of course we can break away from one particular sin. But still, if we commit one we are guilty of all. There are no degrees of sin. Humans place degrees on things. Just like we have devised a method of time but to God, one day is as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day. But I am just a foolish old Hermit, what do I know?

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  7. Anon in AK, I believe the Bible states if we commit one sin, then we're guilty of all sin so that we would realize we need a Savior - not to hinder us from realizing the victory we have in Jesus. Anon in AK, I appreciate the discussion and want to invite others to comment on some of the things we’ve been chatting about. Perhaps someone else can offer another insight.

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  8. If I stay focused on my sin nature, I diminish the work of the cross. That's not to say I don't need to examine my heart every day and ask for God's forgiveness but I can't be victorious in Christ and complete the work on this earth that He created me to do for His kingdom if I constantly think on my sins and failures. In His great mercy, He bought me with His blood and cleansed me from my unrighteousness. I owe my life to Him and to knowing the power of His resurrection. God's mercies are new to me every morning and He delights in showing mercy to me and to all who will believe in Him. I pray that God would show His truth to all who desire truth and open the eyes of our understanding.

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  9. I feel that we need to admit we need Him every minute of the day. I pray daily for a desire to seek Him more that I may know His perfect will, direction for my life. I fall so far short and my thoughts betray even my earnest desire to be more like Jesus. The scripture says May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable. I add in " and thoughts of my mind. "

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  10. Verna, I relate to your comment because I struggle the same ways you mentioned. Thank you for your transparency and candor. We will be praying for you, Verna, as you pursue to love God with your words, deeds, and thoughts (and please pray for us, too). Thank you for commenting!

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