LOVE! – For the Win!

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Have you ever loved or wanted something so badly that it became an obsession? Perhaps a new household gadget, a shiny new grill, or that beautiful new car in the showroom window? Or perhaps for you, it was that special someone you saw that you thought could be “the one”?

If you are like me, when you become obsessed with something, you put all your energy—your heart, soul, mind, and strength—into obtaining it. How many of us have worked overtime to obtain the money to buy that gadget, grill, or new car? Who has dedicated their heart, soul, mind, and strength into getting that special someone to notice you?

While there is nothing wrong with putting forth such effort to achieve the things we want in life, it can be a problem if we channel that energy in an unhealthy way, putting the obsession before everything else in our lives. Here is a challenge I present to you today:

What if we took that enthusiastic energy and love and applied it to what Jesus said is the greatest commandment?

Mark 12:28-30
28 One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” 29 Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. 30 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’”

There it is—the challenge set before all of us by the wisest man ever to walk this earth. Love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength.

For me, the key word here is LOVE. If we truly love as Jesus did, it will be with all we have to give. What would it feel like to really embrace this commandment and execute it “for the win”? Jesus set the example for us as the one and only true winner who ever lived. He executed this commandment to perfection along with the second and equally important commandment that you will read about tomorrow.

For now, I will leave you with this thought. If you have ever poured out everything to obtain a worldy item, did you truly feel fulfilled when you received it? I promise you, giving your all to follow the teachings of Jesus will leave you fulfilled.

LOVE for the win!

How strong is your love relationship with God?

Do you feel like you are giving your first, best, and all to him?

Next Steps:
Choose one of the Gospels to read—Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. (CedarCreek’s John Reading Plan is a great place to start.) As you read, make note of how Jesus set the ultimate love example for us.

Truly examine how much effort you put into loving God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.

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21 Days of Prayer

Day 16 Focus – To Come Close to God (James 4:8)

31 “The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.’” 32 The teacher of religious law replied, “Well said, Teacher

Day 16 Focus – To Come Close to God (James 4:8)

Dear God, you have promised if I draw near to you, you will draw near to me. I need more of your strength and presence today. I am drawing near to you through prayer, worship, and your Word. I open my heart to you and ask you to be near to me, growing me to be more like you. Amen.

Today’s Parent Prayer

This post was written by Ned Miller. Ned loves serving through writing on the LIO team, prayer team, group leader and as a greeter. He loves spending time with his family and working on his model railroad.

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