Love is a complex idea, and hard to communicate intelligently, without coming unstuck. There are few things so universal and yet so challenging, especially love for God. Take for example the conversation between Jesus and Peter. Peter betrayed the Lord, and now that the Father has raised him from the dead, he lovingly restores Peter through fellowship and affirmations. However, in the course of the fellowship, he tested Peter’s love three times.
This must have been very painful for Peter, given that he has just failed to portray adequate love a few days ago when he was tested by a servant girl.
Peter do you love me more than these other disciples? (measurable)The line of questioning is indicative that the Lord desires to be loved in a certain way.
Jesus said this is the most important commandment and one that both the old and new covenants portray as necessary to enjoy God’s sustained favor. Mark 12:29-30 Jesus answered: Listen, Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is One. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.
(Deut 7:9–10)Moses asserted, the LORD “keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations,” but he “repays to their face those who hate him, by destroying them”
Similarly, Paul declared that “all things work together for good” for “those who love God . . . who are called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Some have tagged the GREAT COMMANDMENT of Deut 6:5 as the “ALL-COMMANDMENT,”
Because of the three-fold “all” — “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (ESV).
ACCORDING TO THIS SCRIPTURE, THERE IS NO ROOM FOR DIVIDED AFFECTIONS OR ALLEGIANCE.
As Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters” (Matthew 6:24). There is indeed one God who stands supremely powerful and valuable, AND HE DEMANDS A SUPREME AND TOTAL LOYALTY FROM YOU AND ME, A LOYALTY THAT STARTS WITH THE HEART.
BIBLE TEACHER’S SAY THAT THE JEWS USUALLY LISTED ITEMS FROM EASIEST TO HARDEST. I WAS SOMEWHAT CONFUSED BY THIS IDEA.
1. Isn’t loving God with all one’s heart the paramount demonstration of love?
2. How could loving God with all my heart or soul be easier than loving Him with all my strength?
I HOPE TO BUILD OUT THIS IDEA AND SOMEHOW THE LORD WILL USE IT TO GAIN MORE LEVERAGE IN OUR WALK WITH HIM.
DIVINE SERIES OF THREE’s IN SCRIPTURE ARE KEYS FOR GROWING IN MATURITY IN OUR SONSHIP.WHEN YOU SEE THREE ITEMS LISTED IN SCRIPTURE, SIT UP AND TAKE NOTICE.
• Biblical threes list things from easiest to hardest;
• But more importantly, they reveal the way of life that propels us toward maturity.
Let’s look at these scriptural examples.
Psalm 16:11 (KJV) 11 Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.
John 14:6 (KJV) 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
DIVINE THREES ARE TYPICALLY PROGRESSIVE IN NATURE, WITH ONE BUILDING ON WHAT WAS PREVIOUSLY GAINED OR ATTAINED.
THE THREE BAPTISMS ARTICULATED IN MATTHEW 3:11 IS A GOOD EXAMPLE.
• Being baptized in water is easier, and usually precedes,
• being baptized by the Holy Ghost,
• which is definitely easier than being baptized by fire by going to a cross.
THE FOLLOWING IS A FEW EXAMPLES OF DIVINE SERIES OF THREE THAT YOU CAN MEDITATE UPON.
You shall love the LORD your God with all your:  heart,  soul, and  strength (Deuteronomy 6:5).
Abide these three:  faith,  hope, and  love (1 Corinthians 13:13).
May the God of peace sanctify you entirely, so you may be preserved complete without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ:  spirit,  soul, and  body (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is:  good,  acceptable (or pleasing),  perfect (Romans 12:2).
THE EASIEST WAY TO LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD IS “WITH ALL YOUR HEART.”
The Hebrew word for heart is lev.
• Its ancient word picture tells us that the heart is what controls the inside.
• Your heart is known as the center of your being – the most interior organ.
The old covenant recognized that a spiritual relationship with God begins from within.
From the heart “flows the springs of life” (Proverbs 4:23)
All of our……………
6. and thoughts must be rightly aligned, or the life of love is impossible.
Therefore Moses calls Israel to “know . . . in your heart” that God disciplines like a father his son (Deuteronomy 8:5). He urges God’s people to “lay it to heart” that there is no God besides Yahweh (Deuteronomy 4:39–40)
And to ensure that his words “be on your heart” (Deuteronomy 6:6)There are more than 1000 scriptures that speak concerning our hearts.
FIVE ASPECTS OF WHOLEHEARTEDNESS THAT GOD REQUIRES
(1) MAKE HIM YOUR GREATEST TREASURE:
Mark 12:30 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength”
(2) SEARCH FOR HIM WITH YOUR WHOLE HEART:
Jer.29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek for me with your whole heart”
(3) TRUST HIM WITH YOUR WHOLE HEART:
Prov.3:5-6 ”Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on you own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths”
(4) PRAISE HIM WITH YOUR WHOLE HEART:
Psalm 9:1 “I will praise You, O Lord, with my whole heart, I will tell of Your wonders”
(5) RETURN TO HIM WITH YOUR WHOLE HEART:
Joel 2:12-13 “Even now, declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning” Rend your heart and not you garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love”
THE NEXT HARDEST WAY TO LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD IS “WITH ALL YOUR SOUL.”
Along with our hearts, we are called to love the LORD with all our soul. In the first five books of the Old Testament, the “soul” refers to ONE’S WHOLE BEING AS A LIVING PERSON, which includes one’s “heart,” but is so much more. For example, in Genesis 2:7 we are told that “The LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living [soul] creature”
The Hebrew word for soul is nephesh (neh’-fesh) means a breathing creature. Its verb naphash (naw-fash) means to breathe or be refreshed.THEREFORE, TO LOVE GOD WITH ALL YOUR SOUL MEANS TO LOVE HIM WITH YOUR VERY LIFE’S BREATH.
SO WE ARE TO LOVE GOD WITH OUR:
1. passions, (That which intrigues you, motivates you and challenges you.)
2. hungers, (your strong desires or cravings)
3. perceptions,( how you understanding, or interpreting something)
4. thoughts. (the action or process of thinking)
BUT WE ARE ALSO TO LOVE HIM WITH:
1. how we talk, (interpersonal skills)
2. and what we do with our hands, (works)
3. and how we utilize our talents, (serve others)
4. and how we react to challenges (love)
5. and how we outwork relational differences (long suffering)
OUR ENTIRE BEING, IS TO DISPLAY THAT WE LOVE GOD.IN THE BIBLE, THE SOUL IS SYNONYMOUS WITH THE MIND.
OUR MIND CONSIST OF OUR WILL, OUR EMOTIONS, AND OUR INTELLECT. TO LIVE OUT OF THE MIND OF CHRIST, WE MUST SUBJUGATE OUR MINDSETS TO THE SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD.
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 (HCSB) For though we live in the body, we do not wage war in an unspiritual way, 4 since the weapons of our warfare are not worldly, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments 5 and every high-minded thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, taking every thought captive to obey Christ. 6 And we are ready to punish any disobedience, once your obedience has been confirmed.
Any veiled hostility in our mind toward the CHARACTER OF CHRIST MUST SHIFT/CHANGE TO FORM A NEW ORDER FOR THE FUTURE.
EVENTUALLY THIS SHIFT, HELPS TO FACILITATE THE RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS IN CHRIST.
HOW CAN LOVING GOD WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH BE HARDER THAN THAT?
THE HARDEST WAY TO LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD IS “WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.”
WHAT THEN IS THE MEANING OF LOVING GOD WITH OUR “STRENGHT/MIGHT”?
The word translated “might/strength” in Deuteronomy 6:5 usually functions as the adverb “very” in the Old Testament.
SO IF THE WORD USUALLY MEANS “very,” what would it mean to love the Lord with all our “VERY-NESS”?
A) The Greek translation of this word is “power.”
B) The Aramaic translation is “wealth.”
Both of these may actually be pointing in the same direction, for the strength of a person is NOT SIMPLY WHO HE IS,
BUT WHAT HE HAS AT HIS DISPOSAL.
THINK WITH ME:
If Moses’s call to love the LORD starts with our heart and then moves out to our being, could not our “VERY-NESS” BE ONE STEP BIGGER AND INCLUDE ALL OUR RESOURCES ?
In 2 Kings 23:25 we are told that King Josiah “turned to the LORD with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his might.
IT’S HARDER TO LOVE GOD WITH ALL YOUR RESOURCES THAN THE VERY BREATH YOU TAKE.
THINK ABOUT IT !!!!!
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matt. 6:21).
GOD REQUIRES ABRAHAM’S ONLY AND BELOVED SON ( GEN 22:1-2)
Abraham, the father of our faith is a stellar example of one who loves the Lord with all of his heart, all of his soul and all of his strength. “Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, ‘Abraham!”Here I am,' he replied.Then God said, ‘Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about.'” (22:1-2)
• There is no mistake about Who this is who is speaking to him.
• Abraham has heard God’s voice many times during his lifetime.
• He knows the voice.
• It is not the voice of an enemy, but a friend.
• But the message must have brought agony to Abraham’s heart.
In Isaac, all the promises of God to Abraham find their focus — blessing and descendants and the land.
He is the miracle-son of Sarah at 90 and Abraham at 100. How can God ask for him now?
GOD DESCRIBES ISAAC IN TWO WAYS:
1. Your only son. “Only” is the Hebrew adjective yāhīd, means “only, only begotten.”
2. Isaac whom you love. “Love” is the Hebrew verb ’āhēb. This general word for “love” or “like” is used in many contexts.
“Early the next morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, ‘Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.'” (Gen. 22:3-5)
“By faith Abraham, when God tested him, offered Isaac as a sacrifice. He who had received the promises was about to sacrifice his one and only son, even though God had said to him, ‘It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned.’ Abraham reasoned that God could raise the dead, and figuratively speaking, he did receive Isaac back from death.” (Hebrews 11:17-19)
“When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son.” (Gen. 22:11-12)
YAHWEH SAYS, “Now I know that you fear God,” that is, he is committed to God. One who fears God stands in awe of God and lives with practical righteousness and piety, obeying, walking in the Lord’s ways.
I Believe That God’s People Demonstrate A Bridal Love For Him When All Three Of These Areas Of Our Lives Are Submitted To His Lordship, Especially Our Resources.
THE WEBSTER’S COLLEGIATE DICTIONARY DEFINES THE WORD “RESOURCE” AS:
1. a source of supply or support;
2. a natural source of wealth;
3. a source of information or expertise;
4. an ability to meet and handle a situation.
The word “resource” comes from the French word resourdre, which means to relieve.
It more importantly literally means to RISE AGAIN, and my dictionary refers me to the word “RESURRECTION.”
Your resources are able to RESURRECT THE DREAMS OF GOD, PLACED INTO THE HEARTS OF HIS VISIONARIES.
Loving God with all our strength is fulfilled by spending our resources in Christ – as He perfectly desires.
• Money (three big indicators of the level of our maturity)
This means that the call to love God with all of our strength, is not only with our physical muscle, BUT WITH EVERYTHING WE HAVE AVAILABLE FOR HONORING GOD.
Mark 12:30 Jesus answered: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.