daily devotional

Mark 12:30 – Love the Lord your God with ALL your heart and with ALL your soul and ALL your mind and with ALL your strength.

I’ll be honest with you here – I never liked this scripture. It just always seemed unrealistic to me. I mean here’s my heart and it’s full of people I love, beautiful things I love, plus my dream and desires and my heart is so full. But then God says, love me with ALL your heart. But God, what about these other things in my heart? If I love you with all my heart, then what about my family? I have less love to give them? Then my dreams are just crowded right out because I have to give my whole heart to you. And that just doesn’t sound like an exciting life. Really, sitting around all the days of my life just loving God with ALL my heart, all my soul, all my mind and all my strength. All means ALL. That means there’s none of my heart, soul, mind or strength available for anything else, right?

And so, for all these years I’ve avoided this scripture because I felt like I was failing miserably in this area. I’ve always shifted my focus on the next verse which says to love your neighbor as yourself. I can do that. I can give love – I can put someone else first – I can be kind. That’s the easy stuff – but this loving God with ALL, well that just never made sense to me.

Time and time again God has brought this scripture to my mind. Pamela, love me with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

So I began studying this scripture and here’s what God has shown me. Love is a matter of trust. I trust God above everyone and everything else. I trust him in the good times and I trust him in the bad times. This is love.

Love is both an emotion and a call to action. We often focus on the emotion of love and yes, God wants our mushy, softened heart and choked up, knot in our throat kind of love. But our love for God must be a call to action. Because we love God we must live differently. We must treat others differently. We must go where others won’t go and do what others won’t do. This is how we love God with ALL our heart, soul, mind and strength.

And when we love God with ALL our heart, soul, mind and strength, we love our family on a whole new level. My marriage got better when I learned how to love God better. I became a better mom when I surrendered my life to God. My dreams started coming true when I gave it all to God.

Loving God with ALL doesn’t require an absence of our love for others … it enhances our love for others. It is the supreme love and it flows over onto every relationship and every circumstance.

Now I know, I can love God with my ALL. All of me God – you can have all of me. With ever fiber in our being we can love God.

God simply wants you to live an all-in life. Holding nothing back. Showing up with all of you. No tip toeing around, this is a matter of diving in. All-In!

The MSG translation of Mark 12:30 says ‘Love the Lord God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence and energy.’

God wants your passion today. Yes, he wants you to be hungry for him. And if you won’t choose to be hungry for him, seeking him like food when you’re starving, then he will make you hungry for him through desperation. Our desperation brings about a passion for God causing us to seek him high and seek him low. I personally don’t enjoy being in a desperate situation. So, why would I wait to be desperate before I seek God?

Don’t wait for desperation to seek God. Seek him today – even when there’s enough money to pay the bills. Even when you and your family are healthy. He wants your passion.

He wants you to pray to him today. He wants you to fill your brilliant mind with thoughts of him, what he has done for you, what he is doing now, and what he promises he will do. And he wants your energy today. God wants you to be ALIVE. Look alive. Act alive. Be full of life today because he has given you life today. Oh yes, that’s what an all-in life looks like.

Can we, women who have been so richly blessed with people and things to love, hearts with passions and dreams, can we truly love God with our ALL – All our heart, soul, mind and strength … oh yes we can! It is his love that causes us to get all the other relationships right. It is his love that causes us to live with reckless abandon and go all-in.