“One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?” “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.’There is no commandment greater than these.” – Mark 12:28-34.
Heart is used in Scripture as the comprehensive term for a person as a whole; his feelings, desires, passions, thought, understanding and will. It is the center of the person and the place to which God turns.
It is no wonder that we talk about the heart as much as we do because Christianity is not about behavior modification; it’s about heart transformation. And that transformation means giving your whole heart to God. Charles Spurgeon said that “God is not truly sought by the cold researches of the brain: we must seek him with the heart. Love reveals itself to love: God manifests his heart to the heart of his people.”
The Bible has a lot to say about the subject of giving God our whole heart. “I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart”… “I will extol the Lord with all my heart.”…”I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart.” (Psalms 9:1; 111:1; 138:1) And in Psalm 119, we read, “I seek you with all my heart”…”Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart”…”I keep your precepts with all my heart”…”May I wholeheartedly follow your decrees.”
The book of Jeremiah also has a lot to say about the whole heart. Jeremiah 24:7 says, “I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.” Jeremiah 29:13 says, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
To love God with our whole heart is our goal. We can start the day by turning our hearts to Him. We can practice telling the Lord we love Him every single day. We can also pray, “Lord Jesus, cause me to love You more today than I did yesterday and serve You with my whole heart.” And then we need to work on those things that divert our attention and our heart away from God.
When it is all said and done, none of us can control the quantity of days we will have on this earth. However, the one thing that we can all control is the love that we have for God by giving Him our whole heart.
- What does it mean to love God with all your heart?
- Read Acts 13:22 and 1 Samuel 13:14: What does it mean to have a heart after God’s heart? And what do these verses say about good intentions versus actions?
- Read Jeremiah 32:39-41. What are these verses saying to you?
- Our greatest fear shouldn’t be of failure, but of succeeding in things that don’t really matter. Agree or disagree?
- Pray and ask God to give you the strength and wisdom to give Him your whole heart?