Pt 5 Loving God More
November 8, 2002 • By Ed Wrather
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. - Mark 12:30.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. - Romans 12:1-2.
We are very familiar with the phrase “change of lifestyle.” More and more people are being told by their doctors that in order to have good health a “change of lifestyle” will be necessary. For those of us who have experienced heart disease, cancer, and other serious illnesses we have heard over and over how a good diet, exercise and reduction of stress will improve our health. But it is necessary that we develop new healthy habits participating in our new healthy lifestyle not once every few weeks but on a continuous every day basis.
(Note: For those of you participating in the 2 Peter challenge, which was extended in the first Loving God More devotional, you will find a wonderful benefit of immersion into God’s Word. The benefit is the fruit of the Spirit including temperance or self-control becoming more evident in your life and resulting in your actually being able to have a healthy lifestyle.)
Because our modern society downplays the importance of faithfulness and continual love for our spouses, we see this carried over into our view of the spiritual. We are conditioned to believe by the world that we can fall out of love over a period of time and that this is to be expected. However, it is just as much a falsehood in the world as it is in the spiritual. Love should not be thought of as an emotion that eventually will die down and grow cold.
In order to truly love our wife or our husband requires a continual effort, a continual focus that is a lifestyle of commitment. Loving God is also a lifestyle. It involves everyday putting God first and foremost in our lives just as Jesus says in Matthew 6:33. It is a continual process of giving God the very first part, the very best part of our lives. This process as with marriage is never finished; it must be a lifestyle, which requires all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. This lifestyle of loving God is as the apostle Paul puts it a “living sacrifice” and it is our “reasonable service” to God.
Let us not be conformed to the lifestyle of the world. Instead let us be conformed and transformed to the lifestyle of loving God. Then, we will see everything in our lives begin to fall into their proper places and we will see clearly God’s will for us.
Don’t just talk about loving God - live it!!