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Devotionals 2002

Pt 4 Loving God More
November 7, 2002By 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. 

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. - 1 Corinthians 15:58. 

(See also: Acts 11:23; Acts 14:22; Colossians 1:23; 2 Timothy 3:14.) 

Shawna McCown’s world changed drastically on May 30, 2001 because that was the day doctors amputated her right leg about six inches below the knee after a motorcycle accident. Shawna was only days away from graduation and attending Morehead State on a track scholarship only about 120 miles from Louisville, Kentucky where she lived. It has now been 18 months since the accident and Shawna has endured painful physical therapy and will compete in her first track meet Saturday running a three-mile (4.8 kilometer) course. Shawna says, “It’s definitely made me a stronger person. More confident, actually, to know that I can get through something like this.” After running the three miles for the first time since her accident a week and a half ago she said, “I was just like, ‘Thank you, God, for letting me do this.’ I hurt the whole week afterwards, but it’s a good hurt….” 

Jesus tells us in the Gospel of Mark that we are to love God with all of our strength. It means that we will keep on; continue on trying to live the life God calls us to live no matter what obstacle, or problems we may encounter. Shawna McCown gives us an example of continuing on in the face of disaster. We see with Shawna that it has deepened her character and made her a stronger person as she has continued on with life. 

There will be times when our spiritual life seems dry. There will be times when we desperately want to hear a word from God, but He is silent. There will be times when we encounter great difficulty in life. Those difficulties may be physical as with Shawna or they may be spiritual as we confront temptations such as Joseph encountered in the Old Testament. In order to continue on and journey through those periods of life we need to commit ourselves afresh, reaffirm that we do love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. Shawna said, “As soon as I was able to talk, I told my family I wanted to try. I was going to run again.” It was a fresh commitment, a greater commitment than she had ever made before requiring more of her than she had ever dreamed. 

When we do continue on with God through the perils of life, we will find that our character is deepened and our spiritual strength is increased. So, if life has knocked you down, if you are discouraged, defeated - Rise up! And continue on with steadfastness and determination “abounding in the work of the Lord.”

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