This post is part of my series for Write 31 Days (writing on a prompt every day during the month of October). I may not be posting on the blog every day, but you can find an index page where all the posts in the series will be added here. The prompt today is “whole.” (I’m swapping the prompts for today and tomorrow as today’s prompt links with a guest post that will go live tomorrow.)
“Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: Love your neighbour as yourself. The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”” (Matthew 22:37-40 NLT)
The whole law can be summed up in these two commands.
When it’s stated like this, it’s simple – it all comes down to loving God and loving others – but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
We all have to wrestle with the question of what it looks like in everyday life to show that love to people who may make it difficult at times!
The call to love God is not easy either. This is not just a call to love him for one hour on a Sunday morning or even to spend time with him each day. This is a call to a whole-hearted, whole-life focus of love. We are called to love God with all our heart, all our soul and all our mind.
Too often I am half-hearted. I love God, but I drift into seeking my purpose and security elsewhere. I focus on his truth, but then other thoughts creep in and sidetrack me. I commit my concerns to him, but then I pick them up again and continue worrying.
2 Chronicles 25:2 presents the verdict on King Amaziah’s life, saying he “did what was pleasing in the Lord’s sight, but not wholeheartedly.” As I read that, it makes me want to be different.
I would much rather be like Caleb, who was able to sincerely declare, “For my part, I wholeheartedly followed the Lord my God.” (Joshua 14:8 NLT)
The temptation is to think that it is about trying harder – reading the Bible more, praying more, doing more good things for God – but ultimately that is never going to be enough.
I’m grateful that it is not down to my effort, but that it is by cooperating with God. He is the one who changes us and makes us wholehearted as we focus on him and his grace.
“I will give them hearts that recognize me as the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me wholeheartedly.” (Jeremiah 24:7 NLT)