What Matters Most…

Before we get too far into our journey together, we need to establish the baseline for all our interactions with God. Once we begin to speak of our level of commitment to Him (as we have been doing), we can so easily drift away from the one central thing that must captivate, and motivate, our hearts. Because of our desire to please God (a good thing), we can find ourselves seeking for ways to “justify” our relationship with God by trying to define our relationship by the amount of effort we apply in “spiritual” virtues. We seek to pray more, read the Scriptures more, talk about God with our friends and acquaintances more – or by seeking to avoid all the “questionable” or “controversial” activities that may detract, and distract us, from our relationship with God. If we are not very careful, we can reduce all our “Christianity” to the (potentially) deadly 3 R’s… rules, regulations and rituals. We can become so consumed with our efforts, our religious activities, our good activities, our virtues. Much of this effort, often unknowingly, is focused upon seeking to impress others with our “spirituality” – in the hopes that, if enough people can see how committed we are to Jesus, they would want to become as committed themselves. But there is such eminent danger in swimming in these waters…

We can so easily forget the central issue that simply must dominate our lives when it comes to our interaction with God, and with other people. Without this central issue, everything we do eventually becomes tedious and laborious, lifeless and self-righteous, empty and unsatisfying…

Everything in true Christianity boils down to one essential thing. One day, Jesus was asked to define this one thing – the one activity of our lives that matters most. This was His response: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment…” (from Matthew 22:37) Our Master Himself defined the central theme. And it is not commitment, or duty, or responsibility, or morality, or religious fervor – the issue that matters most is our love for God. Here is the most important understanding: when we love God, with all that we are (really love Him from the depths of our being!), then all the other “proper” things flow from our lives. Commitment, duty, responsibility, morality, religious activities are not wrong – they just cannot stand by themselves. They often have too much humanity in them – too much (flawed) human effort. And anything that is marred by the frailty of human effort will fail to satisfy our lives, or impact the world around us.

God is always after our hearts. He is seeking for human hearts whose passion is found in simply loving Him. These are the hearts whom He truly uses to impact the world. These are the hearts through whom His Presence abides, and through whom He reaches out to touch the world that He loves. After all, love is His driving passion! Scripture tells us that it was not pity or duty or obligation that caused God to send us a Savior… “For God so LOVED the world, He gave us His one and only Son…” (from John 3:16) When we are consumed with loving God (and coincidentally, with loving humanity) we are truly reflecting God’s Own Heart. This is what we are always called to do. This is true Christian behavior. To love as God loves must be the desire of our hearts. This is the purpose behind all He has done for us.

So how can we love God with all that we are? It begins with truly realizing His Own love for us. The apostle John, reflecting upon this central issue, was inspired to tell us: “Love is from God, and everyone who loves has been fathered by God and knows God. The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love. By this the love of God is revealed in us: that God has sent His one and only Son into the world so that we may live through Him… God is love, and the one who resides in love resides in God, and God resides in him… We love because He loved us first.” (from 1 John 4:7-19) Because God loved us first – we are able to respond to His love, and His love “infects” our own hearts with the immeasurable bounty of His Own love. Our part, what sets everything in motion, is to simply respond to the love God has (and has demonstrated) for us. “Indeed, He who did not spare His Own Son, but gave Him up for us all – how will He not also, along with Him, freely give us all things? …For I am convinced that …(nothing) else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (from Romans 8:32, 38-39)

This Valentine’s Day, may we all be encouraged to renew our hearts back to the most important thing – to love the One Who loves us, with all that we are…

Seeking after God’s Heart…

About theheartseeker

I have spent years studying the Scriptures and seeking for God's answer to the question: What IS true Christianity? Let me share some answers with you...
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3 Responses to What Matters Most…

  1. Scott Ackerman says:

    Mark thanks, I just read this from Scotty Smith this morning:
    Legalism: Delighting in me as I obey the law.
    Libertinism: Delighting in me as I ignore the law
    Liberty: Delighting in God & obeying Jesus

  2. Sandy Perkins says:

    Thanks Mark, your blogs are most encouraging. To really know the love of the Father and His goodness towards us is the most life changing experience. Religion .. Bad, God…GOOD. Keep writing Mark! Much love, Sandy Perkins

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