“And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.” Mark 12:30 (KJV)
”So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:16 (KJV)
Both of these scriptures are in red print in my Bible – they were spoken by Jesus. All through the Bible, both Old and New Testaments, there are numerous scriptures admonishing us to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. It is what He desires – and it is what He deserves.
Christians are often criticized as being “fanatics” or as “wearing their religion on their sleeve”. Tim Tebow has been criticized again and again during his football career for acknowledging God on the field. Others are looked down on for living by high moral standards, or for something as small as praying over a meal in a restaurant. I remember, as a teenager, being criticized for going to church “too much”. That was in the day when services were held twice on Sunday and once or twice during the week.
But how much is “too much” when loving God? Can we really put a measure on it? It’s an individual thing, coming from our heart. Is it “too much” to dedicate your life to 40 years of missions work, as my husband has done? Or, is it “too much” to read your Bible every day, pray, and gather for worship with other believers? Is it “too much” to give financially, to help the poor, or to do other acts of service?
How about all of the persecuted Christians around the world who are imprisoned, beaten, or killed for their faith? I’m sure they have had to ask themselves the question, “Is Jesus worth it?” all the while knowing the answer – yes, He is worth it!
These answers have to come from our own heart. We have to ask ourself the question, “Am I loving the Lord my God with all of my heart and with all of my soul?”