Thursday, January 15, 2015

How to inherit eternal life, part 5: Loving with our whole hearts

And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, "Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?" And He said to him, "What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?" And he answered, "YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." And He said to him, "You have answered correctly; DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE." (Luke 10:25-28 NASB)

In the previous post, we considered the issue of Lordship. Loving in the way that pleases God begins with making Him our Lord, our Master. He must be the One in charge of our destiny. The only other choice is rebellion, so  we are compelled by the hope of eternity to submit to His Lordship. We cannot have it both ways. We can not love the Lord our 
God with all our heart, soul, and strength unless He is our Lord.

We turn now to the issue of loving the Lord our God with all our heart. The word translated as "heart" is kardia and refers to the muscular organ responsible for circulating blood throughout our body. Because Scripture tells us that "the life is in the blood" (Lev. 17:11), the heart was considered the center of life, mental and moral as well as physical. 

The reference here is to something done by the heart, as in loving God by our whole hearts, and indicates sincerity and lack of pretense. (thayer) Now we begin to see, don't we? Loving the Lord our God with all our heart involves loving Him with sincerity, and without pretense. There is nothing fake about it. 

We've all seen people who talk a great line about their faith, yet their lives tell a different story. We've likely been those people at times. Loving the Lord our God with all our heart, however, requires that we relinquish our "fake" demonstrations of love and truly love Him with every fiber of our being. 

This kind of love is a 24 hour a day love, in which thoughts of the One our heart loves are never far away. This kardia love makes every decision on the basis of that love. This kardia love has as it's goal the pleasure of the One we love. Finding ways in which we can we bring delight to the Light of our life becomes our goal. That is how we love and live when we love with our whole heart. 

Loving with all our heart requires an undivided heart. There is no one, no thing, that matters more than the object of our love. Our love for God becomes the most important love in our life. There is room for other loves, of course, but God shares first priority with no one.

The heart is a muscular organ unique in its properties. As such, it can get stronger with exercise, and the exercise of love will do a wondrous work in our hearts. The most amazing outcome of loving God with our whole heart is that, as we love Him sincerely and totally, our heart gains strength for that love and we can love Him even more. What is even more remarkable is that, in loving God more, we gain a God-given ability to love others more, as well. In a sense, by loving God with our whole hearts, we become a wellspring from which the love of God can flow to all around us. 

Selah. Pause and Consider.

By relinquishing our entire hearts to our Lord, loving Him above all others, we can become a wellspring of His love, flowing to everyone around us. What a beautiful picture of the transformation that divine kardia love can produce in us!  

Is that the way you love? Is your heart undivided? Is your Lord the priority love of your life? It is only in giving all our heart to Him that we can receive this extravagant outpouring of His love through us, and it is an exchange that is not only worth making, but also the most important exchange we can make. 

Oh, dear ones, if you have not given your "whole heart" to God, do it now and begin to let His love flow through you, unhampered, undivided. Let His love be your goal. Let His love be your priority.