Jesus replied, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ ~ Mark 12:29-30 (NLT)
What does it mean to love God? 10 different people would answer it 10 different ways based on their experiences. First, you have to identify what love means to you. Is love very conditional in that you are only ‘rewarded’ if you do something right, something pleasing, or something good? Is love superficial where you hide the core of who you are behind trust issues, previous hurts, and unhealed scars? Is love loyal within reason and regardless if it reciprocated? Does love keep score in order to use it as a defense mechanism in arguments, discussions, or conversations to deflect the focus? Is love unconditional as God intended and has provided to all of His children?
Loving God conditionally, puts Him in a box that only you can see.
It restricts His awesomeness and limits Him to our human consciousness
Loving God conditionally doesn’t leave room for you to see all that you can be
Loving God conditionally means your faith needs to stretch magnanimously
Call to Action: Can you identify areas where your love for God is based on if you do this then you expect God to do that?
Prayer: Oh Lord, my Lord, I know your word says you love me unconditionally, but my experiences make it challenging for me to understand what that means. I open myself to you to help me move from conditions and limitations to the same unconditional love you give to me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Loving God superficially, doesn’t expose the core of who you are and can be
It’s routine ‘church’ and mundane praise that does not infuse excitement into your days
Excitement to love God and seek His face, needing for God to take His proper place
Loving God superficially, scratches the surface of the relationship God desires to be
Call to Action: Can you identify why you feel ashamed of letting God see the core of who you are, when He already knows?
Prayer: Father, God. I know my past is not quite stellar, and I realize my thoughts need a lot of work too. Help me confront those things I keep hidden away, so I can release them to you and become whole and happy with me; so, I can stop pretending and living superficially. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Loving God loyally is a great place to start, a good nurturing condition for the heart
For loyalty sets a standard of faithfulness riding praise and surviving times of duress
Loving God loyally should be guarded too, so it doesn’t become what can I get from you
Loving God loyally should have no boundaries allowing God to elevate you enormously
Call to Action: Are there some areas where you could work on being more loyal in your love for God?
Prayer: God, I am generally loyal to you, but I must admit there are areas where I can be more loyal in trusting you. Help me have total freedom in every area of my life with you and for you. I surrender my hesitations and my doubts, my fears, and my concerns to you. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Loving God with a love that keeps score keeps you "doing" to build up credit so you can get more
Loving God with a love that keeps score has your valley experiences wondering IF God will open that door
Loving God with a love that keeps score prevents a relationship with God that was meant to soar
Loving God with a love that keeps score doesn’t allow you to really feel how it feels to be adored
Call to Action: In what ways do you find yourself keeping score with God? Comparing yourself with others? Envying the relationship others have with God?
Prayer: Dear Lord, I recognize I sometimes compare myself when I shouldn’t. You love me for who you created me to be, and I need to walk into the beauty of that and not what I see in others. Forgive me for not seeing all of the love you have poured into me. I am asking for your help to help release the need to keep score and help me embrace my perfect imperfections as I work on bettering me daily. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Unconditional love for God is that agape level stuff that operates from the heart, not the hip or off the cuff
Unconditional love for God exists during the harvest as well as the lean season, for it exists in abundance, it doesn’t need a reason
Unconditional love breaks human understanding and reasoning, but it is the type of love God gives us, like good seasoning
Unconditional love corrects and comforts too, it celebrates and supports to usher you through
Call to Action: Are there certain people who require your unconditional love in order for them to see Jesus?
Prayer: My Lord, I am grateful that I am learning more about Unconditional Love for you. Help me to fully grasp and understand how beautiful this love relationship is. Lord, help me exude unconditional love so that others see you in my actions and behaviors. Help me to be an extension of the unconditional love you so freely offer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.