Loving The Lord With All Thy Strength

Posted on Posted in Godly Women, Worship

In the book of Matthew, Jesus states the greatest commandment is loving the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind.  But in Mark and Luke, it also mentions loving the Lord with all your strength:

“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

With it’s mention missing in Matthew, one could easily overlook this, or interpret that it is not as important as the other three.  However, being present in two other books, makes it as equally important.

We’ve already looked at Loving The Lord With All Thy Heart, Loving The Lord With All Thy Soul, and Loving the Lord With All Thy Mind.  Today, we finish off this important passage by examining loving the Lord with all thy strength.

Taking a poll

Out of curiosity, I asked a few people over the last two months what it means to love God with all their strength.  It was a really hard questions for them to answer.  Many gave me blank stares and said, I don’t know.

The women who did answer, talked about emotional strength.  I trust God, even when it’s hard, was a popular answer.

The men who answered talked about physical strength.  I work as hard as I can when I’m trying to glorify him.  One example given was about when a man was asked to help a friend move his house.  He worked as hard as he could to help his friend move and stack all the heavy things in his house.

A Different View

Did you read your bible today?  Did you spend time in prayer?  Not just say a quick prayer, but spend time in His presence?  Have you had a piece of today where you specifically took time to worship?

If you did all these, then think of a day that you didn’t. For most of us, myself included, there are many times when we haven’t.

What was the reason you didn’t?

Assuming it wasn’t just because you forgot, the next likely reason is you ran out of time.  At the end of the day, you could have done one or all of these, but you were just too tired.

Oh, I have been here.  I don’t even want to confess how many times I have fallen asleep on my bible, or during prayer.  I will just tell you, it is a large number.

So many times, weariness overrode any strength in me.

We Have A Choice

There was a time in my life when I would tell myself, “I’m too busy” or “I’m too tired” or “I just don’t have enough time” and I believed 100% that that was the truth.

My regular readers will remember at the start of this journey, as I was convicted by this passage in Mark,

“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

It was not the all thy heart part that convicted me, nor was it with all thy soul.  It wasn’t even with all thy mind (though I could certainly stand to work on this one).

What convicted me the most was, with all thy strength.

Yes, I have lied to myself in the past, thinking I was keeping this commandment. But I have a choice not to believe this lie, even though it may mean hard choices.

I have for years been an early riser.  It is the best part of the day for me to spend alone time with the Lord without worrying about getting coffee for the farmer, or food and clothing for the wee ones.  But when I am really honest, I realize I was not doing it with all my strength.

There were times when I was tired, may have “zoned out,” or even slept in a bit, and put the time off until later in the day when perhaps I did have distractions.

That day as I read through this passage, conviction hit me hard.  I made the choice each and every day to be tired.  I didn’t want to be tired, per se, but I was not doing the things within my power to keep my body strong and healthy and alert.

Choosing To Have Strength In Order To Serve Jesus

Every doctor and personal trainer alike will tell you the same thing.  If you want to be healthier, loose weight, be well rested at night, [fill in  your definition of a healthy strong body], there are things that you and only you control that will help you achieve this goal.

No one else can make you exercise, or put down that donut, or just get your hind quarters in bed at night.  Only you.

If you want to have the strength to serve Jesus, you’re going to have to do it yourself.

We need to keep our bodies at their healthiest in order to be fully awake when we are in His Word.  We need to eat well so that our bodies feel well–because for most of us, when we are sick or uncomfortable, we are challenged to stay kind to other children of God at times.

How Do We Keep Our Strength Up?

For those of us who have slipped in this area of taking care of our bodies, taking better care of ourselves can mean many different things.

Some of us need to sleep.  Maybe we need to go to bed earlier, or take naps when available, or possibly we need less sleep.  Still yet, some of us get enough sleep, just at random times.  If this is you, then a sleep schedule is necessary.

Once our bodies begin bearing children, or we reach a certain age, being tired is not always entirely about sleep alone.  Lack of physical exercise and a poor diet can all lead to fatigue.

Exercise is not always about loosing weight, although some of us may need this too.

Another factor that zaps our energy?  Stress.

Many women have stress in their lives that they could get rid of.  Why don’t they?  Usually the answer is guilt.  Perhaps a job causes you undue stress, but you feel you have to stay at the job in lieu of getting a different one.

Perhaps you have a relationship that is painful to you and you feel guilty about drawing boundary lines.

Not all stress can be avoided, but some, with hard choices can be minimized.  It all comes down to choices.

Loving the Lord with all our strength means different things to different people depending on our current level of strength. Taking a closer look on how we can concentrate on serving Him with our strength.

I won’t ask if you’re loving the Lord with all your strength.  Because it’s a really hard question–even confrontational.  I will just ask you today, how are you loving the Lord with all your strength?

 

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