“Love the Lord your God
with all your heart
and with all your soul
and with all your strength.”
The word all is a little word with a big punch.
All defined, means, “used to emphasize the greatest possible amount of a quality.” So, if I apply this to our scripture, it means to love God with the greatest possible amount of my heart. Oh, this can be so hard to do. A big part of my heart wants to be selfish. Wants to do its own thing. Wants to follow after things that are easy, comfortable, and safe. Wants to give in to temptation. So, knowing this, how do I give all my heart?
Perhaps Proverbs 4:23 (NIV) can serve as our guide, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring [an abundant source] of life.” Let’s unpack this:
- Above all else. There’s our word again, all. Top priority.
- Guard your heart. A guard watches over in order to control entry and exit, protects against damage or harm, and takes precautions against. Key here, to me, is “in order to control entry and exit.” I must be vigilant about what enters and exits my heart. The mental picture that pops into my mind is that of a door–sometimes open, sometimes locked.And it also brings to mind 2 Corinthians 10:5, “Take every thought captive.” Notice the strength of these small words — every and all. Completely inclusive and infers a sense of urgency. No slacking when it comes to watching over our hearts.
- It [the heart] is the wellspring of life. As we’ve said, a wellspring is an abundant source — the source of the water in a well. As I say all the time, “Out of the heart, the mouth speaks” (Matthew 15:18, NIV). So very convicting, yes? I could live the rest of my life just trying to control my tongue — that fiery little muscle that James implores us to keep a tight rein on! (James 1: 26, NIV)
So, as we MOVE4WORD today, let us, above all else, guard our hearts, so that we can love the Lord with all our hearts. This has challenged me today to be more vigilant about what enters and exits my heart. Sometimes I will need to lock the door and throw away the key. NO ENTRY to anything contrary to the WORD of GOD!