The Essence of Faith

If we were to reduce our faith into a single principle, what would it be? What’s the essential point of being a Christian? Why are we here?

Mark 12:28-34a
One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that he had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, o Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ “The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” The scribe said to him, “Right, teacher; you have truly stated that He is one, and there is no one else besides Him; and to love Him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as himself, is much more than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he had answered intelligently, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”

Here Jesus says that to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind is the greatest and most important command. We are brought into relationship with God to love and live. So if there is only one call in life; if only one principle to remember, it is that we love God with everything we are and have. Every breath, every moment, every thought and feeling we are to devote to loving God. From the center of our being to its every extreme, every part of us is to resonate with love for Jesus.

But is it really possible? Can we love God with our whole being? Or is this command intended more as an ideal, like a guiding principle in life?

Deuteronomy 30:6, 11
“Moreover the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your descendants, to love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, so that you may live…For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach.”

These verses confirm that the greatest command in Scripture is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. We can love God with all our heart and soul, not because we can do it, but because He can do it in us. He is the One who circumcises our hearts, cutting away everything that cannot love Him. He heals us and makes us whole, that by His grace and power we may love Him with all our heart and soul, and live in Him. He makes our complete love possible.

We can be sure that the command to love is attainable as it would also be against the nature of God to call us to do things that were impossible. For if He gives us a command that we cannot keep then He is consigning us to a life of disobedience, which is sin. This is contrary to the nature of God, for God is love and by His power He leads us into righteousness rather than into sin. Jesus came and died to free us from sin, not to bind us in it. Thus the command to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength is a promise that God can bring to pass in us. Through the indwelling life of Jesus, He can do it. He wants to do it. But will He?

If we want to love God with everything, we need to know how God makes it a reality in us. How do we enter into the experience? How can we love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength? And what would that love be like? How would life be if we could live in the reality of loving God with all our heart, soul and mind?

Think about it. Imagine it. Dream it. And then pursue it.

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Entering into the reality of loving God with our entire being is essentially the goal of the one with Christ study series. And while this post may seem like a sales hook to get you reading the studies, it is not. This post is a seed. It is an opportunity for you to define the vision for your spiritual life. But if you are not ready to give your life to loving God right now, that’s absolutely ok. But would you like to be ready? Would you like to be able to honestly say, “Yes Jesus, I want to give my life to loving you”?

If so, simply present that desire to God and see what He does with it. Don’t give up. Keep seeking Him until He forms the desire in your heart. And once that desire to love Him is there, flow with it. Go with the natural momentum that comes with spiritual desire. Build your relationship with the goal of experiencing the overwhelming, awesome, and life changing love of God within you.

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