Devotion #179

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.

Matthew 22:37-40 ESV

Our hearts are the center of our passions and our emotions, so loving God with all my heart is accessing the emotional part of me. When I passionately pour out my heart in prayer to God, when I am moved to tears during worship, when I long to cuddle up with His Word, when I am excited to share my testimony with others, I am loving God with all my heart. Many of my days, I am filled with these passions for Him and I know I am loving God with my whole heart, but there are those days when it’s a struggle. There are times when I’m distracted by all that life has to offer and I go through the motions without being moved. When I catch myself caught in this kind of rut, when the songs or the prayers or His Word doesn’t move me, I stop and reflect on what is distracting my heart. Inevitably, I find something from this world is dominating my emotions. It’s difficult to feel any passion for the Kingdom when my emotions are distracted by something that has happened in my world.

This quote resonates with me: Loving God with all of my heart is the active and selfless belief that all things are found in loving God before myself. When I’m distracted by the emotions of what’s happening in my world, I’m putting my own needs before God. He needs to come first. The ironic part is when I take the time to analyze my distracting emotions, I find they stem from a place I’m not trusting in Him. The cycle can draw us further and further from the presence of His peace. When we feel distant from Him, it impacts our relationships, most especially our marriage. Before we can love our spouse well, we need to love our God well—that’s why it’s the first commandment. The kind of sacrificial love marriage needs to survive is supernatural. Our flesh has boundaries—we can only love so far and then we’ll quit. If your marriage is struggling, check your relationship with God. If you are feeling distant from Him, seek Him with your whole heart, with all your emotions, and with all your passion, and you will find victory in Him.

Press on ~ you are loved 💗

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