Today’s Reading: Matthew 22
The Bible never says you have to believe with all your heart, even though it says you must believe in your heart. But when it comes to loving God—that must be done with all your heart.
I think God leaves room for the growing faith and doubts that come with belief. But when it comes to love, we can make a choice immediately. Love is our greatest weapon against sin.
Nineteenth-century Scottish theologian Thomas Chalmers wrote, “The only way to dispossess the heart of an old affection is through the expulsive power of a new one—the expulsive power of a new affection.”
How do you get rid of an old boyfriend? Get a bigger boyfriend. Jesus is the bigger boyfriend.
So when Jesus was asked about the greatest commandment, He did not start with, “Thou shall not . . .” or “Thou shall . . .” Jesus started with love. “Jesus declared, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37).
If you get loving God right, loving your neighbor is easy—because it all starts with God and loving Him.
So many people want to change today. Change must have a starting point. To change a life without first addressing the core becomes futile. To educate and to try to reprogram without dealing with the love issue is a dead end. Why?
What you love you will do. What you love you will sacrifice for. What you love you will make time for. If you love your boyfriend, you will sacrifice all to be with him. If you love baseball, you will find a way to play year-round or watch year-round. If you love your spouse, you will sacrifice to please him or her. Change starts with love. Change starts with asking the question, “What do I love most?” And the answer could startle us.
Jesus said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” Everything self-corrects from there. To pursue Christianity without love does not last long. So, pray each day that you will love God with all your heart, soul, and mind. Because when you love, the other stuff naturally follows.
Start with love today. To try to change stuff without loving God is not change, it is conformity, and it won’t last long. A friend of C. S. Lewis asked him, “Is it easy to love God?” Lewis answered, “It is easy to those who do it.” Christianity is not easy for those who don’t love God but love church, love being moral, love the atmosphere. When you fall deeply in love, you want to please the Beloved. And that’s when real change will occur.