Matthew 22:37 says,
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it. Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
So often we hear this scripture quoted in reference to how we are to love others. Speakers and preachers will remind us that we are to love our neighbor, and even our enemy, as much as we love ourselves or as much as we love God. However, I think we often skip over the first part of this verse. We read it, but then we move on as if we’ve got the first part down and only need to work on the second. We think to ourselves, “Of course I love God! It’s that other person I have trouble loving.”
Do we really love God?
If we go back and read it, we see that we are to love God with ALL our heart. ALL our soul. ALL our mind. Am I really doing that – loving him with my whole heart, not just part of it?
Am I putting God first in everything I do? Do I start my day with him every single day? Seek his word and his will in all things?
Do I obey his word? Not just the Ten Commandments, but all of it – even the parts that tell me not to worry, or to go and make disciples.
Do I really trust him with everything?
Our church is in the middle of a revival time this week. We are having several times to gather together, sing worship songs, and hear a speaker share God’s word with us. It’s a sweet, sweet time. I’m sure you are familiar with the word revival. You’ve probably even seen it on a church sign advertising an upcoming event. But what does it mean? Why are we having a period of revival as a church? The simple answer is because we want to love God more. It’s something that all followers of Jesus Christ need, not just the people that attend this one specific church building on Sundays. So, as a church, we are committing to focus on this more intensely this week.
According to Webster, REVIVAL means “a renewed attention to or interest in something”
In the Bible, when the word REVIVED is used, it literally means “to return to life”. We see this in I Kings 17:22, when God brings a boy back to life from the dead.
We need to bring our love for God back from the dead. To renew our interest in Him, and our attention to Him. I know I’m guilty of losing my passion sometimes in the middle of the day to day life stuff. We let ourselves get too busy. Distraction is a tool the enemy uses to keep our eyes focused on things of this world, instead of on Jesus! It’s very effective. In fact, a few distractions and suddenly we are doing the enemy’s work for him by keeping our heart, soul, and mind on things of this temporary world that don’t matter instead of on Jesus – the only One who does matter.
In Revelation 3:15-16, Jesus is talking to one of the churches and he says, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm – neither hot nor cold – I am about to spit you out of my mouth!”
Whether you drink water, coffee or tea – you probably like your drink hot or cold, but not lukewarm. Just like those drinks are disgusting to us at that temperature, it’s distasteful to Jesus when our feelings for him are lukewarm.
What does it mean to be lukewarm? We become indifferent to him by letting the distractions of the world kill our passion and love for him. We then let our indifference become idleness and we stop living for Christ. Maybe we just barely get by in our relationship with him. We read our Bible as a checkmark on our To-Do list instead of to truly meet with him and hear from him. We go to church because it’s tradition rather than because we are going to worship him. Or maybe we stop going to church because we’d rather sleep in, we have other activities on Sundays, or we don’t get along with someone at church. Ultimately, when we allow other things, no matter how big or small, to become more important than Jesus – we’ve become lukewarm.
When this happens we get focused on ourselves, what we want, and what will make us happy. Jesus doesn’t want us to follow him halfway or be Christians in name only. He wants us to be passionate and on fire for him! He wants us to constantly revive our faith.
I’m praying for revival this week. In my heart, in our family, in our church, and in our community. We need Jesus more than ever, and until the day he returns to take us home, we need to live our lives for him.