We don’t want to live passive lives but long for it to be filled with fascination. We want our hearts to be consumed, to be apprehended. God knows this. He has put this desire in every person. Think about the many things people sink their time and energy into, from hobbies and interests to relationships.
People are looking for things to captivate them and bring a sense of fulfillment. It’s interesting that, when Jesus lays out the most important commandment for mankind, He starts with loving the Lord with ALL of your heart and then continues on down the short list.
Mark 12:30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
I would think that if we are told to love the Lord with all our hearts that we ought to pursue it’s meaning. What does that mean to love God with all our hearts and how do we go about doing it? These are huge questions that need to be clearly answered.
1. RECOGNIZE THAT OUR AFFECTIONS DETERMINE OUR DEVOTION
First, let’s determine what the heart is all about. The arena of the heart contains powerful emotions, affections and desires. Our affections are deep currents that steer our lives. Think of them as a rudder of a ship that literally directs it.
To determine where our affections lie, we have to discern what occupies our time, what motivates our actions, and what shapes our aspirations and their rewards. Affections wait to be captured. They long to cling to someone or something. Wherever these affections are found so our hearts will be.
2. UNDERSTAND THAT OUR AFFECTIONS FOLLOW WHAT WE TREASURE
The devotion of our hearts is determined by wherever we find value as our greatest treasure.
Matt. 6:21 “For where your treasure is, there your heart will also be.”
Read this again slowly. “Where your treasure is…your heart will be.” I would suggest memorizing this short phrase. Jesus just gave us the answer on how to love God with all our hearts. The heart loves what it treasures! We have to seek a great treasure, and when we discover it, love (the result of our affections) follows. Ironic, isn’t it? The treasure comes first, and the heart comes second.
Matt. 13:44 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then, in his joy, went and sold all he had and bought that field.”
In order for the heart to love Jesus completely, it has to treasure Him supremely. Our affections are the outcome of what we treasure. When we truly encounter the Lord in His glory and worth, loving Him with all our hearts will be the end result.
3. AIM TO MAKE JESUS YOUR GREATEST TREASURE
For the Apostle Paul, Jesus was THE treasure of his life. The loss of everything else was nothing compared to gaining Christ.
Phil. 3:8 “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus, my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ.”
Eph. 3:8 “…this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ”
Here is a picture of a man who found a treasure that exceeds all others – Jesus. Nothing else comes close! The glory of Jesus is so amazing and so satisfying that once discovered, all else pales in comparison. When we divert our attention away from the Lord, our love will begin to grow cold. It’s that simple.
A lethargic church can be traced back to hearts that have misplaced affections. The greatest treasure is no longer Christ but something or someone else.
4. SPEND TIME WITH THE LORD AND LET HIS LIGHT SHINE IN YOUR HEART
2 Cor. 4:6-7 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.
Only through the persistent gaze on the face of the Lord and His glory do the streams of light pierce our hearts with the same power and force that keep the Seraphim consumed before His throne (Rev. 4:8).
START NOW – INITIAL STEPS TO CONSIDER
- We have to decide to pursue Him. Just pray it to the Lord: “Jesus, I long for You to be my ultimate treasure. Help me and give me power to do so!” Pray this often through out the day.
- Start with the Bible. Open it and search out what it says about the glory of who Jesus is and what He has done. If you don’t know where to start, just go to the Gospels.
- Make adjustments. What is it you are going to do daily that will allow you to grow into this reality? Write it down. Schedule it.
- Be with Him. He delights in you. He wants to be with you and reveal Himself to you. He enjoys you! Set time aside to be with Him only.
Before You Go…
Question: How valuable do you see this simple truth? How important is this to our foundation to the Christian life? What has the Lord taught you about loving Him with all your heart?