First

"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." Math 22:27-28

character trait:  enthusiasm


The Old Testament provides us with examples of those who loved God and some who didn't love Him enough.  Josiah loved God with all of his heart.  "Now before him there was no king like him, who turned to the Lord with all his heart, with all his soul, ,and with all his might, according to all the law of Moses; nor after him did any arise like him."2 Kings 23:25  Abraham also loved God, which he demonstrated by offering Isaac on the altar.   But then, there's the unnamed prophet, who started to obey but was lured into distraction and suffered results of disobedience (1 Kings 13).  


God will help us love Him more.  "I will give them a heart to know Me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people and I will be their God because they will return to me with all their heart."  Jeremiah 24:7. "For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to Him." Chronicles 16:9.


Stormie Omartian offers this counsel to those who want to put God first, but find their emotions laboring:  "If you find yourself unable to worship God because of hurt, depression, anger, unforgiveness, or whatever lies the enemy has told you, you can break through that paralysis by deliberately saying Father God, I worship You above all else.  Jesus, You are Lord of heaven and earth, and I praise You for saving and delivering me.  Then make yourself sing a song of worship, even if you don't feel it at the moment.  That is not hypocrisy. That's resisting the enemy...If you have trouble doing even that, then put on worship music and play it loud enough to drown out the voices of negativity in your head.  Worship is powerful, and it will break through anything...start by humming along if that is all you are able to do...Ask the Holy Spirit to lead you."(Lead me Holy Spirit,p. 80-81).


Ponder the example of Jesus.  Didn’t Satan tempt Jesus not to love God with all His heart, soul, and mind? In tempting Him to eat bread, Satan would demonstrate who held Jesus' heart. Was it His own comfort or the Honor of God? When Satan tempted Jesus to worship Him in return for all the kingdoms of the world, was he tempting him to not love God will all His soul? Would the soul of the Savior savor worldly power most of all?  When Satan tempted Jesus to throw Himself down, was he tempting Him not to love God with all his mind since Satan misapplied the Scriptures themselves and twisted reasoning?  


In all the temptations, Satan was tempting Jesus to make fear his master and misapply His very identity.  Hebrews teaches us that Jesus suffered temptation in every way that we experience it, but without sin. How often our identity is slung in every direction with the tides of comparison. Let us determine to only compare ourselves to Him and we will find strength. Let us determine to find our identity in Christ.


Enthusiasm notes: (borrowed from posterity) 1)Triumph is tri with umph.   2)Two frogs were in a bucket of cream.  One gave up and drowned.  The other concluded that it wouldn't be good to have two dead frogs, so he kept on paddling and ended up hopping out of the bucket of butter.



Prayer:  Lord, help us all to put You first.  You know the many needs, financial, travel, ministry, moves, jobs, health, the second cabin in Moldova, strength in faith...  We praise you for all your love and aid. Thank you for joyful first camps at the permanent site in Moldova. Please bless the efforts of the NC Study Center as the school begins again.


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