God Wants You To Love Him Most
"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment." (Matthew 23:37-38)
What is an idol? You have probably heard about them in missionary stories, and you've read about them in the Bible. An idol is a piece of wood or stone shaped like a person or an animal, and people worship it. Right?
That is one kind of idol. But there are other kinds, too. An idol is anything that we love more than God. An idol could be a person, an object, a hobby, a goal, or a desire. God commands us to love Him first. And first means most. God wants to be our highest love.
If we really knew and understood our God, we would have no trouble loving Him most. He is so worthy of our love. He is mightier, wiser, kinder, and more beautiful than any being we can imagine. His love for us is deeper and stronger than we can even begin to understand. He is perfectly holy, and yet He is merciful and forgiving. No one else could ever come close to being like Him. He is, as His Word says, "altogether lovely."
It is only when we take our eyes off our God that other things seem more important to us. What is taking first place in your heart?
God wants and deserves to be our highest love.
» Who or what is in first place in my heart?
» Do I need to ask God to help me get rid of an idol so that I can love Him most?
Truth In Real Life
Corrie ten Boom
“The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.”
According to an old Jewish belief, only the most blessed people die on their birthdays. How appropriate, then, that Corrie ten Boom was born and died on April 15. She was born in 1885, and she died on her 91st birthday after a lifelong testimony of how the love of God can transform and sustain people. Cornelia ten Boom lived with her father and sister in Holland at the time of the Holocaust and World War II. When the Nazis invaded Holland, she began helping her Jewish friends by hiding them in secret rooms in her house. A fellow-countryman betrayed the ten Booms and their “underground network” and secret hiding places were discovered. The ten Booms and their friends were sent to prison and terrible concentration camps.
Although the idea of Christians enduring persecution is not unusual, the faith that Corrie maintained as she endured persecution was unusual. The Nazis separated her from loved ones, beat her, harassed her, humiliated her, and almost killed her. Death was all around her; she watched her sister Betsie grow more and more ill, and eventually she lost her and other family members and friends. Yet Corrie was able to testify wholeheartedly to the love of God: “There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.”
How could she say that? Corrie valued the good news of Jesus Christ’s love in a world full of hate. She saw the people who hurt her as souls who ought to be delivered from themselves instead of enemies who ought to be punished for eternity. She once said, “Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.”
What about us? In today’s comparably “normal” and “safe” circumstances, praying in a public restaurant or giving a disabled beggar some food is too “hard” or “scary” (or maybe just embarrassing?) for some Christians. They do not do anything notably “Christian” in public, because they don’t want to stand out as being different, and they are afraid someone might get angry or give them a funny look. They don’t want to give sacrificially or take risks to help needy people, because they are worried about having enough money and food for themselves. It was crucial for Corrie to remember that God loved her in spite of her shortcomings and that He wanted her to share His kind of love and forgiveness with her enemies. Do you love the unlovely? Do you take risks and make sacrifices to help needy people? Did Jesus Christ do those things for you? Even if you “don’t feel like it,” you can, by God’s grace, live out God’s love and grace in a world that doesn’t understand it.
Hebrews 11:25 – Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.