There was a little boy who woke up very early one Saturday morning. Finding himself alone he ran to his parents’ bedroom. His loud steps hit the hardwood floors and echoed abnormally loudly, something one would expect to hear in the middle of the day. His small hands struggled to open the door but quickly he let the door fly open to exclaim loudly, “Good Morning!” When no one responded he climbed up on the bed and wiggled his little toes under the covers to snuggle with his mom. Still she didn’t acknowledge him. He decided to give her a sweet kiss on the cheek and a giant hug and this time to whisper, “I love you, mommy.” She finally responded, “I love you too, with all my heart. Please let me sleep a little longer, go to your room and play.” The boy reluctantly walked out of the room with a sigh.
An hour later the boy’s mom got up and started heading down the hall to the boy’s room, the little boy eager to talk to his mom and excited she was coming, met her in the hall and said, “Can we play now?” She said, “We can play soon right after my shower…”
…then right after breakfast…right after work…tomorrow…
Question: How do you feel about the little boy? How do you feel about his mom?
Sometimes, even though we have the best intentions, we don’t make time for those we love. When this happens in a relationship between two people and they are willing to grow in their relationship, one person will eventually say something. The person who feels neglected will eventually speak up and say, “I need more from you. Please make some time for me.” How many times does the Holy Spirit whisper to your soul, “Make time for me.”
The difference in our walk with God is that God won’t scream, yell or threaten to leave you. He will always be with you, but you will, with each passing day, walk farther away from Him. As you neglect Him your relationship with God will stop growing. You may love God, but if you don’t spend time with Him, your love will only be a beautiful ideology, nothing more. The relationship you are longing for with your Creator will always be elusive.
Question: Have you ever neglected to make time for God?
Matthew 22:36-39 (NIV)
36"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" 37Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' 38This is the first and greatest commandment. 39And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments."
When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was he didn’t list off a bunch of rules, instead he stated the core message of the entire Bible. The first commandment states: “You shall have no other gods before me.” Exodus 20:3
Question: What does it mean to love God with all your heart, soul and mind?
Jesus gives us the example of Loving God. Jesus himself spent time alone with the Father. Loving God with all our heart, soul and mind is loving God with every part of us, every day.
Mark 1:35 (NIV)
35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Question: How can we love God with all of our heart?
We need to spend time with God. Just like the little boy who was seeking out his mom, we can only love God because He first loved us. He is still seeking us out. We need to stop saying later and make time now, today and every day.
To know God is not to just to know His word, or to know His works, but to know His heart and to know His voice. “My sheep will know my voice.” Jn. 10:27. Knowing God is a long, lifetime process that is summed up in spending time alone with the Almighty. Only when we see the value in spending quality time with God will we ever grow in our relationship with Him. Loving God means loving Him intimately and vowing to grow in intimacy. “As the deer panteth for the water, so my soul longeth after thee, O God.” Psalm 42:1
Question: How can we love God with all of our soul?
Pray. In all times pray without ceasing. Tell God your deepest fears, hurts, joys and triumphs. Be completely vulnerable and open with God.
Question: How can we love God with all of our mind?
Our thoughts should always be on the Lord and on His goodness. If we focus our attention on the Lord we will come to know Him more. We can hide His word in our heart, spending time reading the Bible.
“The Bible is not an end in itself, but a means to bring men to an intimate and satisfying knowledge of God, that they may enter in to Him, that they may delight in His presence, and may taste and know the inner sweetness of the very God Himself in the core and center of their hearts.” - A.W. Tozer
Psalm 34:8 (NIV)
8 Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.