Matthew 22:37-38 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment.”
The Olympic year is here! As Tokyo gets set to host the grandest sporting event in history, have you paused to think about the athletes who dedicate their lives for that very moment?
The rush of competition!
The deafening atmosphere in the stadium!
The honour of representing their nation!
And the glory of winning a covetous medal!!!
Sounds like the perfect recipe to get anyone motivated, doesn’t it? But, here’s what we forget…
Often, we overlook the journey that these athletes endure to reach the top. Along the way, they would have certainly encountered situations when giving up seemed like the wise thing to do.
But they stuck to their guns! They endured hardships, fought through injuries, sacrificed outings, remained focused on the goal because they wanted to stand atop the podium and have that prestigious Olympic gold medal draped around their neck!
How desperate are you to win the Crown of Life?
Is it more important to you than an Olympic medal?
The Lord says, “Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” – James 1:12.
Sounds grand, doesn’t it? The Crown of Life for those who love God!
But, the Lord Jesus said loving God is a commandment. In fact, it is the greatest commandment!
How can loving someone be a commandment?
Doesn’t it come naturally? Isn’t it an emotional feeling?
Sure, love comes with emotions. But if emotions control our love, then we will never be Champions for God.
Think about the Olympian who had a bad day at training. Maybe the coach told him/her that they weren’t good enough. The emotions that tailgate such situations should have led them to quit!
What kept them going?
It was the commandment! They had commanded themselves to love the sport, irrespective of emotions!
That’s why the Lord Jesus says loving the Lord is a commandment! It is the most important commandment, to keep us focussed on the goal – the Crown of Life!
Don’t let emotions dictate your love for God! We love God because He first loved us. He loved us so much that He sent His only Son to redeem us.
When we talk about loving God with heart, mind and soul, I’m reminded of a prayer made by the heroic missionary – Dr. David Livingstone:
“God, send me anywhere, only go with me (mind). Lay any burden on me, only sustain me (soul). And sever any tie in my heart except the tie that binds my heart to Yours (heart).”
Can we make this our prayer today?