Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Mark 12:30

The first and greatest commandment:

"Love the Lord your God will all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength" Mark 12:30.

Is the body of Christ falling short of teaching and setting an example of this most wonderful commandment of love?

I've heard teachings about loving God with your mind (what you think about) Collossians 3:2 "Set your mind on things above, not on Earthly things." 1 Peter 4:7 says, "Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray."

I've also heard it taught that we should focus on Philipians 4:8 "Finally brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things."

I've heard messages on purity even more-so in the day and age in which we live today. We are teaching our children to abstain and how sex is a gift from God to be shared between a husband and wife. This is so necessary and so wonderful...but not complete. There is so much more to loving God with our minds and bodies than maintaining sexual purity.

What about gluttony? What about lack of exercise? I've heard it mentioned from the pulpit a time or two about how gluttony is a sin...Some churches offer fitness and wellness programs...but I can't say that I have ever met the pastor brave enough to confront the church regarding this issue. I'm talking about a bold, and convicting message to God's people. So,what about loving God with our bodies? How does the body of Christ set an example to the rest of the world about loving God with our bodies?

There are so many of us who are out of control with our eating habits! Baptists are known for their reputation to "fellowship"! Jokes are made about gluttony as we fill our plates beyond capacity during each fellowship and go back for more. The United States of America...One Nation Under God...has a reputation for obesity!!! People are dying to get to the buffet!!! I found this very convicting last year when I kept hearing about it and I watched a documentary on it that was what made me determined to change my ways. I began to pray for God to give me wisdom about how He wants me to eat in a way that would be pleasing to Him and help me to care for the temple of the Holy Spirit. After battling my weight problem unsuccessfully, I finally gave it over to God. I let go of the controls and let Him have them. I have since lost 40 pounds and I am free of the misery that I have carried with me for the past 14 years. But, it hasn't stopped there. God has really been convicting me lately about my lack of exercise. Losing weight is wonderful but, I still need to get my body into better physical shape. It is for His glory but, I must say....I look forward to having a physically fit body. I'll be will look great!!! (Then I will have to struggle with the sin of vanity and spend more time concentrating on loving God with my mind!!!) I am already elated at the way my body looks and feels but, I know that the job isn't finished. It never will be. I will have to work at this for the rest of my life.

There needs to be a better example set by Christians about loving God with our eating and exercise habits. We are so quick to "judge" those who have smoking addictions, use bad language, alcohol addictions, etc... Food is a serious addiction that a majority of Christians suffer from, but we remain in denial as we crack jokes and laugh off our sinful behavior. "What would Jesus do?"

How does this one particular behavior reflect loving God with all of our heart and all of our soul? What about all of our strength? This is just one area in which there need to be more focus when we teach the message God speaks of with His first and greatest commandment. Losing weight is a terrible battle and extremely defeating when we try to do it "ourselves". It is difficult even with God's help. But, if we are doing it in order to fulfill the first and greatest commandment, and we let go and let God...all things are possible! He is our strength!

I can't help but wonder where the world would be if every single true believer focused everything he did on the most important commandment in the Bible. "Love the Lord, your God with all of your heart, with all of your soul, with all of your mind, and with all of your strength." Where would we be in our walk with God? Where would the community be? Where would the country be? Where would our world be? I will leave that to another blog because I could write a book on it!!!!!!!!!!!!

When we make the first and greatest commandment the most important priority in our lives, everything else will fall into place behind it.

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