Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Love The Lord With All Your Heart, Soul, and Mind

On Sunday we had a lesson about the name, "Lamb of God" and we talked about Jesus being the Lamb without blemish who was sacrificed for the world. I asked my kids what they thought of their Heavenly Father...what kind of a being would ask His Son to suffer and die? Their answers surprised me. Two of them mentioned the Old Testament and how God swallowed up people in the earth that were disobedient and other times He caused plagues and famines. They said it seemed like Heavenly Father was hard to please and that, after reading the Old Testament, they worried to make a mistake.

How had I missed this perception of the Father? I was glad I asked them to share. I told them that of all the things I could share, the first would be to pray today and ask the Father to reveal Himself to them. I gave them that advice because that was the very question I asked the Father two years ago, and the answer He gave me caused me to marvel greatly. I saw someone I didn't expect: A King and a Warrior who had sacrificed His life for His children and who would do so again...and again. 

In Matthew 22 the Pharisees and Sadducees tempted Jesus by asking Him which commandment is the greatest in the law. Jesus told them, "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."

This is the first commandment of the Kingdom. It is the greatest commandment. It will always be the greatest commandment, even in the resurrection. Perhaps we are so familiar with it - we overlook it. There is nothing more significant in the Bible than this and it tells us what God feels about us

He can ask us to Love Him because....He already loves us with all His Heart, with all His Soul, and with all His Mind (John 4:19). I learned this from the preacher, Mike Bickle.

To love the Lord thy God with all your heart, soul, and mind in this way means that you will be filled with Charity. Having Charity means you will seek and do His will, always. This is what it means to be filled with Charity. This is what it means to love the Lord thy God with all your heart, soul, and mind.

The second commandment, "to love your neighbor as yourself," sometimes becomes the first commandment for those of us who are intent on service without having asked the Lord if this is what He wants us to be doing. You can't do that. Your connection to God is the only way to do the second commandment perfectly. If you love the Lord with all your heart - it will always overflow to loving people. If you seek and do His will you will always forgive and set things right and serve.

Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind. 

Make this the mission statement of your life. 

Who can serve a God they do not know? No one can serve two masters, or they will love the one and hate the other (Matthew 6:24).

Whom do you serve? 

What occupies your thoughts?

Where do you spend your money?

How do you spend your free time?

When we truly consider the answer to those questions, it isn't hard to see why the first commandment is so challenging to us. And He is worthy of our love. So WORTHY.

Consider that Jesus said, "the Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise" (John 5:19). 

Jesus can not lie. 

He is telling us that He didn't come to earth and do something new - He came and did what He saw His Father do. This is your Father. He is beyond comprehension. And His Son is just like Him.

Consider the words of this song and think of the Son and the Father, " many kings step down from their thrones? How many lords have abandoned their homes? How many greats have become the least for me? And how many gods have poured out their hearts to romance a world that is torn all apart? How many fathers gave up their sons for me? Only One did that for me...All for me, all for you.

And another song to think of with the Father and the Son:

I've read the words in red
How You leave the 99
To find the one missing
Feels like that was written
With me on Your mind

And the prodigal son who ran, 
leaving his home behind
The part where the father 
came running to meet him
Did You say that with me on Your mind

Just knowing You're mindful of me
Just knowing You call me Your child
It's flooding my soul with unspeakable hope
Thank You, Lord, that it's me on Your mind 

I've read the words in red of a heavenly home on high
You're preparing a place where the sorrow's erased
And when I stand before You, I'll find
All along, it was me on Your mind

Who am I that the King of the world
Would give one single thought about my broken heart?
And who am I that the God of all grace
Wipes the tears from my face and says, "Come as you are"?

You paid the price, You took the cross
You gave Your life and You did it all with me on Your mind
It was me on Your mind

A few days ago I received a message inviting me (and countless others) to repent and return to the Lord and to come and hear and accept the Lord's true servant. Having received a similar message from an entirely different group not too many years ago I marveled that people were again receiving such an invitation, if one could call it that, to "avoid the destruction that is coming" (this same message was given to groups years earlier). Not much changes with those who rise up and speak about the special end time servant who is to come. 

These groups that I have seen rise and fall or those that rise ....and stagnate remind me of one of the best movies of all time, "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World." Mercy, if you haven't seen this movie, please do yourself a favor and just buy it. It is a CLASSIC. 

In this movie a few people traveling in cars on the road happen upon a car accident. Rushing to help the ejected man, this broken fellow tells them of money....LOTS of money that can be all theirs if they go to, "The Big W" and dig it up. The rest of the movie is the insanity that transpires to get to "the Big W" first!

I admit, I was caught up in the hysteria of "waking up" and being first. It's hard not to become consumed with the thought of being chosen, of being "the elect," of being one who knows more than the rest of the world and who will be saved from the destruction (never mind that I knew other, truly holy people, who were 'asleep' but 'absolutely misguided').

It's challenging not to let it go to your head that you are "special-er". I ran around, like the people in the movie, grasping my shovel, ready to unearth the riches...looking to understand which group was right or which person had connections to the end time servant ("the big W!!!"). "What did he say? Who are they?"

I was always rushing around trying to get somewhere and ending up back where I started. Once I let go of that...once I stopped rushing and once I stopped and drank directly from The Well my eyes saw for the first time. I knew Him and I knew what I was looking for. 

Watch this clip and ask yourself if you are in this rat race...who are the other people in your life or group or circle or fellowship....and are they be represented in this clip? 

The quiet man who is dressed in a suit and fedora hat (Capt. Culpepper) represents the church. Sylvester's Mom represents the various group leaders who pop up. Sylvester represents the lackey or '1st counselor' that invariably arises to back up the group leader. And Emmaline represents those that stop running around or participating in the madness and instead, seeks refreshment. And maybe you can see more parallels. 

If you are caught up in a frenzy of trying to be connected, in some way, to some special group that will avoid destruction or to be connected to the Davidic servant - know that it will always evade you. Love God with ALL your heart, soul, and mind and it will be added to you

Have the courage to walk away from things that are toxic (things that don't leave you feeling uplifted and refreshed...things that are the equivalent of slogging through mud). Unless the group you gather with has an eye single to His Glory, it will feel like you've gone an exhausting distance and moved nowhere and sacrificed a great deal of much needed family time in the process. I have gathered many times with various people or groups assuming we all had an eye single to His Glory. I learned that was a poor assumption which proved to wreak havoc in my heart time and again. 

Said by Father Zossima in the book, The Brothers Karmazov, "For men are made for happiness, and any one who is completely happy has a right to say to himself, 'I am doing God's will on earth.' All the righteous, all the saints, all the holy martyrs were happy." Look for that uplift...look for that refreshment. If there is agitation, uneasiness, or confusion - God is calling you to ask Him questions about it all. 

(I know that many of you may not be able relate if you don't live in Utah where a lot of things are going on. But it's still good to be aware.)

One last movie clip that accurately depicts what it will feel like to let go of these unnecessary groups or individuals or even a ward, if that is what the Lord asks you to do. It is from the sci-fi movie, "Contact". The clip shows a machine that scientists built to help them make contact with aliens (I haven't seen it in decades but that's what I remember). They built it exactly as the aliens had left instructions to do with one exception - they built in a chair for safety. They couldn't imagine how this machine could free-fall hundreds of feet and not kill the person inside. So they added their understanding to it...(fast forward to the 2:45 mark)

I love that what 'woke her up' was a floating compass that she had brought with her. That compass inspired her to let go of the chair. God has given you coordinates to make contact with Him. It's not's the first great commandment. You don't need a "chair," i.e. a person, a fellowship, a group, a ward or even to know or be able to recognize who the Davidic Servant is so you can align yourself with him. 

While fellowship in the Kingdom is essential, if those you gather with do not continually have an eye single to His Glory, it is just putting the second commandment first all over again. These gatherings or wards or fellowships or groups without an eye single to His Glory leaves you seeking for other people to help you connect more with God instead of personally connecting with God yourself (1st commandment) and having those other things added to you

Love The LORD with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind. Have an eye single to His Glory. Seek His will, and then Do His will and you will find Him

Me On Your Mind
Matthew West

How Many Kings