by Pastor Tim Klein
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People of Israel, you have only one Lord and God. You must love him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:29,30).
I’ve heard it said, and I’ve said it myself to my children and people I care for, ‘Whatever happens, remember this, your mum and I love you. You can call us at any time, from any situation in your life, and we will do whatever we can to help you as needed’.
There are important things in life that we should remember always. My wife and I certainly hope that our children never forget that we love and cherish them. These days, we pass that same message of love on to our grandchildren.
We hope and pray that they will continue to love us as much as we love them. With loving comes expectations of how they will live. For them all, we hope and pray that they will live lives of faith in God, trusting in Jesus in all the circumstances of their lives.
While it’s important that our children remember that we love them, there is another thing they need to remember, and it’s this commandment from Jesus: ‘You have only one Lord and God. You must love him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength’.
So we might say to our children, ‘remember this, we love you’, but there is far greater advice we could give to them: ‘Remember this: love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength’.
I’m not so sure how often this advice is given to our children these days, let alone to friends and neighbours or even people we meet, especially when they’re going through times of struggle and uncertainty. Perhaps we all need reminding to love the Lord our God and that this is a holistic love: heart, soul, mind and strength.
How often do we remember how much the Lord has done for us and continues to do for us? How often do we recognise his love for us when time after time, he forgives us our sins and continually gives us fresh opportunities to live and love, laugh and revel in the life that he’s given us? And even if our human lives aren’t all that flash in worldly terms: relationship struggle, poor health, financial challenges and the like. How good it is to truly love the Lord and be loved by him!
By loving the Lord with all our heart, mind and strength, we entrust our whole lives into his care, even his eternal keeping. By loving the Lord, we are to put him above all the other things that we attempted to idolise in our lives, the things that rust and perish and finally have no lasting blessing.
When we remember this, we open ourselves up to the full blessing of our wonderful God who loves us completely.
Dear loving Heavenly Father. Prompt us with your Holy Spirit every day to remember that you are our only Lord and God and to love you with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. Encourage us to share this wonderful truth with our families, neighbours, friends and the people we meet along life’s journey. Amen.