Posts Tagged ‘Matthew 22:37-39’

Wholeheartedness

March 14, 2018

wholeheartedInstead of the usual “Verse of the Day,” from time to time I will post the “Word or the Phrase of the Day.” On March 14, 2018 we are going to take a closer look at the word “wholeheartedness.” As a noun, the word refers to the quality or state of being wholehearted, that is completely and sincerely devoted, determined, or enthusiastic. A wholehearted person is said to be marked by complete, earnest commitment: free from all reserve or hesitation. Synonyms for the noun include eagerness, enthusiasm, intense devotion and dedication, zeal, or passion.

Throughout the Scriptures we note the Lord God’s concern that His people honor and serve Him with their whole hearts. In Matthew 22:37-38 Jesus makes this declaration:

37 Jesus said unto him, you shalt love the Lord thy God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

1 Chronicles 28:9 (NLT) offers words of wisdom to Solomon:

“And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancest1ors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever.

Note God’s response when His people seek and serve Him with their whole heart:

2 Chronicles 15:15 (AMP)

All Judah rejoiced over the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and had sought Him with their whole heart, and He let them find Him. So the Lord gave them rest on every side.

Note what the Psalmist has to say:

Psalm 119:2 (American Standard Version)

Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, that seek him with the whole heart.

Finally, Jeremiah 24:7 (American Standard Version) makes known God’s desire for His people:

And I will give them a heart to know me, that I am Jehovah: and they shall be my people, and I will be their God; for they shall return unto me with their whole heart

The expression also brings to mind a life-changing teaching entitled “Wholeheartedness” heard a number of years ago. The teaching was part of a series of messages based on the Love of God, emphasizing that as believers we are to love God wholeheartedly. One of the principal scriptures quoted came from Deuteronomy 6:5, used in the introduction to the following poem also inspired by the teaching:

With Our Whole Heart

You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,

with all your soul, and with all your strength.

Deuteronomy 6:5

 

“When you have a heart for something,

you prepare for it.”

Pastor Michael T. Bivens

 

We will never be satisfied until we love You,

Not with half nor the greater part, but with our whole heart,

Where we have reserved a space for You alone to dwell,

That only You might fill each crevice with Your presence.

As a faithful friend, may You always choose to linger,

To abide in this place set apart for Your comfort

And to confide with the most gentle reassurance,

Never being disturbed by any occurrence.

Lord, may we never settle for mediocrity

But ever seek to excel and love You wholeheartedly,

Serving You with our whole heart and soul and mind and strength,

To soar beyond any height or depth or breadth or length.

As the bride listens to hear the voice of the bridegroom,

So we watch and wait in our heart prepared as Your throne room.

The teaching also brought to mind this song “With All My Heart,” composed by Babbie Mason and sung by Into the Light:

 

 

 

 

 

Love God, love people

February 25, 2017

Matthew 22--37-39 2

The Verse of the Day for February 25, 2017 is a response offered by Jesus Christ in Matthew 22: 37-39, but to fully appreciate his statement, it is important to understand the questions asked and to see who asked it. Let us take a look at the entire passage:

Matthew 22:34-40

34 But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

In his response Jesus Christ lays the foundation for all relationships which begin with God, our Heavenly Father, and all others whom we encounter every day. The Verse of the Day is used as the introduction to this poetic observation:

Building Godly Relationships

Matthew 22:36-40

God sets aside and keeps for Himself a remnant:

Those set apart, His beloved whom He foreknew

And predestinated to keep His covenant,

His righteous ones, called and chosen, faithful and true.

In Christ is defined a Godly relationship,

But we must submit to Jesus and make him Lord

To understand the essence of this true friendship,

Unfolded in these two commandments of God’s Word.

May we renew our vows and never violate

The God in us but ever seek to find

In Him the strength to walk in love and never hate

But to love Him with all our heart and soul and mind.

We are no longer called a servant but a friend,

Growing in devotion and faithful to the end.

Israel Houghton offers this reminder: “Love God, Love People”:

Love God: Love others

January 14, 2017

The Verse of the Day for January 14, 2017 brings to mind the two foundational relationships upon which we build our lives as believers:

1-john-4-20-21

The Verse of the Day for January 14, 2017 brings speaks of the two foundational relationships upon which we build our lives as believers. These verses also reveal the conditions by which these relationship are judged:

1 John 4:20-21 (AMPC):

If anyone says, I love God, and hates (detests, abominates) his brother [in Christ], he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, Whom he has not seen. And this command (charge, order, injunction) we have from Him: that he who loves God shall love his brother [believer] also.

This passage also reinforces the message of Jesus Christ, who responded to the question asked by the Scribes and Pharisees who conspired to challenge him and test his understanding of the Law with this question: “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” In Matthew 22:37-39 he responds:

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

“The Law and the Prophets,” with its more than 600 directives, Jesus Christ distilled into two commandments: Love God and love your neighbor as yourself. Once again, we recognize that “It’s all about relationships,” relationships rooted and grounded in love.  The following poem convey this same message:

“It’s All about Relationships”

God floods the eyes of our hearts with light that we might know,

As we discover new depths of our relationships

While we mature, applying the Word that we might grow.

We recognize that “It’s all about relationships.”

Enlightened, we now no longer walk in ignorance,

Being much more aware of vital spiritual matters,

We experience victory, healing and deliverance.

The anointed Word of God breaks all yokes and shatters

Barriers that hinder fellowship with God and others.

When the enemy raises his head, we fight to maintain

Relationships with God and with sisters and brothers,

Returning to “His image” the source that will sustain.

Whether with God, family, friends, co-workers, husband or wife,

“It’s all about relationships,” the foundation of life.

The Maranatha Singers remind us of the primary relationship of life and how it should be established: “You shall love the Lord with all your Heart”:

 

 

Love God, Love people

February 25, 2016

 

Matthew 22--37-39

The Verse of the Day for February 25, 2016 sets forth words from the Lord Jesus:

Matthew 22:37-39(NIV):

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

To understand more fully his response, we need to determine “What was the question, and who asked it?” Looking closely at the verses preceding the Messiah’s reply, we learn this:

Matthew 22:34-36 (NLT):

34 But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees with his reply, they met together to question him again. 35 One of them, an expert in religious law, tried to trap him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the most important commandment in the Law of Moses?”

Here is Jesus’ complete response:

Matthew 22:37-40 (NLT):

37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”

In the Lord’s answer we find the foundation upon which all relationships are built. Once again, we acknowledge that “It’s all about relationships,” beginning with our relationship with God, our heavenly Father, and extending to how each individual relates with one another in a variety of contexts.

This often quoted passage, including the summary statement found in verse 40, was the inspiration, in part, for the following poem that expresses the ultimate reward of building and sustaining our relationships with God and with one another:

Building Godly Relationships

Matthew 22:36-40

God sets aside and keeps for Himself a remnant
Of beloved daughters and sons, whom He foreknew
And thus predestined them to keep His covenant,
His righteous ones, called and chosen, faithful and true.
In Christ is defined a Godly relationship,
But we must submit to Jesus and make him Lord
To understand the essence of this true friendship,
Unfolded in these two commandments of God’s Word.
May we renew our vows and never violate
The trust God placed in us but ever seek to find
In Him the strength to walk in love and never hate
But to love God with all our heart and soul and mind.
No longer called servants, may we now be called friends
Who know firsthand that God’s faithfulness never ends.

Israel Houghton summarizes the message and offers this lively reminder: “Love God, Love People”:

Love God; love your neighbor

February 25, 2015

Matthew 22--37

The Verse of the Day for February 25, 2015 is part of the dialogue between the “rich young ruler,” who asks Jesus Christ, “What must I do to be saved?”

Matthew 22:37-39 NIV

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

Not being satisfied with the answer to his question, the young lawyer seeks to justify himself by asking another question: “Who is my neighbor?” The Savior’s response introduces one of the most recognized illustrations, whose influence is still felt centuries beyond the time that it was first spoken: “The Parable of the Good Samaritan.”

I recall teaching the parable in children’s ministry where we emphasized the character trait of compassion:

As we labor, the Kingdom of God is at hand.

We minister just as the Good Samaritan.

We also used this scripture memory song:

I Want to Touch the World with Compassion

Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain mercy.

Whatever I give to others, it shall be given back to me,

Not just the same but to an even greater degree.

Lord, help me to be merciful.

May I see with the eyes of Jesus.

Lord, I want to walk in the steps of Jesus

And always be loving and kind.

May I reach out my hand to others,

To heal broken hearts and give sight to the blind.

I want to touch the world with compassion.

I want to do whatever I can.

I want to be like the Good Samaritan.

I want to touch the world with compassion.

I want to do whatever I can.

I want to be like the Good Samaritan.

I want to touch the world with compassion.

Lord, help me touch the world with compassion.

The exchange between the rich, young lawyer and the Lord Jesus makes known the two primary relationships whereby followers can experience salvation: by loving God, first and foremost, and then loving one’s neighbor as oneself. The passage which makes known this truth was the inspiration for the following poem:

Building Godly Relationships

Matthew 22:36-40

 

God sets aside and keeps for Himself a remnant

Of Godly sons, His beloved, whom He foreknew

And predestinated to keep His covenant,

His righteous ones, called and chosen, faithful and true.

In Christ is defined a Godly relationship,

But we must submit to Jesus and make him Lord

To understand the essence of this true friendship,

Unfolded in these two commandments of God’s Word.

May we renew our vows and never violate

The trust you placed in us but ever seek to find

In you the strength to walk in love and never hate

But to love you with all our heart and soul and mind.

May we no longer be called servant but a friend,

Growing in devotion and faithful to the end.

Israel Houghton offers this reminder: “Love God, Love People”: