Do you recall what Jesus said is by far the most important thing in life?
“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. (Matthew 22:37-38)
This verse doesn’t say that Jesus wants us to love the Lord with whatever is left of our heart, soul, and mind. Nor does it say that God should consume our every thought every minute of the day. Most of us can’t sit around all day and meditate on God. He knows you have a life. He’s the one who gave it to you, and He wants you to be a good steward over your marriage relationship, your children’s education, your career, your household responsibilities, your church and social commitments, and so on.
According to this verse, Jesus wants us to love God more than any of the other things that demand our time and attention. We are to love God above anything else in this world, with as much strength and passion as each of us possibly can. We demonstrate this love for God by focusing our thoughts and energies on those things He’s prepared for us to do and that is also pleasing to Him. God wants us to do just as Paul encouraged the people of Philippi to do:
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. (Philippians 4:8)
To show you how this works, I’ll tell you about a typical day in my life when I’m able to keep my focus on godly things. I usually wake up with a worship song rolling around in my head, and I’ll more than likely hum a few bars or even bellow it out in the shower. As I prepare for the day, I try to look my best to give a positive impression to the people I will encounter. As I make breakfast, get ready to see clients, make a grocery list, fill the car up with gas, and drop bills by the post office, I am taking care of business. As I go about my work responsibilities, I do it for the sake of advancing God’s kingdom. As I send a note to a hurting coworker, forward a funny e-mail to my friend, call to check on my neighbor, I do it to build and maintain healthy and positive relationships. All of these thoughts and actions are acts of responsible stewardship. I do them out of appreciation for the family and friends that God has given me. Is God my one and only constant thought throughout the day? No. But even as I think on the various other things that demand my attention, am I loving God with all my heart, soul, and mind? Absolutely. When we demonstrate responsible stewardship of the life He has given us, our lives offer proof of our love.
Excerpted from Every Woman’s Battle: Discovering God’s Plan for Sexual and Emotional Fulfillment by Shannon Ethridge. Copyright 2003. All Rights Reserved. Published by WaterBrook Press, Colorado Springs, CO 80921. Used by Permission. Not to be copied without Publisher’s prior written approval.