(Excerpt from Extreme Makeover: Spiritual Edition, a curriculum by Michael J. Meyers)
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart…” Mark 12:30
When Jesus gave the greatest commandment, He was responding to a scribe who was asking the most important question for someone who believes in the all-powerful God of the Bible. What does God want from me? Jesus was glad to answer. He quoted from Deuteronomy 6:5. The answer was simple but profound…if you want to know what God really wants from you, the answer is love – practical, everything I have and am, love – and it starts with your heart, the new heart God created in you the moment you trusted in Jesus.
The Father has created each of our hearts differently, with different passions,different likes and dislikes. He intended each of these to be used in love for serving Him and others. But our hearts are not a closed loop system. Things come in and out of our heart. Jesus teaches us in Luke 6:45 that, “For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.” The abundance of the heart includes both the good things that God has placed there as well as the things, either good or evil, that we have “stored up” there. This is why it is so important to both know what is in our hearts already (Psalm 139:23), so we can ask God to remove anything that doesn’t glorify Him and store up good things there instead, but also to guard our hearts (Proverbs 4:23) from letting in those things we don’t want to store up.
In order to keep our hearts in tune for loving God, we should do this check-up regularly in prayer and in the Word. How is your heart this week? Let’s do a self-check first and then we can help those around us to do the same. David was man after God’s own heart. This doesn’t mean he was sinless, but that he had a heart fully devoted to God. Let’s ask with him this week, “Create in me a clean heart, O God.” (Psalm 51:10)