“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”Matthew 22:37
There were 18 people taking a class on Discipleship. Josh, the pastor, was teaching the class when the words “We should be LOVING CHRIST MORE” were said. These words pierced my heart. God attached them to an arrow and shot it straight at me. My mind started racing. I was looking around wondering if anyone else felt the arrows or was I alone? Am I the only one struggling here? Am I the only one dealing with loving sin, self, and everything, more than God? In seconds, my heart was heavy, and shame filled. I felt all alone on an island and felt unworthy.
I strive to do what is right, but always seem to fall short of my expectations. Anger, gluttony, and other idols all take place in my life. I am guilty of not Loving Christ More. My panic eased off when I heard the conversation in the room, God spoke to the others in the room also. God touched them. They were all talking about things that get in the way of our relationship with God. I am not alone! YAY! But I am still guilty. I know I am saved. I know I am forgiven. I know He loves me. I know I do not have to earn His love. He paid that price for me. What I do need to do is love the Lord my God with all my heart, and with all my soul, and with all my mind.
It’s a personal journey; it is for each of us. The Church is hurting. We are the Church. We are sin sick. All of us. We all battle something. Sometimes it can be comforting that others are going through something right along beside us and sometimes, we should be alarmed!
For me, it was the need to connect with who He really is in my life. I started searching my soul for those sins that you do not really think are sins. Like, gluttony. Sure, part of my being out of shape and very fluffy may have a little to do with medical issues, but how much of it can be attributed to that. The fact is, I like cake and cookies and all those yummy sweets that just ooze with chocolate. What I found was, I like it too much. I liked it so much that having two pieces of cake was ok. In fact, it was great! That is, until I realized that my overindulgence is gluttony. A sin! Eating sweets is not a sin, but over-eating or eating to cope with… is. That is not ok. I seemed to love the extra food more than I did myself and more than I did God Himself. You see, by choosing the gluttony, I chose to keep myself, and my body unfit to do all God called me to do as a Christian. Am I skinny now? NO. Will I ever be? Doubt it! It’s not about that. It’s about making a conscious effort to try and do better and love Christ more than the sin, myself and more than everything! Maybe gluttony is not your issue, but can you relate with me that there are things that we love in the place of Christ, or more than Christ?
But it’s not always the sin that makes you so sick. Sometimes it’s the lack of knowing scripture well enough to recall it in the times you need it. Maybe a friend is going through something and the scriptures would help them. If you can’t recall the scriptures, then how can you help yourself and them?
Ultimately, we are each responsible for our own walk with God. It really isn’t up to someone else to get us where we need to be. We should want to grow in our relationship with God by studying and preparing ourselves.
Will you join me on my journey? Will you make Love Christ More all about you? You may be dealing with anger, stimulants, lust, or not being kind. No matter the barrier, when each of us travels this journey together, we will succeed in being the vessels God needs to fight the winning battle!
With the help of Pastor Josh, my team and I have compiled a list of reference words and coupled them with scripture. The plan is to pick the word that resonates with you and meditate on the scripture that accompanies the word. We have journal pages to write your thoughts and plans on.
It does not stop there. You can share the Gospel with others as you learn and study His word. At Daniels Chapel, we have a card center where you grab cards for yourself and for others. We also have them free for download, just click here. Each person will have to find what Love Christ More means to them. As you figure it out, we hope you will share it with us.