Friday, June 13, 2014

LOVE THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART


God told the Israelites to "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your should and with all your strength." (Deuteronomy 6:5) But in 1 Kings 11, we see that Solomon, despite all the blessings God gave him, always loved other things. He loved wealth. We saw that he spent more time building is house than God's house. He used the most lavish materials, even those used in the Holy Place of the temple. He collected many horses, though God had forbidden Israel's kings from doing so. Solomon loved power and status. His first marriage was to Pharaoh's daughter, despite the Lord's command not to marry foreign women. It gave him political peace as a treaty marriage, but status also in that he was important enough to get this trophy wife.

Solomon also loved women. He may have loved women most of all. He ended up with 1000 of them. In a way, he was like a porn addict. He had women of every type to look at and have sex with, and he loved that. He was addicted to them to the degree that he began to worship their gods. And by doing so, he set in motion the loss of the kingdom.

Jesus reiterated the command to love God totally, and called it the most important commandment. All three synoptic gospel writers recorded the statement. They saw how important it was.

The seeds of Solomon's lack of devotion and his dabbling in sin bore fruit in his older age. He became a worshipper of many gods, an idolater. It is a great warning to us. Not only can we not love anything more than the Lord, we cannot love anything enough to compete with our love for God. If we do, that other love will grow until it leads us to sin, to shame, and possibly to destruction. One of God's principles is that we reap what we sow. (Galatians 6:7) If we sow to please our sinful nature, from that nature we will reap destruction. (Galatians 6:8)

Let us examine ourselves constantly. Do we love our career too much, or our money, or our status? If so, we must repent and put things in order, keeping our devotion to the Lord complete and pure. The one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:8)
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