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Centering Down – The First Commandment FIrs

Focusing on GodKey Bible Verse: Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’  This is the first and greatest commandment.” Matthew 22:37-38

Bonus Reading: Matthew 22:34-40

“Love God with all your heart” means: Find in God a satisfaction so profound that it fills up all your heart.

“Love God with all your soul” means: Find in God a meaning so rich and so deep that it fills up all the aching corners of your soul.

“Love God with all your mind” means: Find in God the riches of knowledge and insight and wisdom that guide and satisfy all that the human mind was meant to be.

In other words, take all your self-love—your longing for joy and hope and love and security and fulfillment and significance—and focus it on God, until He satisfies your heart and soul and mind.  You’ll find that this isn’t a canceling out of self-love.  This is a fulfillment and transformation of self-love.

Self-love is the desire for life and satisfaction rather than frustration and death. God says, “Come to me, and I’ll give you fullness of joy. I’ll satisfy your heart and soul and mind with My glory.”

This first commandment makes the second commandment doable.  The second commandment no longer threatens to be the suicide of our own happiness.  Instead, our inborn self-seeking—now transposed into God-seeking—overflows and extends itself to our neighbor.

—John Piper in What Jesus Demands from the World

My Response: How can I begin to love God, and then my neighbor, as myself?

Thought to Apply: We should give God the same place in our hearts that He holds in the universe.—Anonymous

Adapted from What Jesus Demands from the World (Crossway, 2006)

Prayer for the Week: When I feel driven and distracted, Your voice gets drowned out. Help me, Lord, to discover how to focus on Your presence in my life.

 

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