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Christian Living

Spiritual Life

Grin and Grow with Kathy 02/07/18

With All My Heart

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STORY: No Lie!

Little kids have all sorts of sayings. Step on a crack, break my mother’s back. Pinky swear. Jinx—you owe me a coke! Slug bug! One of the phrases I remember hearing often when someone promised they were telling me the truth was, “Cross my heart and hope to die.” I never wanted to say that one because who would want to die? But then again, avoiding those sidewalk cracks to prevent Mom’s broken back was a biggie, too!

As grown-ups, let’s adopt a new phrase. “Cross my heart and hope to love.” Loving others is a matter of the heart. Loving God is a matter of the heart. Even loving self as Jesus wants us to—a matter of the heart. Let’s see what the Scriptures say.

STUDY: All In

And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. (Deuteronomy 6:5 NLT)

Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. (Matthew 22:37 NLT)

  • How vital is the word “must”? Is it an optional suggestion?
  • The word “your” is also important. How is that different than if it merely said, “love the Lord God with...”?
  • What does it mean to love the Lord your God with all your heart? With all your soul? With all your strength? What does that look like in your day today?
  • Jesus endorsed the Deuteronomy command. He changed one phrase. What was it? What do you think is the difference between strength and mind?

Love the Lord your God, walk in all his ways, obey his commands, hold firmly to him, and serve him with all your heart and all your soul.” (Joshua 22:5b NLT)

  • Since the action steps in this sentence are attached to the opening phrase to love the Lord your God, it seems to say we will show love when we do these things. What are the four action steps?
  • The word “all” gives us no room to pick and choose which of God’s ways we want to walk. How do you walk in all God’s ways?
  • Do you know what God’s commands are?
  • When you love someone, you hold firmly to them, so it makes sense if we love God, we will do the same. How close are you to someone if you are embracing them?
  • In Deuteronomy we learned to love God with our heart and soul. Here it adds a step, and we are to serve Him with all our hearts and souls, as a way of showing our love to Him. It begs the question, is there any area of serving the Lord in which you are holding back a portion of your heart or soul? (The soul is the non-body part of you that makes you you.)

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all the marvelous things you have done.  (Psalm 9:1 NLT)

  • The word “all” is used twice in this verse. Identify them and decide why it’s important to give it your all.
  • Is there a part of your heart that doesn’t praise God? A part of your day when you are grumbling rather than praising? Praise identifies the attributes of God and acknowledges them even when we can’t rejoice in our circumstances. We can always look to the Savior and praise Him. Praise means: admire, adore, extol, worship, honor, applaud, exalt, magnify, celebrate.
  • One way to praise the Lord is to notice His marvelous works and share them with others. Out of the mouth comes the things of the heart, so when we tell of His goodness, we reveal the level of praise in our hearts.

I pray with all my heart; answer me, Lord! I will obey your decrees. (Psalm 119:145 NLT)

  • What is the “all my heart” in this passage?
  • Can you sense the level of pleading in David’s voice here? Think of a time when you prayed this fervently.

My child, never forget the things I have taught you. Store my commands in your heart. If you do this, you will live many years, and your life will be satisfying. Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor with both God and people, and you will earn a good reputation. Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. (Proverbs 3:1-6 NLT)

  • Identify the “all your heart” phrase in this passage.
  • How can you trust in the Lord with all your heart?

You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. (Jeremiah 29:13 ESV)

  • What is the “all your heart” attitude or action here?
  • How do we seek God in completeness?

STEPS: Give It Your All

  1. Seek the Lord with all your heart. How will you seek Him more diligently this week?
  2. Love the Lord with all your heart. How will you love Him more completely this week?
  3. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. How will you trust Him in full faith on that matter that’s hard to trust?
  4. Pray to God with all your heart. When will you make a date to pray more fervently this week?
  5. Praise the Lord with all your heart. Will you loosen up to allow your heart to spontaneously praise Him this week?
  6. Serve God with all your heart. What matter is God asking you to do as you serve Him this week?

Copyright © 2018 Kathy Carlton Willis. Used by permission.

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