Monday, February 16, 2009

Day 5 – Love God with All Your Mind and Strength

From my previous posts, you can probably guess that loving God with all my mind is not something I can brag about. I have a hard time keeping the lesser things from taking over my thoughts, even when I pray. How do you love God with all your mind…how do you make him the center of all your thoughts with all the economic turmoil, families in crisis, and general distress in our society?

In Chapter 5, Tom suggests we look at
Phillipians 4:8 for guidance:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.

Had these words been spoken by Jesus and not written by Paul, we might refer to this verse as the third greatest command. As it is, it serves as a blueprint for building a Christian life. In one context, the verse focuses on adjectives that have been used to describe God himself. To love God with all our mind, we must continually focus our thoughts on Him. But it also tells us to focus on the good, and noble, and admirable things that our fellow man has done. It tells us to focus on the beauty in nature that God has created for us to enjoy. If we continually strive to do this, and fill our thoughts with these amazing things, it will prevent the lesser things from ruling our thoughts, and can keep temptations from overcoming our will.

Focusing only on what is good and pure and true, does not mean that we ignore all that is wrong in the world. Tom reminds us that focusing on these things is how we confront and combat those wrongs.

The next question is how do we love God with all our strength when we all have feelings of inadequacy and recognize our own weakness?

Tom lists three truths we must accept to truly love God with all our strength.
1. Have complete confidence that God can do anything.
2. That we can do nothing of ultimate or eternal significance without the power of Jesus Christ
3. Trust God to turn our weakness into His strength

Understanding that without God’s strength, I can do nothing makes it easier for me to ask God to use me as he wants because I know He can accomplish anything through me. This blog may just be one example. If God can use me to touch one person’s life, even if it is my own, I know it will be because of his strength. Nothing in my background qualifies me as an expert on relationships, religion, or writing. It will be from God taking my weakness and turning it into His strength.

Day 6 - Love Everyone As Your Neighbor

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