This evening, Dudley Callison, our Operations leader gave us a dynamic lecture on the missional practice of passionate devotion to Christ. This session, so far has been my favorite!
He first told us that in a recent Gallap survey, the question was ask, “What motivates you, as a Christian, to be involved in spiritual practices?” The top 5 answers: habit, duty, fear, guilt and self-image/interest. WOW. I found myself sinking into my chair and thinking- hmmm, yep, felt that one before, and that one, and oh yeah I felt guilty for not attending the last church function, so I HAVE to volunteer for the next one. And on and on.
We together read Matthew 22: 36-40:
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
So first Jesus said to love the Lord with all our heart. The heart is the center of our feelings and passions. In Matthew 12:34 it says: “You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks.” Whatever is in my heart, that’s what is going to pour out into my life. If I’m passionate for God, if my heart is devoted to Christ, then others will see it in whatever I do. Checking the content of my words (think before you speak) is something I need to do more often, especially being a person that lacks tact. =)
Next, Jesus says for us to love the Lord will all of our mind. The mind is a place of knowledge and awareness. If we love the Lord with all of our mind we are choosing to continually seek to know Him. In the last year I’ve made it more of a priority to read the Bible everyday. Even if it’s just for a few minutes before going to bed at night, I’ve found that it really reminds me of where my focus should be and I find myself searching to know more.
In Colossians 3:1-4 Paul writes, Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
So what do you seek to understand the most?
Lastly, Jesus says to love the Lord with all you soul. The soul is our spiritual interior and the center of our wills and wants. Mark 14:36 says “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Not want I want but what HE wants. What do you orient your life around to get?
Dudley shared that we need a “devotion detector” much like a metal detector. When things aren’t right, when we’re not passionate about Christ, we need a “detector” to remind us that we’re not loving our Lord will ALL that we are.
How do we live this out in the context of our lives? Heart mind AND soul?