Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
When I was in elementary school, there was a girl in our local high school who was the swimming phenom. Her name was Kathy, and even though she was five years older than we were and two school levels ahead of us, we knew who she was. She was winning competitions and making a name for herself in this tiny little community. I remember someone detailing what her daily routine was like, and it always started in the wee hours of the morning in the pool. She did not make it to Olympic level or even national level competition, but what she achieved still took an incredible amount of work. Swimming had to come first for her, and she had to put in 100% every time she practiced or competed.
The world is full of chasers, and we all have those things which we believe are worth the work and the pain and the struggle. Anyone who has tried to be the greatest at what they do understands how much it takes to get even close to that position. God’s love desires no less but even more. We are to love him with everything we have and in every possible way we are able. All of our faculties are to be dedicated to that love. Like the great champions, we first must realize that what we are chasing is certainly worth the work. Sometimes we are not necessarily in love with the process, but we must commit to continuing because of the reward we know lies ahead. The love of God seeks our blood, sweat and tears, and then it wants us to go a little further still.
It is all about the fruit. When we know what can result and what will result when we are fully invested in loving God, that should light a fire within us. God’s love is not something we merely accept when it comes our way. It should be something that we pursue and then return with unparalleled dedication and commitment. The manifestation of God’s love through the work of his Son is our picture of that very dedication and commitment. He is all-in, and He wants us to be all-in, too. Through him we have what it takes to be fully invested. Father, help us love You with everything we have as You have shown of your love for us.