We as Christians are obligated to not just grow in our faith, but to grow our understanding of it through reason and by theological means. We are also called to, “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37) Which means we are to grow, learn, and expand our experiences. Our love of God is also shown through teaching others, sharing His word with others, as well as, through our prayers & praises.
Loving God with all of our heart infers that we do for others, by helping them, instructing & teaching them, showing our compassion, empathy. IF God is so important to us, then we must show it by sharing His love with all those we come in contact. Why you might ask? Because we may be the only person in all of this world who may speak to that one person where we share the love and sacrifice of Jesus for them. We were warned & charged to do something very special for our fellow man:
“Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.” ~Ezekiel 3:17-19
For all those we allow to walk by us and not speak a word about God to becomes a sin against us that we are culpable and accountable for. Especially, if they are never saved and never get the chance to turn from their present life by showing that you, or I, didn’t care enough to give them a warning about what was in store for them!
In order to be properly guided by the Holy Spirit to spread the Word of God to all those we come in contact with, we must love God with all our soul. The best way to do this is through a close prayer life with our Creator. As written in the Epistle to the Thessalonians:
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” ~1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
To pray without ceasing we need to be in constant touch with God all throughout our day. Every free moment I have I find myself talking to God, asking for guidance, seeking His will, to have a renewed heart, mind, and spirit, to be filled with the Holy Spirit, to be filled with the Spirit of workmanship, wisdom, knowledge, compassion, love, etc. All the while I work, or have a closed eye moment. I am still working on my “prayer without ceasing” life. Funny, how something so integral & so minor, is both so important and yet so difficult. But, keep at it! It will eventually click and make more sense to you. The best thing to do is set aside a specific time or times each day in order to pray and also to praise God for all you need and all that you have received!
And to love the Lord with all your mind, quite frankly, infers rather strongly that we are to use all of our intellect and our reason and bring them both to bear on any given subject. The only way to do so is to read the bible, research the meanings therein (cultural, intimated, inferred, intended, etc.) We will also bring our intellect and reason into the good fight by researching our own beliefs with a solid determination as to why we believe all that we believe. This is how we grow in our belief and faith. We, for the most part, were indoctrinated by our parents; hence, we believe because we were taught to believe. However, as we grow older, and hopefully wiser, we will come to an understanding as to why we believe. But THAT “why” must eventually be discerned by us, individually; in a way that we will understand; but more importantly, in a way we can explain to others that we may help others turn their lives over to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.
Grow your faith, daily! It was said that Billy Graham said, “If you want to know the answer you need to read your bible daily. Study it and research it until you find the answer.” That was probably a paraphrase, but is probably a true meaning of what he passed along to someone who needed answers.
May God Richly Bless You All!
MK Murphy, PhD, DD