The Message states, Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list” (Matthew 22:37a). King David gives us perhaps the best example of one who absolutely and without question loved the Lord his God with all of his heart, soul, and mind. Dressed ceremonially for worship in a white linen ephod, David “danced before the Lord with all his might, while he and the entire house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets” (2 Samuel 6:14–15). David loved God intensely and creatively! The Psalms also testify to the depth of his desire for the Lord. He prayed earnestly, sang, played instruments, wrote music, danced—and gave honor to God with every gift, talent, and opportunity. One has only to read Psalm 63:1–8 to see the depth of longing David had for the Father.
Jesus commanded us to love the Lord our God, and Scripture punctuates this over and over again. It has been my experience that when Scripture is repetitive, we need to pay special attention and be especially focused on obedience. Take some time to read and pray through Deuteronomy 6:5; 10:12; 11:1; 11:13; 11:22; 30:16; Joshua 22:5; 1 Corinthians 8:3; and 1 John 5:3.
Father, I come to You today filled with a deep longing for more of You than I have yet experienced in my lifetime. There is always more of You to experience…a never-ending well of love and grace to be drawn from. Yet, I waste time in my worldly pursuits and pleasures. Convict my heart of my deep need for all that You are and allow me to rest continually in Your Presence.
–Adapted from Encountering Jesus (Praying the Commands of Christ into Your Life) by Norval Hadley. This resource is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.
Praise God as the one who lifts your soul up from the depths of despair and discouragement (Ps. 42:5). Thank him for being your Savior and your God. Confess those times when you’ve chosen not to allow God to wipe away the tears of distress. Commit yourself to praising God every day for his tender mercies. Ask God to keep you from becoming downcast in your soul.
Ask God to cause many around the world today to “put their hope in God” (Psalm 42:5) and thus be able to confess with believers in every land “my Savior and my God” (Psalm 42:11).
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