“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” (Mark 12:30-31).
A healthy heart is crucial to a healthy body. Because blood pumping through our veins is so important, having a defective pump can be life threatening. In the spiritual life, we need a healthy heart as well. But our spiritual heart does not pump blood—it pumps love. Love is crucial for growing a healthy believer—love for God and love for those around us.
If we do not love God, our service for Him will be lacking. If we serve at all, it will be out of duty or fear. We will not care that our sinful lives grieve a holy God. If we do not love others, we will not care enough to share the good news of Christ with them; we will not sacrifice for others. We will not be concerned that our actions confuse or hurt others.
Lord, draw my heart close to Yours so that I might love You with everything in me. Transform my sinful state into a lifestyle of joyful sacrifice so that others may know Your heart also. May I be compelled by love to see my neighbors through Your holy eyes.
–Adapted from Praying like Paul (Learning to Pray the Kingdom for Those You Love) by Jonathan Graf. This resource is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount on the book.
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Praise Jesus as the suffering servant. Thank him for the love that brought him to the point where he “suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried” and even “descended to hell” for you. Confess any lack of appreciation for such love. Commit yourself to never misusing the name of such a loving Savior. Ask him to guide you in giving your life in thankful response.
Pray for the Christians whom God has called to be teachers throughout the week. Ask God to motivate them with the giving love of Jesus.
“Because God is the living God, he can hear; because he is a loving God, he will hear; because he is our covenant God, he has bound himself to hear.” —Charles H. Spurgeon
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