You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. (Matthew 22:37)
It is good for all of us to examine our hearts from time to time. Beyond the fact that Scripture commands us to do so, experience has taught me that this practice is absolutely necessary in order to identify those lesser loves that have a tendency to crowd God out of our thoughts and plans. I am not talking about the easy-to-identify stuff of this life; I am talking about good things that can become bad things because they have become ultimate things.
The cosmic comfort that comes from today’s message is found in the fact that God’s love toward us is not conditional upon our love toward Him. When we chase after lesser loves and forsake the love we had for God at the first, God’s constant, unwavering love is both a great reminder and a gentle rebuke to return to Him and forsake our worldly ways. It is God’s holy and righteous jealousy that moves Him to search our hearts by the light of the Gospel, which ultimately moves us back to where we belong, sitting at the feet of our Master.
I am often reminded about the story of Mary and Martha preparing to receive Jesus and the disciples for a meal. Both worked hard in the process of the preparations, but it became evident that Martha had gone after a lesser love when she became far more focused on doing things for Jesus than spending time with Jesus. Mary knew when to shut down and sit down at the feet of her Master. Jesus gently reminded Martha that Mary had chosen the greater love of spending time with Him, rather than doing things for Him.
Are there any good things you have been doing for God that have kept you from spending time with Him? We all need the truths of the Gospel to convict the performer within us to stop all our doing and pause to ask our loving Lord to renew our mind, recalibrate our heart, and realign our will. Remembering to regularly examine our hearts will keep us on guard against lesser loves that distract us from the Savior Himself, He who is the most important love we are to seek all the days of our lives. This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!