The Bible is a long book. My 1978 New International Version is 1,156 pages long. Ever wonder what the main point of the Bible is? Whether you’ve ever read the whole thing or not, would you like to know one of its central teachings?
One day an Old Testament scholar asked Jesus to tell him the most important commandment in the Bible. For Jesus, this was an easy question to answer. He cut right to the chase with this response: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38).
The Bible is crystal clear about this – the most important thing I’m supposed to do is love God with everything I am.
But I need help. I need more direction. I want to know what loving God looks like.
What I’m asking is: How do you do that? How do you love God with all your heart, soul and mind?
Is there a passage in the Bible that tells us what it means to love God completely?
I think there is! I think Psalm 119 helps us answer this question. And wouldn’t you like to know not just what we’re supposed to be doing on earth, but how we’re supposed to do it?
Psalm 119 is the longest chapter in the Bible (176 verses), and virtually every verse is about the Bible. But it’s also a wonderful treatise on the heart, because the word “heart” appears about 15 times (depending on which translation you’re reading).
So here are 10 ways you can love God with your heart, in the order they happen to appear in Psalm 119:
1. Seek God with all your heart (Psalm 119:2, 10, 58)
2. Praise God with an upright heart (Psalm 119:7)
3. Hide God’s word in your heart (Psalm 119:11)
4. Set your heart on God’s laws (Psalm 119:30)
5. Allow God to set your heart free (Psalm 119:32)
6. Obey God’s law with all your heart (Psalm 119:34)
7. Keep God’s precepts with all your heart (Psalm 119:69, 112)
8. Allow the Word of God to be the joy of your heart (Psalm 119:111)
9. Call to God with all your heart (Psalm 119:145)
10. Let your heart tremble at God’s word (Psalm 119:161)
What do you think? Does that help? It sure helps me.
Over the next 10 days, why not spend a day focusing on each of these ten specific ways to love God with your heart. This is what the Christian life is all about. This is what the Christian life should look like.
How are you doing? Like me, there’s plenty of room for improvement, right?
As you work on each of these areas, keep in mind this powerful and comforting promise – “it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13).