Everyone felt it – especially the woman standing half-dressed in front of the condemning crowd. Her eyes frantically surveyed every angle of the temple court, seeking a way to escape.
Even a passerby could sense the crowd’s impatience and their eagerness to inflict “righteous judgment” by stoning the woman caught in adultery. She stood alone – her posture now bent in shame, and her eyes filling with tears. She knew her fate was sealed.
Or so she thought.
“I don’t condemn you. Go and sin no more,” Jesus said after sending her accusers away to consider their own sinful history (see John 8:1-11).
We’re not told what the woman did after this encounter with Jesus, but it wouldn’t be hard to imagine. Although I’ve never committed adultery, I too have been forgiven much. And since I’ve been shown great mercy, I love God a whole lot.
However, I know I fall short of this week’s verse:
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. Deuteronomy 6:5 ESV
I love the challenge this verse stirs within me.
What would it be like to love God with every emotion, every thought and with all our strength?
After her experience with Jesus, I doubt the woman mentioned earlier had any trouble loving God with everything she had. What if we were to recall times we’ve also received God’s mercy? Would it stir within us a desire to love Him with our entire being?
As we continue to prepare our hearts for Easter, would you consider joining me in meditating on (perhaps even memorizing) Deuteronomy 6:5? Let’s ask God to help us love Him with our whole being because of Who He is (Almighty God) – and because of all the times His love gives rise to mercy.
What would happen if we loved God with this much intensity?
How would it change our relationship with Him?
This goal will not only bring our Father joy, but it will also change us in ways we can only imagine. Because if we are able to achieve even a fraction of loving God with our entire being, we will experience, in return, such an awareness of God’s love that it will shatter all shame from our past.
And that, dear reader, will give our Father even greater joy.
What about you?
I’d love to hear your thoughts about this post. (Others might also benefit from your comment.)
- What would happen in your life if you loved God with this much intensity?
- What would happen in your heart?
- How would it change the way you respond to stress?
- How would it change your relationships?
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