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Sermon – May 2nd, Loving God with All of your Mind!

Week 4 – Love God with all of your Mind

Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity – Based on book by Mark Batterson

 This morning we are continuing our series on the Great Commandment, based on the ideas in Mark Batterson’s book Primal: A Quest for the Lost Soul of Christianity. This series is based on what Jesus told us in Mark 12. He told us that Loving God was the most important, or the greatest commandment.

 Mark 12:29-30

29The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” NIV

 A couple weeks ago we looked at what it meant to Love God with all of our Heart. Loving God with all of our hearts means that our heart will break for the things that break God’s heart. This will lead us to be passionate about something and showing compassion to others. Having that passion towards something that breaks God’s heart will show us what we were created to do.

 Last week we looked at what was behind loving God with all of our Souls. We looked at how after God created all that there was, and he wondered at it. God was impressed by the work He did. We to need to be impressed by God’s creation, after all it is the simplest form or worship. Loving God with all of our Souls, means having a soul filled with wonder, a soul filled with awe over God.

As we continue our study on the Great Commandment, we should remember that Jesus said that Loving God was the most important commandment. So we need to learn about it and then do it. Following the order found in Mark 12:29-30, we have already studied what it means to Love God with all of our Heart and all of our Souls. Today we are going to look at what it means to love God with all of our Minds.

It has been scientifically proven that our brains can and will create new synaptic connections until the day we die. In other words we can continue to learn new things until the day we die. God created us that way; He created us to continually learn about Him and the world around us until we can no longer continue. Since God created us to be continually learning machines, don’t you think we should?

Since God gave us this ability to learn, we owe it to Him to use that ability. In many ways it can be viewed as a stewardship issue. If God gives us something we are supposed to use it as He would want. If God blesses us with money, we are to give. If He blesses us with time, we are to volunteer. If He blesses us with the ability to learn, we need to continue learning.

Loving God with all of our Mind, means making the most of our minds by learning as much as we can about as much as we can. God wants us to never stop learning, He wants us to use our minds. We can spend time studying our Bibles or anything else that God created that interests us, we just need to continue to learn.

Now one thing to remember is that we cannot know everything.

1 Corinthians 8:2

“2The man who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know.” NIV

While God has gifted us with the ability to learn, we are still limited. For example when we think of some of the great theologians the world has seen. Some of them seemed to know an awful lot about God, and it could seem that they knew everything that there was to know. The truth is that we cannot understand everything about God. He is not an object that we can study and determine all of His truths, as we talked about last week He is a God of Wonder. Hopefully the more we understand about God should drive us to a higher sense of curiosity, which in turn should drive us to keep learning more about our Creator and His creation.

 I mentioned earlier that God created us so that we can continue to learn for all of our lives. He gifted us with this ability. If we ever choose to stop learning about God and His creation, we end up not being curious anymore. If we lose our curiosity for God we are not Loving God with all of our Minds.

Think about this, true love is never satisfied. Take for example when you first fell in love with your wife or husband. You wanted to learn everything you could about them. You would ask friends for everything they knew, you would spend hours talking to each other to learn more, you could not get enough. Your love for them drove a high level of curiosity. Even today after years of marriage, there is still an enhanced level of curiosity. You want to know their wants, you want to hear about their day, and you want to find out if there is something new they want for their birthday. Even after years of marriage there is that curiosity, which drives learning, and is a sign of Love. True Love is Never Satisfied.

Now if it applies to your marriage do you think it applies to your relationship with God? When we are first saved, we want to know everything. We cannot seem to get our hands on enough information. We spend hours reading our Bibles, and other books recommended by other Christians. We were very curious when we first met Jesus. Has the curiosity continued? Do we still spend time learning all we can about our Creator and His creation? If we are still curious about God, and continue to look for more bits of knowledge about Him, we are still learning. If we are still learning, we are showing our Love for Him. The more we Love God the more curious we are about Him, and the more we will study Him.

Please turn to Genesis 1:28

“28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” NIV

I tend to think that Adam and Eve were created to live in the Garden of Eden, and that they did not venture from it until after they ate of the fruit from the tree of ‘Knowledge of Good and Evil’. When I was reading the book Primal, a new thought was brought to my attention. If we look at Genesis 1:28 very carefully God is telling Adam and Eve to “Fill the earth and subdue it”. This was God’s first assignment to mankind. This verse shows us that God created mankind with curiosity for His creation, and the ability to learn from the very beginning. God wants us to learn everything we can.

We tend to think of intellectual pursuits as something that has nothing to do with our faith. The reality is that intellectual knowledge is part of worship. The more we know about God the more we can worship Him, the more we Love Him.

John 4:23-24

“23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” NIV

Here we find Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman at the well. He is telling her that ‘true worshipers worship the Father in spirit and truth.” In other words, true worshipers of God worship based on knowledge and wonder. They go hand in hand. You cannot truly Love and Worship God without being amazed by Him and without learning about Him. Each one is critical part of loving and worshipping God. The more we know the more we can worship.

The New Testament Greek word translated as ‘disciple’ comes from a root that means ‘learner’. So by definition a disciple is someone who spends all of their life learning. As believers in Christ, we are disciples, so we need to be lifelong learners.

Matthew 7:7-8

“7“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” NIV

As disciples we should be so curious about our Creator and His creation that we continue to Ask, Seek, and Knock. We need to be spending time to learn more and more about who God is and what he wants us to do. We should be looking at every person, challenge, or situation as a learning opportunity. The more we continue to learn the more we are worshipping God and using the brain that he gave us. The more we know the more we can Love.

2 Corinthians 10:5

“5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”

How many times have we heard the second part of this verse used in reference to sinful thoughts? I have heard it said many times that we are to take our thoughts and make them obedient to Christ. Control your thoughts; cast the sinful thoughts out, before you slip into sin. This is good advice, but I think it can be looked at in a different light.

Taking our thoughts captive can also apply to keeping our creative thoughts in our minds. That is where the stewardship aspect comes to play with the gift of a brain our Creator has given us. He gives us thoughts that we need to hold on to. These thoughts may be about how to reach out to your neighbor, how the church can reach to the community, or some new way of doing ministry. We need to be open to the Spirits leading, take captive those thoughts or ideas, and work to make them a reality. God gives us these thoughts so we can be good stewards, He wants us to use these ideas for His kingdom.

Another part of Loving God with all of our Minds has to do with Prayer.

Colossians 4:2

 “2Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” NIV

Those who spend time in prayer are like the watchmen who sat on the city wall and kept watch for harm. The watchmen saw things before anyone else, and those who spend time in prayer see things that no one else sees, and before anyone else sees them. The more time we spend in prayer the closer we become to God. The closer we are to God the more He is able to guide us. The more we pray the more we see. God wants to show us things and to see them we need to be spending time with Him every day in prayer.

As we work through this series we are trying to become Great at the Great Commandment. Specifically this week we are wanting to Love God with all of our Minds, to do so we need to:

  1. We need to continually learn, seeking more knowledge about the Creator and His creation.
  2. Let our Love for God drive our curiosity
  3. Remember that we worship and love God out of Knowledge and amazement
  4. Take captive our good thoughts, and use them to do His will
  5. Spend time in Prayer

 

Let’s work together to be Great at the Great Commandment, and Love God with all of our Hearts, Soul, Mind, and Strength.

Thank for Reading! Check back in two weeks for the final message in the Primal Series. Next week will be a special in honor of Mother’s Day!

God Bless,

Robert

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May 2, 2010 - Posted by | Sermon

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