Our 'all,' according to the Bible, is to be devoted to God and to be with God, because of 'all' the goodness that comes with it.
1 Corinthians 9:24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
To run or race after God is to increase with grace, humility, love, and peace. It is a marathon, not a sprint. To increase with love and peace we must practice forgiveness and mercy, which can help reduce anger and resentment. We can seek and learn compassion, sincerity, intimacy, empathy, and to be emotionally present. We can correct anger messages within our thoughts, even toward ourselves. We can correct shame and reduce blame. We can hold ourselves accountable with continued progress into God's goodness with our hearts, minds, and souls. We can grow our strength, effort, diligence, time, thoughts, actions, and words to practice God's character. We can talk about our growth with others to share what we find.
Deuteronomy 6:5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
The Old testament was written in Hebrew and the Hebrew meaning of heart (click on heart for definition) included the mind.
Deuteronomy 10:12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
Jesus affirms it saying it the same way.
Matthew 22:37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
Mark 12:30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, withall your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.
Luke 10:27 So he answered and said, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your Godwith all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ ”
Deuteronomy 6:6-9 Moses provides instruction on how to develop improved focus with God. Doing this as it is written can deepen awareness and understanding about God.
“And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
Everyday, everywhere, and with everyone we ought to think and act with God, if we love God with all our heart and mind.
Out of sight out of mind.
There have been times when I seek God and times when I seek other things. I experienced God when I was 21 years old. I grew in that experience. But then I moved away and pursued college. I lost contact with God. God did not leave me, I stopped seeking God's will.
What brought me back to seek God was misery, suffering, and emptiness. I sought God for help and God was there, again. God was, has been, and still is there. God never left nor leaves. I just chase after other things. My mind thinks of something and instead of redirecting it toward God's goodness I let my mind continue to focus upon something else. Redirection is a necessary responsibility.
Redirecting my thinking can be as simple as sitting in meditation to contemplate God's goodness. Since I have experienced confession, repentance, restoration of relationships, and have helped others, I witnessed spiritual results of love, mercy, humility, forgiveness, compassion, and peace. With that experience I can now imagine the spiritual sense of God's grace and what restoration feels like. First I had to clean up my inward condition of fear, resentment, dishonesty, and self-seeking, in order to experience a deeper sense of God's faith, truth, and love. Still, if I do not continue to spiritually connect with others through grace, I can develop inwardly emptiness and loneliness. Each day connecting with others with sincere truth (connect heart to heart, spirit to spirit) and being together can condition the soul and grow the kingdom of God.
Over the past 30 years I have heard hundreds of testimonies that support these principles. I have personally helped others develop with this process. It really works.
Repeatedly seeking God with heart, mind, and soul can bring fulfillment, peace, and joy. Repeatedly seeking self-gratification can bring fleeting sense of euphoria, followed by a harmed heart, mind, spirit, and hurt loved ones. It has helped me to convince myself to step toward the suffering for Godly good that can feed my soul, help me sleep, be at peace, and improve my relationships. It helps to know the consequences of my choices.
Deuteronomy 30:11-20 The Choice of Life or Death
It's my choice whether to step toward self-gratification or spiritual good. Am I going to obey God or evil desires. Sometimes the choice can be difficult and I need to give my all to get into Godly activity. I need reminders which I create for myself to prompt me into Godly good. I know that Godly good growing within my heart and mind produces spiritual fulfillment.
Growing God's character within our minds makes us able to choose to practice such character with other spiritual beings to witness Godly spiritual activity in real time in us and around us. We must humble ourselves to choose God's ways to experience such spiritual goodness. With such experiential knowledge our faith can grow and our interest can also grow. Let's act upon God's goodness and witness how:
Seeking peace can reduce anxiety.
Seeking faith & trusting God can reduce fear.
Seeking to give compassion & mercy can reduce loneliness and emptiness.
Seeking to forgive can reduce indifference and resentment.
Seeking truth (the spirit is truth) can bring spiritual understanding.
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