Questions come dressed in all kinds of reasons.
Questions can muse and ponder, struggle and scrape, or probe and pierce. There are questions that hurt, desperate for a healing touch. Others yearn for a word of wisdom to strengthen a floundering life. Still more questions seek answers contained in solid information.
Some questions are crafty, asking one thing but meaning another.And then there are the questions that argue, looking for loopholes and collecting reasons to prove a point.
The Insincere Lawyer
One day, an insincere lawyer, filled with the pride of “I know best,” lays out a trap of a question. This man…he is used to being the expert, respected as the authority.
He stands up only to look down.
The question sounds sincere. “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life” (Luke 10:25)?
Many truly want to know the answer to this question, but not this man who is confident in his position.
When We Ask…
Have we questioned God, inflated with good intentions and suppositions? Sincere on the surface, but down deep there is another motivation?
How many times has insincerity poisoned our hearts, all the while maintaining a facade of goodness?
You and I, we don’t know the intention of the heart that hides behind the words, disguised by the appearance of honesty. Jesus, crafter of our souls, knows the thoughts and intentions of every heart. There is no fooling God–and He will not be tricked–though we try in countless ways.
[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@GingHarrington” hidden_hashtags=”#askingGod #faith”]We may fool others and we often deceive ourselves, but we cannot fool God.[/tweetthis]
And neither did this man.
The question may come from the arrogance of pride, but Jesus answers with two simple questions.
“What is written in the Law? How does it read to you” (Luke 10:27)?
In other words, Jesus prompts the man to think through what Scripture says. “What does it say?” is often the first and best question we can bring to God’s words of life.
When we think we already know the answers, “What does it say?” can open the door to revelation and insight. “What does it mean to me?” slows us down long enough for words to fill with meaning that penetrates our assumptions and opinions.
With a holy pause, we wait on the Holy Spirit to reveal or remind us of living truth.
But not this man.
The lawyer replies with the words he has memorized since he was young. He’s heard them, read them, said them over and over until they mean nothing, stagnant and lifeless with the stench of hypocrisy.
The lawyer knows the answers but understands nothing. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:28).
With an unbelieving heart, he recites these words right into the face of God.
Just when I am tempted wag my finger and condemn this man… I roll my eyes and pat myself on the back with confidence that claims, “Thank God, I don’t respond to Jesus like this hypocrite.”
But I can’t get the words out of my mouth.
They wedge tight in my throat, and I am choking on conviction.
How many times have I reeled off the pat answer with the pride of self that smirks under the surface?
It can be easy to say the words, “I love God with all my heart…” and yet my thoughts are consumed with a thousand other things. My heart chases other gods and competing desires.
When Insincerity hits home…
Sometimes, I’m not so different from this insincere lawyer, and I cringe at the thought.
I want to be better than that.
I want to be superior to the blatant sin of insincerity. But the human heart is often wayward and self-preserving. We all have our moments, and Christ knows it.
Jesus answers insincerity with simple instruction that is the quickest way to God’s loving heart and open arms.
[tweetthis twitter_handles=”@GingHarrington” hidden_hashtags=”#sincerefaith #lovingGod”]Love God with your life.[/tweetthis]
“You have answered correctly; do this and you will live ” (Luke 10:28).
- Love God with all that you are and all that you have. Everything.
- Every capacity that makes up your life.
- Every part of you that is stamped with the image of God.
- It is the obedience and the loving that brings life.
Love God with all your heart. All your soul. All your strength. All your mind.
What else is there?
Love God with your life.
[tweetthis]No tricks, no holding back, and no insincerity–this is what God asks of us.[/tweetthis]
How do we love God with our life?
What are you doing, the activities and responsibilities that add up to a day? Love God as you do it…all of it.
What are you feeling today, the emotions that shift and swing? Love God in the midst of those emotions…all of them.
What do you need today, the big and desperate as well as the small and mundane desires? Trust God and love Him with your needs. Every single one.
What are you enjoying today, the little blessings that bring a smile to your heart? Love God with your joy and delight.
What demands your strength today, the tasks and responsibilities that pile at your feet? Love God with your work.
What are you thinking? Open your mind and offer your mind with love and honesty.
As we learn to love God with our lives, He will break through every barrier of distraction, insincerity, and sin because we have invited Him in with love.
Oh yes, love God with your life.
How can you love God more today?
Find more devotions from the book of Luke:
Simple Encouragement When Work Fails
Courage to Simply Try Again When Work
It’s Simply Not About the Fish or the Work
The Simple Truth About Going to the Deep With Jesus
Great practical application here, Ginger. To take our thoughts and deeds and give them back to the Lord. I know I sometimes get focused on full steam ahead, and forget to love Him with every bit of myself. Thanks for the reminder. Happy to be your neighbor at #threewordwednesday.
Thanks for stopping by. Love the post from Meredith on your site today. You always have great posts!
Yes, our life certainly is a testimony to how we love the Lord. We can say we love Him; we can call ourselves Christian, but what do our actions say about the way we live our life? This is what God sees.He wants us to live out our love by loving others, the way He did. Thanks for stopping by my place, Ginger. Great biblical teaching here.
Yes this is the challenge. I really enjoyed your post and your website. Thanks for visiting today, Kim. Have a great weekend!
Good stuff here! So practical and meaningful. Thanks for linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.
Love the community at #ThreeWordWednesday. Thanks for stopping by Kristin.
Words < Action, every single time. The kicker is that the heart and thought life initiates the words and actions. Loving God with my life today looks like constantly redirecting my thoughts to what is pure and good…a really hard, but oh-so-worth it practice. Thanks Ginger for leaving me something to walk away with today!
Love the way you put this, Meg. Our words and actions begin with the intentions and desires of our hearts. So often, I try to fix the behavior without addressing the heart. Loving God with our life begins with the heart. So happy to connect with you today.
Goodness- that was challenging! I was cringing right along with you… how flippant my faith can sound to my own ears sometimes. Loving God should be the most natural thing in the world for us as believers, but you are right- we need to be intentional to live it out. Awesome post- thanks, Ginger! Stopping by from Tell His Story.
Flippant is a great word for this. Thanks for stopping by today. May God bless you with deep work in your heart.
It really is THAT simple… yet it alludes so many. Thank you for sharing this and encouraging us all to remember to love God with our life… I like that phrase!
Simple isn’t necessarily easy, is it? Yet keeping our focus on the simplicity of loving God through all the parts of our lives helps me stay focused. Thanks for joining me today.