Balance in Life of Love Toward God

Shema – Deuteronomy 6:4-5

I want to encourage one family unit or person to commit Deuteronomy 6:4-5 to memory to recite it next Sunday morning for the congregation. Please let me know if you are willing to take this on. I’d love to do this periodically throughout the year to encourage each of us to write scripture on our hearts. I think you, your family, and our Family will be incredibly blessed by this practice.

Sunday, we talked about the 5 different ways people connect with God. We would like for you to rank each of these five things from what comes most naturally to you (1) to which is most foreign to you or least natural (5). Click the link at the bottom to rank them.

Here is the link to the 5 Ways of Loving God survey:

We all love God in different ways that come naturally to us. The Shema prayer that the Jews have prayed for thousands of years in Deuteronomy 6 calls us to obey God is to love God with all that you are. We want to love God with every essence of our being and in doing so, we will continually be transformed into the Daughters and Sons God intends for us to be. The implications of this also have great impact on who we are as a church. When you pursue God in all five of these areas in increasing measure, we believe you will be healthier. We’re going to have different short series on each of the five ways throughout the year and partner each series with practical applications for your life.

We love God with our mind (intellectual), through prayer, relationships with others, with our hands through serving others, and through emotions (worship). Balance in life with God is not having each of these at 20% in your life. Balance in life is to develop all of those ways of loving God to the capacity that you can.

As a Family of believers, we cannot evaluate others spirituality based on how we most naturally connect with God and we cannot evaluate our own spirituality based on what we see as great in someone else. In the same way that if a foot should say, “I do not belong to the body because I am not a hand” (1 Cor 12:15), people who are wired differently in how they express love toward God should not evaluate their spirituality based on how they measure against others. Each part of the body uses their gifts to build the body up and have equal concern for one another (1 Cor. 12:25).  

A person who loves God through deep Bible study should not look down on someone’s spirituality because they are more prone to loving God through serving others. We can quickly see where this kind of thinking becomes divisive and doesn’t help anyone grow. If you are naturally a relational person and you see someone not engaging in relationships in the church, find ways to encourage them into developing the relational side of loving God. We need one another, and we must consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds (Heb 10:24-25). Over this next year, let’s help one another find balance in life as we all grow in loving God with all of our heart, soul, strength, and mind.

Here is a rough outline from my Sermon this last week. Use it to reflect on the different ways of loving God. Take some time for self-evaluation as you rank what comes naturally to you. How are you going to work on these different areas this year?

Mind/Intellect -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Favorite activity is “Serious Bible Study.” You continually want to learn more about God, the Bible, etc.

The goal is to deepen your Bible study to bring about the renewing of your mind (Rom 12:2)

Acts 2:42 – They devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching

Psalm 119:15 – I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways. I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.

            2 Timothy 3:16-17 – All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

            Acts 17 – Berean Jews were more noble than those in Thessaloniki because they studied what Paul said.

Contemplative Christians/Prayer Warriors -------------------------------------------------------------------

You enjoy long walks and talks with God. You desire the peace of the early morning so you can have a good time of prayer. Your first solution to problems that arise is to pray.

Goal: Not so much how do you pray more but how does prayer shape every aspect of your life?

Psalm 1 – Blessed is the one who meditates on the law…

Luke 4:42-44 – He was in a solitary place… he had good ministry in front of him but was in tune with what his purpose was and moved on. How often do we get bogged down doing things that we don’t need to be doing because we don’t have clear discernment of what we need to be doing?

Luke 5:16 – But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed

Luke 6:12 – Jesus had a big decision to make regarding who he would call as his 12 apostles. In preparation for his big decision, “he went out to the mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying.”

Relational Christians ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You love God by loving other people. You love to plan group events and you’re continually mindful of what relationships are being built. Your solution to problems are, “Let’s have a party!”

Goal is to connect with other Christians in community

            Hebrews 10:24-25 – And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

            Acts 2:42 – They met together daily and had everything in common.

Service/Hands/Acts of Kindness -------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You are a person who loves God with your hands. You show up in situations and you already know what needs to be taken care of. You bake the pies or mow the lawns. You find great joy in serving others.

The goal is to develop a servant heart in your life.

Ephesians 2:10 – We are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.           

Galatians 5:13 – Use your freedom to…serve one another humbly in love 

Emotionally/Worship --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

You are primarily driven by feeling and tend to be on the enthusiastic side. No one can question whether or not you have joy because you express it often. Long periods of worship excite you and you feel most connected to God.

The goal is to develop a certain level of an outpouring of joy in your life.

Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord always       

Psalm 150 – Praise the Lord…

Colossians 3:14-17 – Word of Christ dwell in you…singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs…