Tag Archives: mother Theresa

Love With Your Strength

And you must love The Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind and all your strength. – Mark 12:30

About a year and a half ago, I was reading Mark Batterson’s book “Primal”. It dealt with this verse as well. When I got to the part about loving God with all your strength, I began to see that I had not been loving Him with my strength. I had loved Him with my heart, my soul and my mind, but I had left out an important part. I had failed to love Him through my actions and abilities. That chapter created the birth of this website.

I had always felt called to write, but never had done anything more than talk about it. I had visions (fantasies) of having never written and somehow I would be granted a book deal. When I read that loving God with my strength meant that I was to use my talents and abilities for Him, I knew I had to start writing. I may never get a book deal and I’m ok with that because I’m doing what He asked me to do. I’m writing in order to love Him with my strength. His approval is more to me than anyone else’s.

Jesus told the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25:14-30. A man went on a trip and called his servants together. To one he gave five talents to, to another he gave two and to another he gave one. The first two servants went out, used their talents and doubled their worth. The third dug a hole and carefully buried the talent given to him. When the man returned he took account of what they had done with what he had entrusted to them. He partnered with the first two and took away the talent from the third. The attitude of the third is what I want to look at because it’s what I saw in the mirror.

In the Message in verses 24-27 the conversation went almost like I had been with God. The servant said, “Master, I know you have high standards and hate careless… I was afraid I might disappoint you, so I found a good hiding place.” Unfortunately, that was my attitude about what God had given me. I didn’t want to mess up so I just sat on it waiting for the day to come when He asked for it. The master’s response is what motivates me now. He said, “That’s a terrible way to live! It’s criminal to live cautiously like that! If you knew I was after the best, why did you do less than the least?”

When we don’t love God with all our strength, we are doing less than the least. We are putting our pride of how others will critique us over our obedience to what He asked of us. As He put it, that’s a terrible way to live. Each of us have been given an ability to do something for God no matter how great or small. We can’t all be a Mark Batterson, Max Lucado, Billy Graham, Mother Theresa, Chris Tomlin or Darlene Zschech, but we can be who God called us to be. We can love Him with what He gave us instead of burying it because we’re not as good as the best out there.

What talent has God given you and called you to use that you’re sitting on? It’s time for you to dig it up and start investing it in the Kingdom. It’s time to love God with your strength.

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The Greatest

Michael Jordan. Wayne Gretzky. Albert Einstein. Wolfgang Mozart. Muhammad Ali. Oprah Winfrey. Mother Theresa. These are some of the greatest names in their respective fields. A list of greats could go on for days and include a lot of people. If we extended it to other things like cars, cities, foods and other things, the list would be even larger. People will always debate on who is or what is the greatest in everything, but there is one thing that there is no debate on and that is the greatest commandment in the Bible.

It was settled by Jesus in Mark 12:30. One of the religious leaders of the day approached Him and asked, “Of all the commandments, which one is the greatest?” When you think of all the commandments in the Bible, this is a legitimate question. It’s one that anyone would want to know. God’s first commandment was to not eat from the Tree of Knowledge. Adam and Eve broke that one. Later God gave 10 Commandments to Moses. The first one on there was “Thou shalt not have any other gods before me.” They were breaking that one as it was being etched in stone.

When God gives commandments, we tend to break them. We act like a child does when a parent tells them not to do something. “Don’t touch that stove. It’s hot!” And the kid looks at you and touches it anyway. When we think of commandments, we equate them to “Thou shalt nots”, but when this man asked Jesus about the greatest commandment, He didn’t give him a “Thou shalt not.” Instead, He gave him a “Thou shalt do.”

In Mark 12:30, Jesus answered with, “Love The Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” It sounds like such a simple thing to do, but we struggle with each of these areas at times. We might be able to love Him with our heart and soul, but don’t know how to love Him with our mind and strength. It’s tough to love God in all four areas, but when we do, we have the ability to accomplish great things. Our name could be on that list of greats when history looks back on us.

This week I want to focus on each of those areas to see how we can love God in each of these areas of our lives. If that is the greatest commandment, then we should work on doing it as Christians. I believe that if we can love Him in each of these areas, not only will our lives change, but our world will too. It’s time for believers to quit complaining about how bad the world is and to start doing something to change it for the better with our lives. I believe it starts right here in this verse. What do you think?

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How Many Nets Are You Casting?

Yesterday I mentioned a pastor who left the Philippines 18 years ago to work in Haiti. He’s only left Haiti a handful of times in those years to return home. In Haiti, he runs an orphanage, a school for def girls, a bakery, a bottled water facility, a feeding center for poor children, a church and more that I can’t think of right now. One of the people with us asked him, “Aren’t you wearing yourself too thin to be effective?” His response was, “I was called the be a fisher of men. The more nets I cast, the greater chance I have of catching.”

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The truth is that each of us are called to be fishers of men. We all have different streams, ponds, lakes, seas and oceans to fish in. His response is still resonating in my mind. Have I only cast one net? Worse yet, have I only cast a line instead of a net? When I think about all he is doing for the Kingdom, I think he is a less famous Mother Theresa. He is doing quiet work for the Kingdom to the least of these. He’s not seeking recognition from man. He’s seeking honor from God.

I started to compare how little I do for the Kingdom with what he does, but God stopped me. Im not to compare myself to others. I’m to compare myself to what God has specifically called me to do. If I’m to be a fisher of men in a stream instead of an ocean, I’m called to be faithful to that place. My role in the Kingdom is just as vital as that of someone who was given an ocean to fish. God is looking for obedience to that which He has called only me to do.

I can, however, adopt Pastor Gnada’s mindset in my calling. I can cast nets instead of a net. I can expand my ability to reach my territory and increase my odds of being more effective by how I approach what God has called me to do. I think that starts with a recognition that I can do more. Once that happens, I begin to look at what I’m doing currently and how I’m doing it. Are there more effective ways? What other nets can I cast? What am I doing that’s working and not working?

When we ask ourselves the hard questions, we see how our ministry and testimony can be more effective. We see growth in our lives and in our faith. Too often we ignore the hard questions and tell ourselves that we’re doing enough just so we don’t have to do more. I know because I do it. I constantly try to find ways to justify standing still in my faith and ministry. God has not called us to be stagnant. He has called us to advance. He has called us to love.

Pastor Gnada has great love for the people of Haiti. It’s what drives him to do more each day and to not be satisfied and to say he’s done enough. May each of us catch a glimpse of that kind of love for others around us so that it compels us to do more than we’re doing today. Mother Theresa said, “We can’t all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” Wherever and whatever God has called you to do, be satisfied with it and do it with great love. When you’re faithful over that, He can take you to the next level.

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