My family have always been Christians and I made my decision to follow Jesus when I was a child. It was in Sunday School in 1977 and a year later was baptised in water. It doesn’t seem much of a testimony, but the more I think about it, I think it’s amazing. What a great privilege God has given to me to grow up in the church never leaving the commitment I made to be a follower of Jesus.
Maybe Timothy was feeling the same way when Paul reminded him of this great privilege to have grown up in church.
…how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:15
The decision I made was to be fully, wholeheartedly committed to the Lord and to follow Him with all my heart—wherever that might take me. Of course, I have had plenty of ups and downs since then, and my fair share of failures. All of us are far from perfect. I still do things that I wish I did not do.
But I have been determined to try and follow the Lord with all my heart and be fully committed to Him. To be ‘fully committed’ with ‘all your heart’ means 100% commitment. It means seeking to do what the Lord calls you to do. It means stopping anything that is bad that could pull us away from God.
The Lord is looking for those whose ‘hearts are fully committed’ to Him.
For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. 2 Chronicles 16:9
The key word in this verse is ‘strengthen’ which gives hope to all of us when we have those down and failed moments. When your decision is to be fully committed to Him, it’s by God’s grace that He strengthens you to be a follower of Jesus with all your heart.
The expression ‘all your heart’ appears many times throughout the Bible. To help live this committed life in Christ, you are to do the following things ‘with all your heart’:
Love the Lord (Deuteronomy 6:4–5; Matthew 22:36–38)
Jesus replied: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ Matthew 22:37
Our relationship with God is no different to our earthly relationships. It is formed out of love. We are told through what Jesus said to love God with everything in us.
Trust in the Lord (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
This is a hard one as we are told to trust someone we cannot see. To trust in the Lord we need to understand and believe in the promises God has given to us.
God is all knowing and can see beyond what we can see. Leaning on our own understanding is limited while trusting in God’s understanding is unlimited and only He can make our paths straight.
Obey the Lord (Psalm 119:34,69; 1 Chronicles 29:19)
Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Psalms 119:34
As the people in Israel were instructed to keep the Law given to them by God, The Bible we have today has been given to us by God which we also are instructed to keep and obey. We need to see the Bible as very important to us, because when we read it daily, we will know it, which then helps us to obey the Lord.
What a great life we have as a follower of Jesus. The privilege of being a child of God and being part of His family. This life in Christ needs to be lived in fullness through this expression of ‘all your heart’.
This is how to enjoy life and life in all its fullness:
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
Stay strong in the Lord as you live a full life of love, trust and gratitude.