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More Than Any "Isaac"by Duane Mabee on August 17, 2017
Jesus said that the most important thing you can do is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” (Matt. 22:37 NIV). So, how does a person know that he or she loves the Lord?
Some might suggest that you demonstrate love for the Lord by the amount of money you give. That could show love for God, but it doesn’t always. Jesus pointed out that some people give a lot, but don’t love God. Others would say that you show love for God by your acts of service. Acts of service might show love for God, but 1 Corinthians 13 says that it is possible to do astounding acts of service, but not have love.
Obedience is a good indicator. Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will obey what I command, (John 14:15 NIV). Obedience is a key ingredient in our relationships with God. It’s hard to claim that you love the Lord if you ignore what He tells you. Let me give you another indicator. It involves obedience, but it goes a step further. You can know that a person loves the Lord by what he or she is willing to give up when the Lord asks them to. Abraham is a great example.
Gen. 22:9-12 – “When they came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built the altar there and laid the wood in order and bound Isaac his son and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Then Abraham reached out his hand and took the knife to slaughter his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, ‘Abraham, Abraham!’ And he said, ‘Here am I.’ He said, ‘Do not lay your hand on the boy or do anything to him, for now I know that you fear God, seeing you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.’” (ESV).
What a gut wrenching picture! We may have a lot of questions about this incident, but one thing is certain: Abraham loved God enough to give Him whatever He asked for, even if it cost him the most precious thing in his life. Abraham’s life and everything God had promised were bound up in Isaac’s life. But, when God said, “give up your son, your only son Isaac, whom you love,” (22:2), Abraham replied, “For You, I’ll do it.”
The sincerity and depth of our love for God is tested and displayed by what we are willing to give up for Him when He asks us to. What we refuse to give up when God asks us to, becomes our master.
The most important thing you can do is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” (Matt. 22:37 NIV). That means to love Him more than any “Isaac” that may have captured your affections, whatever your “Isaac” may be. Do you love God?