THOU SHALT LOVE THE LORD

By Kelli Campbell

“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
This is the first and great commandment.” Matthew 22:37-38

I love my daily Bible verse calendar! My son gets me one every year for Christmas. Today, my verse
is Matthew 22:37-38. I always try to apply the verses to my life so today I asked myself, “How are
you doing with that first and great commandment?” I want to love the Lord with all my heart, soul
and mind but I seem to fail every day. “I” get in the way every time.

I came up with 7 ways that always trip me up from keeping the first and great commandment.

My Wants
Psalm 37:4, ”Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”
The Lord knows my heart’s desires. I have some very big dreams and desires that only God can fill.
I think dreams and desires are good to have. The really big question here is, “Am I delighting in
the Lord or, am I praying just to get God to answer my prayers?” He knows our hearts. My
selfishness is my biggest problem. I have been guilty of praying to God just to get what I wanted
not for a closeness to my Saviour. I have to include Psalm 37 verses 3-7…Am I trusting, delighting,
committing, and resting in Him? Are my wants more important to me than delighting in the Lord? All
of my trials have shown me I need the Lord more than I need anything, even more than my heart’s
desires. Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that
we ask or think, according to the power that worth in us.” I love this verse because I have some
pretty big heart’s desires. If I am trusting, delighting, committing and resting in Him He will
give me what He thinks is best for me. He is always right and good. He is what I want and need!

My Will & My Way
Luke 22:42, ”Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will,
but thine, be done.” 2 Samuel 22:33, ”God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.”
This one is so very hard for me. Giving up my will and my way for His. I have struggled here with
my pride. I know what I wanted my life to look like and my life does not look that way. I have had
to give up my will and my way for Christ’s way. I have to submit my will and my way by living I
Corinthians 15:31b, “I die daily.” God cannot take my where He wants me to go if I am not willing
to give up my will and my way. 2 Samuel tells me His way for me is perfect, my way is not. I can
struggle with the Lord by not accepting His will for my life but that is nothing but pride.
Proverbs 13:10a says, “Only by pride cometh contention.” I can fight the Lord’s will and way but I
will lose every time. I can complain, cry, get mad at God, or get depressed because I do not like
“the lot” He has given me but it does not change anything. It puts me and my will and my way first
not God. We need to take ourselves off the throne and put God in His rightful place. There are a
lot of people who are depressed because they do not like their circumstances. Philippians 4:11b,
“For I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Again, His way is
perfect, mine is not!

My Wisdom
Proverbs 23:4b, ”…Cease from thine own wisdom.”
My wisdom always gets me in trouble. I think I know a lot of things but I found there is so much
more I do not know. I cannot possibly understand what God is doing in our lives. Galatians
3:1a says, “O FOOLISH
Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth?” Sometimes the person who has
bewitched me…is me! How is that? By thinking I know more than God. I may not understand why God
has us on this path but God never says that I have to understand or even like it. I have to trust,
by faith, that He knows everything and has my life in His best interest! If my wisdom does not line
up with the Bible then I am wrong every time! II Peter 1:3 says, “According as his divine power
hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him
that hath called us to glory and virtue.” I love this verse! God tells us He has given us ALL
things for life and godliness. The wisest thing I can do is to learn more about Christ, the
knowledge of Him. I need to cease from my wisdom and use the mind of Christ. I Corinthians 2:16,
“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of
Christ.” Surrendering my wisdom and taking His is loving Him first!

My Waiting
Psalm 27:14, ”Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I
say, on the LORD.” Psalm 37:7a, “Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him.”
Waiting is so, so hard! We live in America where everything is served up my way and right now. We
do not have to wait for very many things. I have been praying fervently, for over 5 years, for God
to heal my husband. As of today, His answer is…wait. I am not discouraged by this. I know God is in
the length of every trial. Because He has not answered yet means that He still has something for me
to learn and that He is working on our behalf. I have no promise that God will heal Kerby, I just
believe that He will. I do have a promise that He will deliver us in Psalm 34:19, “Many are the
afflictions of the righteous: but the LORD dleivereth him out of them all.” I have no idea how or
when that deliverance will come but I know it will come. Until God tells me to stop, I will keep
praying for healing. If God never chooses to heal Kerby, God is still good and does all things
well. Never give up…wait patiently for Him! Our job, while waiting, is to glorify and magnify the
Lord and keep Him first.

My Weariness
Isaiah 40:28-31, “Hast thou not know? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the LORD, the
Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his
understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: But they that wait
upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and
not faint.”
I have been very weary and tired. I have told God I just cannot do anymore but He always gives me
strength when I need it most. He always keeps His promises! He promises me in I Corinthians 10:13b,
“but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” When I
have not handled a trial in a Christlike way, and confessed my sin, He was there with forgiveness.
When crying was ALL I could do He was there, with a bottle, to catch my tears. When I was scared,
He strengthened me. My job, in the trials, is to keep walking toward the Lord no matter how weary,
scared, or weak I am. He gives strength to make it and not give up. Loving the Lord first, in my
weariness, is to keep walking toward Him and not walk away from Him! I have seen many Christians,
in difficult times, just walk away. I never want to walk away! Life can be hard but life without
Him would be unbearable! Jesus Christ lived the greatest example of the hardness of life and He
finished well! O, to be like Him!

My Walk
Psalm 37:23, “The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.”

Deuteronomy 10:12-13, “And now, Israel, what doth the LORD thy God require of thee, but to fear the
LORD
thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to serve the LORD thy God with all thy heart
and with all thy soul, To keep the commandments of the LORD, and his statures, which I command thee
this day for thy good?”
Micah 6:7, “He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but
to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?”
When the difficult times came I realized that my walk with the Lord was not good enough. Reading my
Bible every day was not enough. I need to read it, obey it and apply it. Just because I know a
Bible verse by heart does not mean I am living it. Walking with the Lord is for my good. There are
so many promises to those who love Him and keep His commandments! I want those promises with all of
my heart. I can pridefully walk in the way I think best or I can humbly ask the Lord for help and
direction in the way He knows is best for me. Trust and obey…there is no other way to be happy in
Jesus!

My Whole Being
Psalm 119:2, 10”Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole
heart…With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments.”
My life has been changed. He has allowed many trials and afflictions that have been good for me.
Psalm 119:71, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” They
have been extremely hard and I have not liked them one bit but they have made me seek for the Lord
in ways I never would have had these hard things not have come into my life. I am truly so thankful
for them! Jeremiah 31:3 has meant so much to me. “…Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love:
therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” God has proved to me that He loves me by giving
me a lot of things I cannot handle on my own. By His grace alone, He has carried me! These
difficult things have drawn me to God in ways I never knew were possible! I still have a long way
to go but I want to love Him with my whole being! He is worthy!
I fail Him every day, but I do strive to love the Lord with all my heart, soul and mind.