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SEEK GOD with Your Whole Heart

January 31, 2024
By Joshua Stines, Director of Spiritual Formation

Earlier this week, I did something I didn’t feel like doing … my kids wanted to stay after school to play on the playground. It was bitter cold and overcast. I was looking forward to heading home. But I did agree to it. I did it because I love my kids. I did it because I knew it would make them happy.  

We all do things we sometimes don’t feel like doing for the people we love. For some of us, it is grading papers. For others of us, it’s taking our kids to and from their extracurricular activities. For others of us, sometimes it’s holding a hard line and saying no. Whatever it is, the fact that you don’t feel like doing it doesn’t mean you don’t love them. Right?  

This is an important point to make while living in a culture that often creates definitions of love solely based on emotions, feelings that come and go. While feelings are real and should be paid attention to, Jesus redefined for us what love is. God loved us so much that He did something that was incredibly hard to do—He gave us His one and only Son (see John 3:16). Jesus loved us so much that He agreed to do something difficult—to die on a cross—so that nothing could separate us, not even death itself, from His love for us (see Luke 22:39-44).

When we encounter this amazing love, we are compelled to respond with a love that goes so much deeper than our feelings and emotions. King David got a taste of this love. Take a look at how David responded in Psalm 27:8 (NIV). In this verse that is the source of our monthly focus—Seek God with Whole Heart—he writes these simple but powerful words:  

My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”  
Your face, Lord, I will seek.

In Hebrew, the word used for “heart” is lêb (pronounced “labe”). This word can be translated as the “inner man, mind, will, heart, understanding” (Interlinear Search for 'Psalms 27:8' - NAS with the BHS and NA26 - In response to the love and grace of God that transformed his life, David responds by seeking God with all his being. He wanted the center of all of who he was—not just his emotions but his mind, his will, his heart, his understanding—to seek the face of God. That is the testimony of the power of God’s love at work in one’s life.  

Over the course of this month, we will be helping our students learn how to seek God with their whole heart, a seeking and a searching with a love that goes much deeper than what they feel. Loving God means giving Him our time, talents, and treasures (Matthew 25:14-30). It means obeying His commandments, even when it is hard or difficult (John 14:15-31). Finally, it means seeking Him with a sense of urgency (Mark 5:25-34).  

This month, as we focus on God’s love, my hope and prayer is that each of us would pursue God with a love that encompasses all of who we are. Blessings to you!  

Family Discussion Questions and Activities:

1.) How has God’s love changed your life? Think about this; then share your answers when everyone is ready.  

2.) Why is it so hard to love, especially when going through difficult times? Think about your answer and share with your family.  

3.) Write a note of gratitude to someone who has shown you sacrificial love recently and let them know how much you appreciate them.