Theme of the Week: Heart, Mind, Strength
Bible Verse: “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did — with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses” 2 Kings 23:25
Scripture Reading: 2 Kings 22:1-23:30
There is only one individual in the whole Bible about whom it is explicitly said that he turned to God with all of his heart, mind and strength: Josiah (2 Kings 23:25). When I looked at the incidents surrounding God’s commendation of Josiah, I realized that, when it comes to loving God with all our strength, the focus of Scripture is not so much on the methodology (give it everything you’ve got) as on the motivation. What is it that motivates us to “give it everything we’ve got” – to love God with all our hearts and minds?
Josiah was a king of Judah – the southern kingdom – about 200 years after Israel, the northern kingdom, had gone into exile, conquered and deported by the Assyrian king Sennacherib. At the age of twenty-six, in the eighteenth year of his reign, Josiah decided to renovate the temple of God, which had fallen into disrepair, if not disuse.
When the workmen got going, Hilkiah the high priest found a copy of the Book of the Law. He gave it to the king’s secretary who read the book to the king. As the king listened, here’s what happened:
When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes. He gave these orders: “Go and inquire of the LORD for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the LORD’s anger that burns against us because our fathers have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.” (2 Kings 22:11-13)
Josiah was motivated to love God with all his strength because he took seriously the warning of impending judgment. They and their forefathers had treated the worship of God casually and not listened to the Word of God about the proper way to worship.
This has some practical implications for our private as well as our corporate life. It means, first of all, that when you come to a worship service you should come prepared to hear God speak. That means you’re going to pay attention to everything that goes on. He doesn’t just speak when someone preaches. He speaks through a line in a hymn or through a testimony, so come prepared to listen throughout the service. It also means you come prepared to fully enter into the privilege of joyful worship with brothers and sisters. There are some dimensions of corporate worship that you simply cannot reproduce in private worship at home or out in “nature”. It means you don’t casually saunter into a service twenty or thirty minutes after it has started, just to listen to the sermon.
These are just some practical implications of taking these warning seriously, because of the incredible greatness of the privilege that is before us. And the more the reality sinks in, the more we will love Him with all our strength.
Taken from Heart, Mind, Strength: Loving God With All You’ve Got by Sunder Krishnan, Copyright © 2003 by Sunder Krishnan. Used with permission.
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