• Chris Steele

Wholehearted Religion

Chris' Corner -- January 9, 2022


When answering the question of which commandment was the most important, Jesus said, 'And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength" (Mark 12:30).

"With all your heart, soul, mind, and strength," there isn't anything left over. We call this wholehearted dedication and commitment. In our English, wholehearted is an adjective meaning; marked by unconditional commitment, unstinting devotion, or unreserved enthusiasm; having no reservations; unconditional and enthusiastic. Wow! Just imagine serving and worshiping God wholeheartedly.

In the original languages, the word "whole" means the whole or all; totality, everything. "Heart" points to the inner man, mind, will, heart, and understanding. Join these two words together and add religion, as in "wholehearted religion," it means giving it our all. It is all-encompassing and full of passion and zeal. Nothing should be inconsistent, piecemeal, or haphazard in our service to God.

Wholehearted religion is fully embracing the commandments of God. "Praise the Lord! I will praise the Lord with my whole heart, In the assembly of the upright and in the congregation" (Psalm 111:1).

The writer of Psalm 119 had quite a bit to say about this. "Blessed are those who keep His testimonies, Who seek Him with the whole heart!” (verse 2).

“With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!” (verse 10)

“Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.” (verse 34).

“I cry out with my whole heart; Hear me, O Lord! I will keep Your statutes." (verse 145).

With this mindset and knowing we aren't perfect (and we will never be this side of heaven), what a privilege to appeal to God's great mercy and forgiveness when we fall short and sin. But, it takes wholehearted submission and repentance. David said, "I entreated Your favor with my whole heart; Be merciful to me according to Your word" (verse 58).

So "let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water" (Hebrews 10:22).

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