Last Saturday, in the middle of the night, Rhonda screamed. Not a word, it was one of those terror filled girl screams. (Yes, living with Rhonda is an adventure.) I was standing on the floor before my eyes were open. She was crying and screaming, “Someone is in here.” I still couldn’t see anyone, but surmised that she had been dreaming. Crawling across the bed to where she was, I held her and told her that it was only me and no one else was there. We were both shaken. I realized that in that moment of chaos – I was prepared to fight.
I’m no fighter. I’ve never been hit and have never hit anyone. I don’t even think I’m tough. But if you try to harm someone that I love, you will find that I will do anything within my power to support, protect and defend them. (I’m sure you are the same.) Even now in America, people are divided about the Iraq war, but if a foreign army came to our shores, you would see a unity unimagined by our enemies. Love doesn’t sit back – it steps up. Love holds nothing back, but gives all that it has. Abraham Lincoln spoke to this when he wrote in the Gettysburg Address,
“It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion…” The question becomes, “In your love for Christ, would you give your last full measure of devotion?”
Jesus said that the greatest commandment is, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30).
To love God with all of your strength is to love him to the last drop of our blood. It is to fight the good fight. It is to finish the course, to keep the faith. It is to follow Christ, not at a distance, but in triumphs of ministry and the stoning of persecution. It is to deliver his message with power and boldness and to wrestle in prayer in cold lonely nights. It is to keep going when the Lord compels us and all others are saying we should rest. It is to rely on the strength of the Master when our strength is gone. It is to surrender even our weakness to be a conduit of God’s power. It is to obey Christ's royal law even to the point of death. To love God with all of your strength is to follow him to the cross, never relenting until eternity.