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With All Your HeartWith All Your Heart
by Tom Norvell

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    I have always been drawn to people who give it their whole heart. No matter what the “it” is, I like folks who give “it” their all:

  • Singers who sing with passion.
  • Actors who give the role they’re playing all their energy.
  • Athletes who leave it all on the field, court, or course.
  • Children who play with all their heart.
  • Teachers who teach because they have a passion for sharing knowledge.
  • Preachers who preach because they have a passion for sharing God with their listeners.
  • Churches that serve the people of their community with joy and enthusiasm.

    On the other hand, I am easily frustrated with and completely turned off by those who do things halfheartedly:

  • Houses that get half-built are not very impressive.
  • Movies that are done poorly.
  • Games that are played without a desire for excellence.
  • Music that has no life to it.
  • Worship that is not really worship.

    I like people and things that are done with the whole heart, so I get down on myself when I slip into a mode of doing things halfway:

  • Articles that are written just to get something written.
  • Books that are read just to get to the end.
  • Sermons that are preached without the Spirit.
  • Conversations that do not lead to life.

With all my heart I want to grow to the point that nothing is done halfway.
    I am talking about more than enthusiasm. Anyone can act enthusiastically. I am talking about whole-hearted devotion. I like to do things with my whole heart, to see things done with the whole heart, to be a part of things that are done with the whole heart, and to be with people who want to give their whole heart to their task. I am not saying I always give my whole heart, but with all my heart I want to grow to the point that nothing is done halfway.

    How do I get there? What do I need to learn, or re-learn, that will help me to live my life with my whole heart?

    Here are three passages that remind me that I need to give my whole heart:

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
(Mark 12:28-31, NIV)
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Anyone who does wrong will be repaid for his wrong, and there is no favoritism. (Colossians 3:23-25, NIV)
These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:15-16, NIV)

    I look forward to the day when I give my whole heart to everything I do. When I write, I will put my whole heart into the writing process. When I preach I will put my whole heart into the sermon. When I listen I will give my whole heart to the person speaking. When I worship I will give my whole heart to the Lord. I am not there yet, but I am working on it. I want to live with my whole heart. I hope you will give your whole heart to the Lord and join me in trying to live that way, every day!

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      © 2002, Tom Norvell. Used by permission. A Norvell Note is a weekly email message from Tom Norvell. Check it out!

      Title: "With All Your Heart"
      Author: Tom Norvell
      Publication Date: December 13, 2002


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Tom NorvellTom Norvell is the author of "A Norvell Note." He ministers at the East Brainerd Church of Christ in Chattanooga, Tennessee.


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