|Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes - Spiritual Nourishment for the Soul - July 2005|
Our Heart Is Never Too Small To Love Our God
We should always love our Lord God with all our heart, mind, and soul. He is our Creator, and in His love for us He has fashioned us in such a way that our hearts are never too small to love our God as He deserves. As we start to express our love for Him in our worship, and allow His Holy Spirit to warm our hearts, we find that our capacity to love increases and flourishes. It is for this very purpose - ever-increasing love - that our God brought us into the world, giving us a rational soul, so that we could all attain salvation and abide with Him forever in eternal life and joy.
This is no new thing, but a truth that has been within mankind since the earliest generations. The Psalmist exclaims, using wonderfully emotional language; "My soul longs, yes, even faints for the court of the Lord; My heart and my flesh cry out for the living God" (Ps 84:2). These are the words of a man whose heart has been warmed, and who knows the joy of being in the presence of the Lord.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, if only we knew how fortunate we really are as Christians! The promise is that this love welling up in our hearts can be ours! Ours, so that we not only can come to the Lord our God in true worship, but our hearts can be open to love our 'neighbors', whether they live just next door, or miles away, even overseas. And it doesn't stop there! All of God's wonderful creation has been put before us by our Heavenly Father so that we may love it, appreciate it, care for it, and echo His words at every act of creation: "It is good!". We see the goodness of His creation all around us. The beauty of a sleeping baby, the frolicking of a lamb in the field - jumping for joy! - the majestic mountains, the bubbling stream, the surging power of a great whale in the ocean. All are things of wonder, crafted with love. At night we look to the skies, filled with other worlds, distant, sparkling like jewels in the firmament. We see our neighbors in the Solar System, especially the Sun and the Moon, so familiar to us, and our hearts wonder at it all, and at His greatness.
When I consider the heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him? (Ps 8:3-4, but it is worthwhile to read the whole Psalm!)
Therefore we should love God, Who has granted us this blessed lot on earth, and be faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ until death [Rev. 2:10]. Certainly the desire of our God is to save us and to help us in all things. Saved? We must realize that it is impossible for us to not to be saved if only we would make the effort to stretch out our weak hands towards Godís powerful right hand which He is always, with great love, extending to us. Godís 'right hand' - this is Godís grace: He is calling all of us to salvation and offering us powerful assistance. If this isn't true love, what is?
As we said at the beginning, our love for God should always come from our heart, and that no heart is to small to love, because all of us have been made to love our God and one another. Therefore the attitude of our hearts and minds should be this: to give ourselves wholly to God, to humble ourselves before Him, and indeed to show humility even to those who simply do not love us. We should despise the sin, not the individual. We should always regard ourselves as poor sinners needing the touch and mercy of our Lord, and if we follow the example of the publican in the Gospel (St. Luke 18), we will be saved.
Now we can say that our Lord God loves those who are humble, because those who are humble attain salvation and receive Godís grace.
Let us love our Lord God with all our mind, heart, and soul. We will no longer have a small heart, or a heart of stone, but a pure and good heart eager to love and worship.
God love and bless you!Humbly in the love of Christ our Lord,
Who prays for you!
Content written/compiled by firstname.lastname@example.org.
(c) Reverend Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes