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Entries in Luke 10:25-27; Luke 2:52 (1)


Give It Your All for Your Best Year Yet!

Pam Farrel, a mentor and friend, has always encouraged me to do my best, saying, “You make your choices, and your choices will make you.” In this New Year UPGRADE, she writes about giving life “your all”—in whatever God calls you to do.

“Give 100% effort,” Pam says. “You might not be 100% perfect, but give it your 100% all.”

This year, Pam and I (Dawn) have tried to give our health our best effort so we both can live longer and stronger for the Lord. I know firsthand the blessings of “giving it your all.”

Pam continues . . .

Two of my sons are athletic coaches. They often motivate the individuals on their teams with challenges like:

Do today what others are unwilling to do so tomorrow you can do what others are unable to do.

Simply put, Leave it all on the field. Be 100% present in your goals. Give your best effort—and encourage others to do the same.

I have a t-shirt by Union 28 that reminds me of 1 Corinthians 6:19: ”… your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit….” The shirt reads:

God created it

Jesus died for it

The Holy Spirit lives in it

So I must take care of it

Dawn and I have tried to be “iron sharpens iron” (Proverbs 27:17) to one another. The result has been a “sizable” weight loss for each of us. If our weight loss journey were a distance race (and it is—a new lifestyle for the long haul), we would be within the final stretch of reaching our goals. I help women navigate these kind of core, vital issues for living a focused and healthy life in my 7 Simple Skills book (see bio, below).

While co-authoring our book in 2012, LOL with God: Messages of Hope and Help for Women, Dawn shared how one of my favorite verses was easily broken into a common sense, simple, achievable outline of life priorities for a well-balanced, healthy person.

This was reflected in the answer Jesus gave to the religious leaders of his day:

On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’

‘What is written in the Law?’ he replied. ‘How do you read it?’

He [Jesus] answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind;’ and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’” (Luke 10:25–27, NIV).

“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men (Luke 2:52).

I have placed a descriptive sentence in parenthesis, phrase by phrase, to capture the full meaning of the Lord’s command:  

  • Jesus increases in wisdom (He guarded his intellectual life)
  • and stature (He guarded his physical life)
  • and in favor with God (He guarded his spiritual life)
  • and men (He guarded his social life)

When we dig into the original languages, we discover even more power to live a healthy life:

  • Love the Lord, your God (Demonstrate your affection based on a close relationship with the Lord, the God who you have made your Supreme Master or Leader.)
  • with all (It encompasses your whole, complete, entire self.)
  • your heart (This is the psychological the inner self, your mind; that place of your will and volition that has thoughts, then makes decisions and choices.)
  • your soul (This is your psyche that was God-breathed to make you uniquely you.)
  • your strength (This is your total personal potential, capacity, capability, power, might, material and possession—with everything you are or have or could be.)
  • and your mind (This includes all your ability to think, reason and learn.)
  • Love your neighbor (someone who is a companion or simply someone who lives adjacent or nearby; anyone whose life intersects yours) like yourself. 

A heart-felt summary might read:

Show you are a friend to God by giving him your inner self—your entire “thinking, living, breathing, everything-you-are, everything-you-own, or could-possibly-be” self.

  • Do you have talent? It’s God’s!
  • Do you have a bank account? It’s God’s.
  • Do you have physical strength, the ability to think, a heart that beats, any earthy possessions? It is all God’s!  

Simply put:

Love God with 100% of your will, your uniqueness, your capacity and your intellect. And love everyone God places in your life with that same kind of enthusiasm.

Show God your love, by loving the life He gave you with your best effort.

Which area of Luke 10:25-26 is God asking you to give your 100% effort in to make 2017 Your Best Year Yet?

Pam Farrel is the author of 45 books, an international speaker, and relationship expert who seeks to breathe life into people’s most vital relationships through the ministry she runs with her husband, Love-Wise. Today’s blog is adapted from her newest book, 7 Simple Skills for Every Woman: Success at Keeping It All Together. Pam and Bill have created a set of goal-setting worksheets to help you have YOUR BEST YEAR YET. (For weight loss, Pam used First Place 4 Health, a Christian, Bible-based wellness program).

Graphic adapted, courtesy of Geralt at Pixabay.