Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)

How do you love God? How do you show God your love with all of your heart? Have you ever considered the question?

Many of you are starting back to school this week. With this new start is a great time to consider how God is asking you to love fully and to let go of anything that holds you back.

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I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.

Jeremiah 29:11

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Going back to school is exciting, but it can be an anxiety-filled time as well. Fear and dread of the unknown can overshadow your hope for the new school year. What kind of teachers will I have this year? Who will I eat lunch with in the cafeteria? How will I get all of my homework finished? What if I don’t get the grades I expect? What if they don’t like me?

To worry means that you care. But it may also mean that you care too deeply, since worry can hold you back. To love God with all your heart is to free yourself from worry, to trust God’s future story for you, to trust God to “give you a future filled with hope,” as the prophet Jeremiah writes.

As school begins and worry starts to weigh you down, try letting go of just one of your worries and instead trusting God’s hope-filled future for you with all of your heart.

Josh Speight

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God, help me today to let go of one worry that is keeping me from trusting you with all of my heart. Thank you for giving me a hope-filled future full of love and grace. Amen.

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Go forth now in the power of the Spirit of God to be God’s helper in the world, letting go of any worry, loving God with all your heart along the way.

Joshua Speight

Josh Speight serves clergy and congregations on the Ministries Team of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in Atlanta, Ga. He has an incredible life with the three wisest women he knows: his wife Becky and their daughters Ainsley and Evelyn.

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