“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” – Mark 12:30
Shout and clap out loud if you really love these things:
- [Insert Favorite Local Team]!
- Ice Cream!
- Anchovy Ice Cream!
- What does the word “love” mean to you?
- What is something that you love?
Over the last few Huddle times, we’ve talked about the three truths of God’s Game Plan. Repeat these truths after me:
- Truth 1: You were made on purpose for a purpose.
- Truth 2: You can trust God and His Word.
- Truth 3: God loves you and has sent His son, Jesus.
Turn to the person next to you and identify one thing you’ve learned about the three truths we’ve talked about so far. Discuss how learning these truths have made you a better athlete.
Now that we’ve learned the three truths of God’s Game Plan for our lives, it’s time to carry out the plays—it’s time to take action.
The first action God instructs us to take is to love Him.
But first, let’s answer how we know we really love someone.
How do you go “all in” when you love something (pause for answers)?
When you really love someone, you want to be around that person as much as you can and get to know him or her better.
If that person is an important part of your life (a parent, a coach, a teacher, a pastor), you want to help them or do whatever they ask you to do. Hopefully, you know by now that as your coach, my goal is to provide you with the instruction, game plans, and encouragement you need to be a better athlete. I do this because I love you. In return, you can show love too by listening and obeying me with a positive attitude.
Turn to the person next to you and identify someone you really love. Discuss why you love them.
If you can remember, we’ve already talked about how much God loves us. Let’s recap: He loves us because He created us, sent His son Jesus to die for our sins, and made a way so that we can be a part of God’s heavenly family forever!
Because of that love for us, we should then love Him with all of our hearts and want to respond to His love.
When we love God, we will want to talk with Him and spend time with Him. James 4:8a tell us to, “Come near to God and he will come near to you.”
How do you think we spend time and talk with God? Raise your hand if you think we can spend time with God by reading His Word, the Bible.
Raise your hand if you think we can talk to God through prayer. If you raised your hand for both, you are on the right track! When we spend time with God by reading and learning from His Words in the Bible, we get to know God better as a loving Father, creator, leader, and friend.
When we take time to talk with God through prayer, we build our relationship with Him, letting Him know what we’re afraid of and thanking Him for His blessings.
We can even find this throughout the Bible. An example is in Hebrews 4:12a, which says, “For the word of God is alive and powerful.”
We also show love to God when we obey Him and do what He asks us to do.
In John 5:3a, we learn that, “Loving God means keeping his commandments.”
These commandments are meant to help us live a better life and become more like Him. They are there to help us become better teammates, friends, and people.
So, let’s take action today! Let’s show God we love Him by praying to Him, reading and learning from the Bible, and obeying His words. If we do this, we not only will we get stronger in our faith, but our love for God will continue to grow every day!
As we wrap up, let’s recap the game plan of loving God. As I state each item, shout it after me.
We pray to God! (pause for response).
Just talk with him…He’s listening.
We read the Bible! (pause for response).
This holds the wisdom for our lives.
We obey the Lord! (pause for response).
Simply do what He asks us to do.
Now, let’s close in prayer together:
“Dear God, I want to love you more every day—with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Let my love for You help me get closer to You, learn more about You, and obey your commandments. Amen.”