Luke 10:27 He 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.’”
I’ve had this verse on my mind a lot lately.
The notion thought or understanding that I should love God feels kind of common sense.
But the way Jesus puts it reminds me that I am not quite there, much like all of His others statements for that matter.
So what does it mean to love God the way Jesus describes it?
These are the four ways Jesus tells us to Love God.
Every emotion must be expressed as if to feel and experience Him more.
with all your heart
What is the normal rhythm of your affections?
If you asked the people closest to you what you are passionate about, what would they say?
When God asks you to love Him with all your heart, He is asking you for all your affection.
God wants you to do more than just know about Him.
He is not okay with you making a one-time decision to trust Him for salvation and then never look back.
Your heavenly father wants you to love Him more than anything or anyone.
More than a set of rules
The really cool part about this is that this command reveals God’s desire to have more than an emotionless almost robotic obedience to a set of rules.
The fact that God wants you to LOVE Him speaks volumes of how He views you.
- You are His creation.
- Made in His image.
- Created for a purpose.
- Made to be in a relationship with God.
God is a loving heavenly father who created you with passions and affections. And He also created you with the ability to choose what and where you want to pour them into.
Yes, give Him your time and obedience. But more than that give Him your love and passion – give Him your heart.
It’s not just a feeling it also has to do with what and how you think.
with all your mind
What do your thoughts say about you?
If someone could listen in on your daily thoughts what would they say your view on God is?
Our thoughts are very significant. The way we think flows into what we do.
This is probably where phrases like, “do as I say, not as I do”, come from.
It doesn’t really matter what you say you think. Or what you say you believe. It eventually becomes evident to those you spend time with through your actions.
So are you submitting your thoughts to God?
Are you loving God with all your mind?
2 Corinthians 10:5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ
Paul understands the importance of our mind and calls us to be intentional about what we think. He doesn’t say be casual about your thoughts.
No! Paul says to take them captive.
Go after them. Make them submit to Christ
Not the other way around.
Your thoughts, if left unchecked, can end up taking over your life and causing you to spend more time in thoughts management then using your brain power in ways that glorify God.
It has to do with where and how you exert your energy.
with all your strength
Do you consider your body to be an integral part of your spiritual self?
I am seeing a swing in the right direction on this topic. But I believe that for the longest, spirituality has been relegated to things that are “spiritual”:
- Reading your Bible
- Going to Church
Things like that.
Your body matters
1 Corinthians 9:25-27 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
Paul views his life as a competition. He is fighting to win. He trains his body. He controls it and disciplines it so that it does not become a hindrance to his faith, but instead, it becomes an aid in achieving the greatest prize of all.
Glorify God with it
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, 2 for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
Paul sees it has the very residence of God.
Maybe you need to change how you view your body.
Your body is not something you have to drag around until you die and go to heaven. It is a gift from God that He expects you to glorify Him with.
God gave you your body: Take care of it – train it – discipline it – Glorify God in it
With all you’ve got.
with all your soul
The heart was what writers used to describe the whole of a person.
This is one of those defining places in your life where you are either all in or not in at all.
James Hudson Taylor is quoted as saying it this way, “Christ is either Lord of all, or is not Lord at all.”
There isn’t any wiggle room. You will have to choose to make Jesus lord of all your life or not lord at all.
With all you’ve got and in all you’ve got
George Gissing beautifully summed up Luke 10:27 like this, “Ideal love dwells not in the soul alone, but in every vein and nerve and muscle of a frame strung to perfect service.”
It seems to be easier to segregate certain things to the spiritual realm and other things to the physical. When you do this you can kind of “switch” your mind off from spiritual and Godly to business as usual.
But that is not at all what God is calling you to.
God wants to be your everything in everything – at church, home, work, in the car, at the grocery store, while you eat, while you sleep, while you walk, while you talk, in the silence and in the noise.
Your love for God should be an expression that is saturated into every inch of your life.
Life is found when you love God
Love is life. Only he who loves lives. Only love can get out of a man the deepest secrets of his being, and develop the latent energies of his nature, and call him up to the highest possibilities of his manhood. Criticism never can do it; theology never can do it; power of controversy never can do it… In proportion as we love God do we live. – Joseph Parker
1 Corinthians 13:2-3 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
To love is to live.
You can’t live without loving. The question is, what are you loving?
If you love money, things, accolades, or any other temporary pleasure, then you live to that extent.
But when you love God with everything you will experience life everlasting – life never-ending, life in God or as Jesus said, life to the fullest.
If asked, what would people say you love?
Is God confined just to the “spiritual” areas of your life?
Ask God to show you how to love Him with everything.