“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.’ The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” – Mark 12:30-31
Nobody wants to live passive, inactive lives. We want the opposite. We want a captivating life that brings a sense of fulfillment. When Jesus lays out the most important commandment for mankind, He starts with loving the Lord with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Since we are told to love the Lord with all our hearts, soul, mind, and strength, that is exactly what we should do. But how do we go about doing it?
Loving God with your heart means to love Him with your life. Love God with your heart by living a loving, faith-filled, and purpose-driven life. This requires letting God lead the way. It means living each day in close connection with Him so we can recognize our calling. Once we do this, once we let Him lead, lives will be changed. We will experience joy. And sharing that joy with others and loving God with our whole heart will become our primary mission. It’s hard to love someone you know nothing about, so it’s important to make an effort to get to know God. By spending time in prayer, reading Scripture, we learn about who He is, what He cares about, and why He is so deserving of our love. God sent His only Son to die for us. He forgives us. He knows all of our faults and still loves us with an everlasting and relentless love. This dimension of love is especially important for the times when we are feeling unenthused, discouraged, or even when things seem hopeless.
Loving God with your soul means to love Him for eternity. When our hearts stop beating, our souls keep living. And God wants our relationship with Him to last forever. Loving God with your mind means to love Him unconditionally–because we know that He is worthy of love–even when we don’t feel like it. Even when we feel like life is unfair or when we think He’s abandoned us: even though He never leaves our side.
Loving God with all my strength means stepping out in faith. It means stepping out of my comfort zone. It means stepping out to help someone. Faith without works isn’t worth much. But faith with works can change a piece of the world for the better. Like the other concepts, loving God with all my strength is simple to say but not always easy to do. We need to remember that we don’t work any of this out by ourselves. We have a strength working within us that enables us to keep on going forward. In reality, loving the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength is simply a response. For we love because He first loved us.
As followers of Christ, we are called to fearlessly love God with all our hearts, all our souls, minds, and strength. Fueled with that complete and perfect love, we are empowered to take that love and share it with the world. And our broken, lost world desperately needs His love.
- What can we do this week to love God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength?