“One of the scribes came and … asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31
What does it mean to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength? Since this is without a doubt the most important question for us – why are Christians not asking themselves this question every day?
I am convinced that for many … their love for God is corruptible and as a result compromised. Thank God for His never-ending grace.
“Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with incorruptible love.” Ephesians 6:24
Is your love for God Incorruptible?
Let’s consider more deeply what it means to “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength” How do we in our human form and with everything in the world testing us — love God always more than anything and with all our being? Sound impossible? Humanly it might appear impossible, but there are many examples to consider such as – Abraham, Joseph, Noah, Moses, Daniel, David, Josiah, Hezekiah, John, Peter, and Paul – just to name a few. So why in comparison do we most often fall short? We have so much to learn.
Let’s put first things first. In order to love the Lord our God we must know his word. Without that aren’t we are just playing with God? “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God — And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:1,14 Since God is the word, how can we love him if we don’t even know His Word? And how can we please him if we don’t know what he wants from us. And what about an incorruptible, all our heart, soul, mind, and strength kind of Love? We need to change.
We must conclude that Jesus and the scriptures are one and the same. To disregard the Bible is to disregard the Lord who we say we are followers of.
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
It’s discouraging when Christians say I don’t agree with Paul or the old testament prophets, or I only follow the teachings of Jesus. Or the scripture has been corrupted by men? Does anyone actually think that the Creator’s eternal truth is subject to the mistakes of men? The Lord either spoke directly through the prophets and apostles; or there is no credible basis for our belief system.
Christians who choose not to read and meditate upon God’s word and receive it as His eternal truth may as well be saying; “I just don’t care what you have to say God; or times have changed and I know better.” This is an insult to the God they supposedly love.
We are taught to “humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and he will lift you up” James 4:10 To humble ourselves to Him is to change our mind so that on all of the issues of life we are in one accord with the one and only Creator God. We love Him when we set our Heart, Soul and Mind to follow Him and do His will and then we must choose to apply all our might, effort, and strength to this task.
“But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:25
So each one must ask themselves – Have I even tried to love the Lord as He desires? We are talking about the spiritual transformation of our hearts, minds, and souls here. And this requires all of our focus and strength, and even then it’s only by the grace of God’s Holy Spirit.
“Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2
But can we, and will we be transformed?
“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13
Grace and Peace to you my friends,
Bob West ©