With All Your Heart, Soul, and Mind

Matthew 22:34-40 ESV

“But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. ‘Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?’ And he said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.’”

God is Love

In 1 John 4:7-8 we read that God is (agape) love and that (agape) love comes from God. Well, God is upright, honest, faithful, morally pure, righteous, and holy, and all these qualities are also what come from God. So, if we have God living within us, and if we love God and if we love our neighbors with this kind of love, we are going to be walking in uprightness, in holiness, in moral purity, in honesty, and in faithfulness, etc.

Therefore, we are also not going to cheat on, lie to, commit adultery against, slander, hate, mistreat, abuse, take advantage of, and steal from God or our neighbors (our fellow humans, especially those closest to us). And we need to realize here that if we choose to sin, and if we choose to disobey the Lord, we don’t sin to ourselves alone. What we do affects others in one way or another. For, we don’t live to ourselves alone.

Loving God

So, if we (agape) love the Lord our God – Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit – with all our heart, soul, and mind, that means that our lives are fully surrendered to the Lord, that he is owner-master of our lives, that he is the King of our hearts, and that all that we are and do and say should flow from the heart of God and not from our flesh. He should be the one guiding our every step, and we should be walking in obedience to him.

It will not be a struggle for us to “have to” spend time in God’s word each day, in listening to him speak his truths to our hearts, spending time with him in heartfelt prayer, and then for us to apply what we just learned and heard from God’s Spirit to our daily lives, and to our daily walks of faith in Jesus Christ, our Lord. But we should long for our private times with our Lord when we can hear from him and then follow him in obedience.

But let me say this here. If Jesus Christ truly is Lord (owner-master) of our lives, and if our lives are surrendered to him, and he is the one guiding our steps, then we should be in continual communion with our Lord. There should be an open door of communication between us and God 24/7, not just for a select and specific time period each day which we call our “Quiet times with God.” We can have conversations with our Lord all the time.

And this means that we should be walking in fellowship with him and in obedience to him 24/7, also. I am not saying here that we will be absolutely perfect in everything that we do and say, but that Jesus should be the one guiding our steps, and that we should be following him all the time, not just when it suits us, and not just when it is expected of us from other people. Every moment of every day we should be totally aware of his presence.

Imagine with me having your best friend with you throughout the day every day. You can talk with him whenever you want to say something and he is there to listen and to talk with you, too, and he cares about you, and you do everything together, and you enjoy the same things – the same music, the same art, the same books, the same sermons, the same devotionals, the same walks in a park, and the same innocent laughter of children, etc.

Well, that is what our relationships with God (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) should be like if we are loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind. For our hearts, our souls, and our minds should be perfectly united and in line with his heart, soul, and mind, for the Scriptures do say that we have the mind of Christ within us if we are the Lord’s true sheep. And his sheep listen to him, he knows them, and they follow (obey) him (John 10:27-30).

Loving Others

It says here that we are to love our neighbors (our fellow humans) as ourselves, as we (agape) love ourselves, which is a love that is pure, holy, righteous, godly, honest, faithful, and trustworthy. So, this means that we will want to do for them what is best for them, as God defines “best.” We will have God’s heart in mind in our love for others, and so we won’t do anything that would hinder them from walking in purity with the Lord.

So, we won’t coddle them in their sins or lie to them and tell them that they can sin as much as they want once they “believe” in Jesus, as though God is okay with that. He is not! And we won’t participate with them in their sin, either, nor will we be entertained by it and laugh at what is sinful. But we will speak the truth in love to them, and we will tell them of God’s saving grace, but in truth, including his requirements of us as his followers.

But first of all, we need to make certain that we are walking in that (agape) love, and that we are walking by faith in obedience to our Lord, as his Holy Spirit guides us every step of the way every day of our lives. For, if we are not walking in purity of devotion to our Lord we can’t preach it to others. Remember it says to (agape) love them as we (agape) love ourselves. So, we have to be living and walking in God’s perfect love first.

And if we are, i.e. if we are applying God’s perfect love to our hearts and lives in walks of obedience to him, in following his lead each day, then that will be reflected in how we live, in what we say, in what we do, and in how we treat God and others. For, if we are able to continue living in deliberate and habitual sin against our Lord, and against our fellow humans, without genuine repentance, then we don’t have the love of God living within us.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10,19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Php 2:12-13; Col 1:21-23; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10; Matt 7:21-23; Rev. 2-3; Rev 18:1-6; Rev 21:8, 27; Rev 22:14-15]

Courageous!

An Original Work / December 24, 2013
Based off Various Scriptures

The Word of God throughout taught.
Some people heard, but did doubt.
Still others had faith in Christ.
By grace He purified them.

They turned from sin
And they obeyed Christ.
He opened up their blinded eyesight;
Turned them from darkness
To the true Light;
Forgave their sin by His might.

He strengthened them in their faith.
He said, “Remain my faithful.”
He called them to obedience.
By faith, they were so grateful.

By faith, they were to follow Jesus;
To daily sit and listen to Him;
To have such faith
That mountains could move;
To love those whom He gave them.

Be on your guard; courageous.
Stand firm in faith. Be thankful.
Take up the shield of your faith;
Protect against all evil.

Do not move from
The hope that you have.
Your faith in Jesus let it endure.
Hold to the truth;
Your conscience be clear.
Endure with perseverance.

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