The first of the twelve essential ways to copy Jesus says we are to love God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength.
But, how do you do that? How do you express love to God?
This is a BIG subject. One that I approach with a great deal of respect. I’m not sure that I can do this justice, but over the next few articles, I’ll explain what I know about loving God.
Loving God with Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength
Today, I want to unpack a little of what it means to love God in the four ways that Jesus mentions in Mark 12:30.
1. Loving God with All Your Heart
The heart is where your will resides. It is the inner source of your intentions. Proverbs 4:23 tells us that everything we do flows from our heart and Proverbs 21:2 says the LORD examines our heart. We can’t pretend or put on a good act with God. He knows our heart and He wants us to love Him with all of it.
God called King David, “a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.” (Acts 13:22)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; Proverbs 3:5 NIV
We love God with all our heart when we completely conform our will to His trusting Him completely. You cannot trust at this level of abandonment without a supreme love. This is what God desires from us and this is what it means to love Him with all our heart.
2. Loving God with All Your Soul
This one is tough for me because first you have to understand what your soul is which, in my opinion, stretches human understanding. The best I can discern, your soul is what makes your body come to life. It is what makes you a real, living, thinking person.
Therefore, I roughly equate my soul to my life. This leads me to what Jesus says:
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. Mark 8:35 KJV
When you love God with all your soul, you are willing to sacrifice your life [the lower, natural, temporary life lived here on earth] for a higher eternal life in the Kingdom of God.
3. Loving God with All Your Mind
Your mind is the home for all your logic and reasoning. This is where you decide to believe and copy Jesus or not. You must settle this choice in your mind once and for all.
Do not stifle the Holy Spirit. Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:19-21 NLT
Investing yourself to study and understand God correctly is a clear expression of your love for Him.
4. Loving God with All Your Strength
You have physical strength, spiritual strength and emotional strength. You can love God with all these.
Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. John 14:21 NLT
The King will answer and say to them, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” Matthew 25:40 NASB
As you use your mental, spiritual and physical capabilities to serve God and spread His truth, you are showing Him that you love Him.
Hold Nothing Back in Loving God
I’ll admit there is some overlap in these four ways we are to love God. I think Jesus was trying to convey that we are to hold nothing back in our love for God. We are to be “all in”.
Is there one of these areas where you struggle more than another? Leave a comment and let me know.