Love the Lord

14 02 2009

            Today is Valentines Day… one of my favorite days of the year, because it is all about love and while on sabbatical I meditated on the meaning of this scripture in Mark 12:30-31, which is our memory verse for February.


  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: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.


            So much of our life is grounded if not founded on love. Children are created out of the love of a husband and wife, a very special and sacred gift which God gives us.


            Yet today I want to look deeper into this scripture, for as we do we will find our lives profoundly changed. Love the Lord your God with all your heart. When we love God with all of our emotions the rest of us always gets involved. In today’s language we would say, love the Lord passionately! When we become passionately in love we go so much deeper into love then we ever could otherwise. So love the Lord passionately!


            Then we add with all our soul, this is all that is distinctly human! Only man has a soul, not the angels and not God, the soul is uniquely ours and ours alone to give. If you look deeper into what the soul is made up of, in today’s language we would find Mark saying Love the Lord with all your imagination, for it is the ability to imagine that sets us apart. We know that when man gives of his soul, something departs from him, creating a tie that is so hard to break, let alone destroy without an act of the will. So love the Lord with all your imagination and connect with HIM!


            Now we add to the heart and soul, our mind. Here we add the cognitive facet of who we are, our reasoning and that wondrous and sometimes elusive limbic system which records feelings and is the root of our behavior. Loving the Lord in today’s terms would be to love Him with all our intellect! When we love the Lord with all our minds, true and everlasting change is the outcome. So Love the Lord with all your intellect and see what happens!


            Finally to the heart, soul and mind we now add strength! It takes strength to preserve when we are weary of loving the Lord with all are heart, or all are soul or all our mind, it can take all our strength on those days when we face rejection after rejection or the death of someone we love, it is will take all the strength on those days to stay the course of love when depression works to rise in us to defeat the love of God.  Here we see strength is what we know as “our will”, the choices we make and so I say love the Lord with all your will.


            But we can’t really stop there and not add those final words from verse 31 to love our neighbor as ourselves, for it is when we are at the end of ourselves that loving our neighbor as ourselves is the toughest of all assignment, how can we love others when we hate ourselves, or when our neighbors are doing something that causes anger or other negative feelings to rise in us, it is the act of the will that will get us to the goal line of loving our neighbors and with so much joy when we preserve loving our neighbors as we love ourselves, looking out for them, caring for them and protecting them, as God first loved and protected us through the cross from the wages of sin and death.


I end with this Valentine Day thought from 1 John 4:16, 19


God is love and so we love because He first loved us.


Blessings and Complete Joy,



 Oregonians check out my Release page to see how Christians across the state can celebrate our 150th anniversary of statehood in prayer.


Check out our monthly memory verse on the Equip page as well as a copy of SOAP a bible study method you can copy and print out for yourself.
This blog is part of the ministry of Complete Joy and is published each Tuesday and Saturday, usually by noon Pacific Time.



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