Key Verse: “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.” Mark 12:30
Many Christians have a linear idea of what loving God looks like. We come up with formulas such as, God first, family second, work/school third, etc. While I agree with the order of priorities, we need to go further than just loving God first. Let’s consider the question, “How much do you love God?”
You see, linear thinking limits our love for God in two ways. First, it makes our relationship with Christ seem like a “to do” list. We may think that doing more for God than for anyone else means we must love Him enough. But the Greatest Commandment isn’t about our works. Secondly, linear thinking limits our love for God because it compartmentalizes our lives into categories: God, family, work, school, church, and community. Love for God should be expressed through everyday life, like how we relate to our families and how we perform our job or schoolwork.
So, what does the Greatest Commandment actually tell us to do? Well, we are to love the Lord with every aspect of our being. Loving God with all of your heart means submitting your emotions to God. Loving God with all of your soul means surrendering your will to God. Loving God with all of your mind means centering your thoughts on God. And loving God with all of your strength means presenting your body in service to God.
When we love God with everything we have, then He expresses His life in everything we feel, think, desire, and do. This type of love moves our relationship with Christ from being an item on a list or in a compartment, to being the whole of our identity. Rather than being linear, it’s all-encompassing.
What about you today? How much do you love God? The Greatest Commandment exposes your greatest need, because without Jesus you can’t possibly meet this standard of love. It requires living in the fullness of the indwelling Holy Spirit. If you’ll surrender to His love, then life will change from a list of things you have to do, to a life of love that you want to live. Remember, all means all!