Loving God with All Your Heart, Soul, and Mind
- In Matthew 22:37 (KJV), Jesus answers a question about the greatest commandment by saying, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”
- It’s common to read through these exchanges between Jesus and the religious leaders and focus on the conflict and tension. We see Jesus’ brilliant answers to the difficult questions meant to trip Him up. It’s helpful, though, to stop and think for a moment about what is happening on another level.
- Jesus doesn’t hesitate to answer this question, either. He doesn’t respond with a counter-question or tell a parable or ask for object to use for illustration. Jesus answers directly from Deuteronomy 6:5. The great and first commandment in all of Scripture is to love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and mind.
- These three components, heart, soul, and mind, represent the entirety of our being and encompass all aspects of our relationship with God.
- God wants His people first and above all to love Him with every part of their being. The heart and soul and mind may describe the centers of emotion, action, and thought.
- Love for God and love for others we are told, is the fulfilment of God’s law for we cannot love others until we are in right relationship with our Heavenly Father, but we cannot truly love God unless we truly know Him as our Saviour.
I. Loving God with All Your Heart (Matthew 22:37 KJV)
- To love God with all your heart means to have a deep and genuine affection for Him. (Deuteronomy 6:5)
- It requires surrendering your heart to God and allowing Him to transform it into a heart that desires to follow and obey Him. (Ezekiel 36:26) Despite Isrealites centuries of rebellion, God promised to remove men’s rock-hard, heart of stone… and replace it with a heart that is sensitive to the Lord and responsive to His Word.
- It involves seeking after God and allowing Him to be the center of your life. (Psalm 27:4)
- Illustration: Imagine a couple deeply in love with each other, who always want to be with each other and are devoted to each other’s happiness. This is how we should love God with all our hearts.
II. Loving God with All Your Soul (Matthew 22:37 KJV)
- To love God with all your soul means to give Him your entire being, including your emotions and desires. (Psalm 103:1-2)
- It involves acknowledging that God is the source of life and giving Him control over every aspect of your life. (Acts 17:28)
- It means recognizing that your purpose in life is to glorify God and to live in accordance with His will. (Romans 12:1)
- Illustration: Imagine a musician who plays an instrument with all his soul, pouring out his emotions and talents to create beautiful music. This is how we should love God with all our soul.
III. Loving God with All Your Mind (Matthew 22:37 KJV)
- To love God with all your mind means to use your intellect to grow in your understanding of God and His ways. (Proverbs 2:1-5)
- It involves studying the Bible and learning about God’s character, His promises, and His plan for your life. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
- It means using your mind to discern truth from error and to share the gospel with others. (2 Corinthians 10:5)
- Illustration: Imagine a scientist who dedicates their life to studying and understanding the mysteries of the universe. This is how we should love God with all our mind, using our intellect to pursue knowledge of Him.
- Loving God with all your heart, soul, and mind is a commandment that encompasses every aspect of our being
- Like a diet, is a very all-or-nothing sort of thing. It’s not something we can excpet results in by only dieting 90%. We don’t say “I’m going to give God my all 90% of the time, and then I’ll ‘splurge,’ and live for me for the other 10%.
- Let us commit to loving God with all our heart, soul, and mind, and may our love for Him be evident in every aspect of our lives. (Matthew 22:37 KJV)
When it comes to giving God our entire life, we can learn from the story of the rich young ruler in the Bible (Mark 10:17-22). This man came to Jesus, asking what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus told him to keep the commandments, to which the man replied that he had kept them all since his youth.
However, Jesus then told the man to go and sell all that he had, give the proceeds to the poor, and follow Him. Sadly, the rich young ruler went away sorrowful because he was unwilling to give up his wealth and follow Jesus completely.
This story illustrates the danger of holding back part of our lives from God. The rich young ruler had a form of godliness, but he was not willing to surrender everything to Jesus. He was willing to give 90%, but not 100%. In the end, he missed out on the opportunity to experience the fullness of life that comes from following Jesus.
We must be willing to give God our entire lives, not just a portion of it. This means surrendering our plans, dreams, and desires to Him and trusting that He knows what is best for us. It means being willing to obey Him even when it is difficult or uncomfortable.
When we give God our whole life, we experience the joy and freedom that come from living for Him. We are no longer bound by our own selfish desires, but we are free to live for a greater purpose. As we follow Jesus completely, He will guide us into the plans and purposes He has for us, and we will experience the abundant life that only He can give.
Wealth is sometimes a result of work—ours or someone else’s—but work itself can also be an emotional obstacle to following Jesus.
The solution is not to try harder to be good, but to accept God’s love; that is, to follow Christ.