The most important commandment in the Bible could be the least talked about by Christians today. Jesus stated in Matthew 22:36-40 that the first and greatest commandment was to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength,
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
The passage has almost become so familiar to us, we’ve lost our ability to really hear it. At the same time, the practical application to measure how we are doing with this commandment has always escaped me. Yet, we must revisit this commandment regularly to really gauge how we are doing in our faith walk.
Pastor Rick Warren in his Daily Hope devotionals broke down the age-old commandment in a fresh, practical way:
“Loving God with all your heart often happens when you’re talking—it’s how you share the gift of communication with the world. Loving God with your soul happens when you’re feeling—when you’re sharing compassion. You love God with your mind as you’re thinking—when you’re giving consideration to people or ideas. And, finally, loving God with your strength happens as you’re doing—when you’re making a contribution to the world.”
Breaking down each part of this commandment may prove to be an easier way for Christians to measure their obedience to what Jesus himself called, “The Greatest Commandment.”
Warren continued, “God calls each person to love God in all four of these ways. The world needs communication, compassion, consideration, and contribution from every follower of Jesus.”
The truth is our outward actions demonstrate our inward faith in Christ. How we communicate with others reflects how we communicate with our heavenly Father. Our hearts overflow in our speech so loving God with our hearts means our hearts are full of his love and this comes out in how we speak. How we show compassion to others reflects the compassion we have received from Christ and reflects love for God in our soul. Consideration and our thinking can reflect our love for God. In terms of loving God with our strength – how is our work reflecting and glorifying God.
As you seek to love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, what challenges you most about this invitation?