The First and Great Commandment

What does loving God really mean? We see Jesus saying that loving God is the first and great, commandment. It is not just something that God desires for us to do, it is the most important thing that He desires from us. Jesus then goes on to describe the way in which we should love God:

Mat 22:36  “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
Mat 22:37  And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.
Mat 22:38  This is the great and first commandment.

I want to focus a bit on what the heart, soul and mind means here, and what it has to do with the love we have for and from God. For each of these “loves”, there is a gift from God as part of that loving relationship.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart – The heart is the seat of feelings, including right or wrong, beauty, and emotion. This is where we experience the great emotion from God, His grace. Loving God with all our heart means interacting with His grace, receiving and accepting it with thanks and awe. God’s grace is His loving emotion towards us, that which is such a strong emotion that He gave up His only son. When we open our hearts to love God, we experience Godly grace, the greatest gift to all mankind.

Love the Lord your God with all your soul – The soul is the place where we have our spiritual consciousness and belief. Loving with our soul means experiencing faith, the faith that we get through grace, and allows our spirit to interact with the Holy Spirit. This is where the seeds of belief is planted, where the process of becoming holy takes place, and where we are with God in this world.

Love the Lord your God with all your mind – The mind is location for reasoning and understanding. While we attain knowledge by thinking the thoughts of God after Him, the mind is also where we apply what we learn, and where we gain insight into God’s wisdom. Wisdom is more than just knowledge, and while knowledge is necessary to have a functional life, only wisdom can be love in the mind. (Pro 2:6  For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding)

So we see that loving God with out heart, soul and mind comes back to grace, faith and wisdom that we get from God. With those three gifts from God, we can truly love Him, as He desires.

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