In parts one and two we talked about what it looks like to love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soul – as it states in Mark 12:29-30.
Let’s continue with what it looks like to love Him with your mind and strength.
The word mind in the Greek is the word “dianois.” For a Jewish person this would be the place that held their understanding and intelligence.
So how do followers of Christ love God with their mind?
To begin with, God has blessed us with the ability to think and solve problems – expecting us to ask God for help in the solutions.
We should always use Biblical principles to resolve the issues that might occur in life. God wants to be involved in even the small things. Therefore, to love Him means to involve Him in every circumstance we find trying or difficult.
Hebrews 10:16 states, “After those days, says the Lord; I will put my laws upon their hearts, and on their minds I will write them.” Many Jewish sects take this literally by placing phylacteries on their bodies (little boxes) containing important verses such as Deuteronomy 6:4, the origin for the verses we are presently discussing.
But God is not saying we should put boxes on our bodies. He wants us to read His Word and take its message to heart. He desires that His people have His message in the forefront of their consciousness.
Next, in order to love God, we must memorize His Word.
When was the last time you really learned a passage of scripture? It is amazing to find the Word we’ve absorbed appear in difficult times to show us the way, comfort us and give us wisdom.
Loving the Lord with your mind should include using your imagination to glorify God.
Are your talents, gifts, abilities, and past-times used to exalt God? There is nothing more beautiful than someone using their hobbies to glorify God or to tell others about Him.
Finally, Mark 12:29-30 says that man should love God with all their strength.
The word strength in the Greek is the word “iskus.” This for the Jewish person was where they get their abilities, powers and competence. So how do His people love Him with their strength?
First, man should use his hands to glorify God. It is part of being a follower of Christ to help others. We should strive to do those things that others can’t do for themselves; such as cooking, mowing, building, fixing, and whatever else the Lord may place before us.
We should love Him with our eyes. Hebrews 12:2 states, “Fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfector of faith, who for the joy set before Him, endured the cross…” Do you look at things you shouldn’t? Do you watch television shows that do not glorify God? If you do, you are not loving God with your eyes.
We should love God with our feet. It says in Isaiah 52:7, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!” You should be sharing the message of Christ wherever you go.
Next, we must love God with our ears. The best way to think of this is to just listen for Him. It is difficult to hear someone speak when you are speaking over them. The best way to pray is to just listen.
Finally, we must love God with our mouth. Many have been hurt by the words of others. All Christians must be uplifting and encouraging. However, often the most grievous offenders are members of the church – speaking against one another.
Have you ever looked back at a past problem or sin and just can’t get over it?
If you have asked forgiveness – then God has forgiven it. Move forward! Looking back, we miss out on the blessings ahead. It is imperative that we forgive ourselves and stop looking back. Do not beat yourself up with things you did in the past if the Lord has already forgiven and forgotten. Love God by looking forward to the good things ahead.
Jesus was clear when He spoke these words. He detailed every possible area of life that man should love God with. He left no outs or areas with which we could hold for ourselves. To love God means to love Him with everything you are and everything you are capable of.
If you do this, then you will remain close to His heart.