Mark 12:30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.
Over the next five weeks we will stay in this passage looking at each of the four parts of us that are to love God; heart, soul, mind, and strength. I will write on each one in reverse order. On the fifth week, we will look at how Jesus loved God this way perfectly.
Those of us who are western in thought are trained to break things into categories. I am no different. When I look at this passage and see what Jesus says, I see four areas or parts of me that need to love God. I realize that what Jesus is saying is to love God with my whole being and I believe that he is outlining what the whole being looks like. So, I begin with; love the Lord your God with all your strength.
I believe we as western Christians work the hardest at loving God with both strength and mind. I will reveal more about that throughout these four weeks. To me, loving God with my strength looks like what I do for God. Where am I serving? What have I done in His kingdom? What am I doing with in the physical world?
If we accept this definition of strength, then I believe that when it comes to Church work, a lot of the focus is on the area of strength. We look at what we are doing for God. There is a lot of focus as a corporate body on where are we serving. Are we bringing people to Christ? Are we acting in such a way that others notice a difference? We can even get down to a simpler view of; are we attending services? Are we active in serving our local body of believers?
Don’t get me wrong, I believe that using our strength is important. Without action faith is dead (James 2:17ff). Jesus told us to love God with all our strength. Therefore, what we do should be done to the glory of God. “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” (Colossians 3:17) This is a challenge for our daily living. We are a society of doers. For most of us, we want to see accomplishment in our lives. To Love God with all our strength challenges us as Christians to be doers for him.
At the beginning of each day, I need to ask myself, “What am I going to do for God today?” At the end of each day, I need to ask myself, “What have I done for God today?” Each day’s actions are to be devoted to God. That is how I can love God with my strength.
For some, this is natural. In fact, this is their gift. To those who are gifted this way, I challenge you to look into the other three parts as they unfold over the next three weeks. For some, loving with all strength is the area of challenge. Those who are “thinkers” and somewhat introverted may feel the challenge to do more. Either way, it is a part of us that is to love God. Jesus was the perfect example of each of these four areas which I will expand on in the final installment of this series.
As we dive into this over the next few weeks, keep this passage on your heart and in front of you. Ask yourself, “What is God telling me here?” I plan on keeping these words on the tip of my tongue: Heart, soul, mind, and strength.
1. What comes to mind for you when you read this passage?
2. Where in your life do you love God with your strength?
3. Where in your life do you need to use your strength for God more?
4. What came to mind for you when I introduced the thought that strength relates to acts of service?
5. Pay attention this week to where your strength glorifies God. If this is a weak area for you, look for where you need to improve.
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