From time to time, I will offer a meditation on specific portions of Scripture. If you believe the Bible to be the Word of God, I pray you will find these to be insightful and more importantly they will provoke you to a healthier relationship with God and with your fellow humans. If this is not your belief, I hope you will find these reflections still to be insightful and a source of encouragement. In any event, they are offered in the spirit of helping you to a place of personal health in all aspects of your life.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself. – Luke 10:27
Love. Completely love the Lord my God.
With ALL my heart. The heart is the center of devotion and the emotional aspect of love. Do I love God passionately? Do I think about Him all the time, as when I was wooing my future wife? Am I eagerly awaiting the day when the Father tells Jesus that it is time to come again and be with me. Do I excitedly anticipate that day, almost obsessed with desire for it to be today, yet willing to wait so I have more opportunity to obey the final 5 words of the passage above (and your neighbor as yourself). Because doing that is the outcome of loving God with all my heart!
With ALL my soul. The soul is the center of my eternal being. My soul longs to be home in heaven, but it knows that I am already an eternal being and that everything I do now needs to have positive eternal consequence, or it will just be burned away in the end. My soul rests in the yoke of Christ, from which we go about the work of loving God and loving my neighbor.
With ALL my strength. Strength is my energy; my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual energy. All of this is to be channeled according to my love for and devotion to God. I need to exhaust myself in expressing my love for God, knowing again that rest for my soul comes from this work. This requires conditioning and pushing myself beyond what I’ve done before and pushing myself to new limits. I need to go to the spiritual gym and train, disciplining myself through prayer, studying the Word, practicing exhibiting the attributes of the fruit of the Spirit, and loving my neighbor.
With ALL my mind. The mind is the center of my thought life. My mind should be occupied by nothing except that which pleases the Father. My thoughts should always be directed by His Spirit and toward Him. My thoughts are as important as, nay more than, my actions. My motives can render my actions worthless. Or my thought life can bring glory to God and fruit to the efforts of my strength. How I think of my neighbors will correlate to how well I love them.
Love. To love the Lord my God this completely, requires that I love in the way He loves. Sacrificially. I give up my life because He first loved me and gave up His. The last 5 words of this passage are too often thought of as a last second add-on thought that Jesus included. But, these 5 words were His motivation for the entire statement! Love your neighbor as yourself. This is your means of expressing your complete love of God.