Monday, February 14, 2022

Heart and Soul

“And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength” (Mark 12:30 NLT).

The Hebrew word for soul is actually closer to our use of the word heart. It speaks of something deep inside a person.

Jesus actually used this phrase in the Garden of Gethsemane when He said to the disciples, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death” (Mark 14:34 NKJV). He was emoting in that sense.

And in the same way, our love for God needs to be emotive and intelligent. One doesn’t cancel out the other.

Jesus said, “The most important commandment is this: ‘Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength’” (Mark 12:29-30 NLT).

After Simon Peter denied the Lord three times, the resurrected Jesus posed a question to His wayward child: “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” (John 21:15 NLT). Jesus asked him this three times.

Notice that Jesus didn’t say, “Peter, are you theologically correct?” or “Peter have you been obedient?” Rather, Jesus was asking, “Peter, do you love me?”

Do you know that it’s possible to be theologically correct and not love God? Of course, I believe that if you love God, you will be theologically correct to the best of your ability. I also believe that if you love God, you will want to do what honors Him. That’s because Jesus said, “If you love me, obey my commandments” (John 14:15 NLT).

If we don’t have love as our basis, however, then it all will be out of whack. We start there. We need to love God with our emotions and our intellect, with our strength, and with our time and resources. We need to love God with everything that we have. And if we get this right, then everything will find its proper place.

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