The word “love” gets tossed around a lot today. I love my husband. I love my kids. I love coffee. I love nachos. I love art. The Bible says that in order to inherit eternal life, you have to love.
Luke 10: 27:
He answered “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
What does it really mean to love God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind? Basically, it means to love God with your entire being. I love art, but do I love it with all my being? I spend a great deal of my time and energy on art. I follow the social media accounts of artists I admire, and I subscribe to art magazines and purchase art books. I interact with artists. I think about my artwork. I plan, sketch, and create. I look forward to every minute I spend with art. Do I have this same devotion to God? You might not love art like I do, but do you love something else? Sports, music, a career, even a significant other? When you love something, you make it a priority. When you love something with ALL your being, this love infiltrates every part of your life.
What are some ways you can love God with ALL your being?
Love God with all your heart: care about the things that God loves. Practice kindness, show empathy. Concern yourself with the things that matter to God.
Love God with all your soul: pursue the things that God loves. Pray, pray, pray!
Love God with all your strength: fight for the things that God loves. Honor God with your abilities, time, and money. Serve, tithe, and involve yourself in the things that God loves!
Love God with all your mind: think about the things that God loves. Read the Bible, participate in Bible studies, and read the LivingItOut.
Did you catch the last part of the Bible verse above? The part about loving your neighbor as yourself? John 13:34-35 says, “So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”
How does this look in our culture today? Does the world see Jesus in our love for one another?
1 John 4:19 says, “We love each other because he loved us first.” God doesn’t expect you to love others as yourself by yourself. It is because you have the love of God within you that you can love others. These verses tell you that because God loved you first, you can love others.
Do you love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength?
What is one discipline you could add to grow the love you have for God?
Does your love for others prove to the world that you are a disciple of God?
How does experiencing God’s love help you to love others? What is one practical way you can love your neighbor?
God, thank you for loving me first. Help me to love you with all my heart, soul, strength, and mind. Show me how to love like you do. Help me to use your love to love others, especially others that aren’t as easy to love. Amen.
This post was written by Meghan Yarnell, a regular contributor of the LivingItOut Bible Study.
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