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Commentary and Bible Study Notes on The First
and Greatest Commandment:
Loving God with All Your Heart, Mind,
Soul and Strength
What does loving God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength entail? Let's take it apart, bit by bit and see what's there. My own thoughts and notes I took from from an online interlinear bible. It is in no way complete. My thoughts may not be “correct”. I'm connecting some related scriptures that may be helpful to your own bible study or if you're putting together your own material for a group bible study.
1. Heart: Inner life, core beliefs; our affections, what we delight in or love, feelings; our purposes, passions, endeavors; character, inner self; intention, will and choices; our desires.
Humble of heart. Jesus is the best example. Matt 11:29
Pure in heart. Matthew 5:8 (then we'll see God).
Having an intention is doing it in our heart. Matthew 5:28
Our heart is what we spend our time, attention, money on. Matthew 6:19-21
Think evil in our hearts. Matthew 9:4
With our heart we return to God. Matthew 13:15
Seeds are sown in our hearts. Matthew 13:19
We are to forgive others from our heart. Matthew 18:35
Our actions spring from what's in our hearts. Matthew 24:48-51
Our reasoning is in our hearts. Mark 2:5-8
Our faith or doubt is from our heart. Mark 11:23
Living our lives as if we weren't happy or sad. 1 Corinthians 7:29-31
When we love God with all our heart he is our all-consuming focus; He is our reason for living; He is the love of our life, our passion, what makes us tick. We care less and less about the things of this world, and more and more about the things of God. (1 Corinthians 7:25-38).Connection between our heart and strength: God empowers us to do mighty things (gives us his power and strength) through faith - (believing it in our hearts) Matthew 21:21-22. To love God with all our heart is to love what he loves and hate what he hates (Psalms 139:19-22).
2. Soul/Spirit: Your distinct personality; The part that is alive, breath of life, vitality; The life you live on earth vs. the more blessed life you life lived in heaven; can also refer to the heart: where the feelings, desires, affections live; the moral part of us that is designed for everlasting life; it doesn't die. 3 John 1:2; The part that yearns for God.
Can be faint in your soul: weary. Hebrews 12:23
We are anxious about our life or soul. Matthew 6:25
Be afraid of those who can kill the soul. Matthew 10:28
When we try to save our life/soul, we will lose it. Matthew 16:25-26
We find rest for our souls in Jesus. Matthew 11:28
To love God with our soul is to live for him, or die for him; to give our life over to him, make our life a living sacrifice to him each day (Romans 12:1-2), put ourselves at his disposal; count this life as nothing (Acts 20:24); my life is hid in Christ (Colossians 3:3); The part that magnifies the Lord, lives out the life Christ wants us to; glorifies him in word, deed, character, etc.
3. Mind: Understanding, intellect; insight; full-breadth reasoning, knowing fully both sides to reach a meaningful conclusion (wisdom of solomon); Your way of thinking and feeling; imagination.
Our imagination. Mark 12:30
Proud in the thoughts of our heart. Luke 1:51 (exalting ourselves up)
Our minds can be in our flesh or following the Spirit. Ephesians 2:3
Our minds can be dark and blind or full of light and understanding. Ephesians 4:18
Sin means we're hostile/enemies in our minds towards God. Colossians 1:21
God writes his laws on our minds and hearts. Jeremiah 31:33
We're to prepare our minds and keep sober in our minds. 1 Peter 1:13.
We can be pure and sincere in our minds. 2 Peter 3:1
We can have spiritual understanding, a deep knowing of God through his Spirit. 1 John 5:20
Loving God with all our heart might mean we understand our smallness (compared to God) and unworthiness; We are not proud in our hearts, but submitted to God; We seek to know and understand God in all his ways and character, like we would someone we were in love with, sitting at his feet; We have a deep knowing of God, a special relationship that we tend to; God is the focus of our minds; his laws are written on our hearts, so we aim to obey him in everything.
More on what is means to know Christ - Philippians 3:10-14
4. Strength: Our power, ability. Our abilities and power comes from our charm, personality, status, position, wealth, skills, talent, spiritual gifts. But all of our power is from God; he gives us all those gifts and power and abilities and positions for a reason: to serve him. We can have physical strength (muscles, agility, flexibility, health); social strength (lots of friends, standing); mental strength (good focus, smarts, creativity); or spiritual strength (nothing can move us from following God).
Our strength is from God. Ephesians 1:19; 6:10
The glory of his power. 2 Thes. 1:9
We serve by the strength that he provides .1 Peter 4:11
God is the one who is mighty and powerful; we rely on him. 2 Peter 2:11
God is all-powerful, has all wisdom, strength and honor. Rev. 5:12; 7:12
Let the weakling say, “I am strong!”. Joel 3:10
Paul counted what the world considers as strengths as weakness. Philippians 3:3-8
For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:10
God is our strength. Psalm 46:1-3
Rely on his comfort, advocating for us, encouragement to strengthen you so you can soar on wings like eagles. Isaiah 40:31
Anything good we do is from Christ. Our righteousness is in him. Philippians 3:9
To love God with all of our strength: loving him to the best of our ability, we offer God all that we have, our whole selves, every situation and opportunity, to be used by him for his purposes to give him glory and draw others to him. We walk in his Spirit, in his strength and power (which directs our thoughts, actions and feelings). We gain comfort, and our strength is renewed by spending time with him. See a connection between faith and strength. (above)
* Note: We won't love God perfectly until we are changed when we see Jesus.
Related Chapter: Colossians 3, a chapter about loving God.
Read Related bible study on The Rich Young Ruler.
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