“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”Mark 12:30
All of us would probably agree that the clearer and simpler a story is, the easier it is for us to learn, understand, and apply. Jesus tells us to recognize the uniqueness of God as the one true God. We are commanded to love Him with our total being. When we do, we will have what it takes to love our fellow human beings. I can grasp this. It’s not complicated!
But the Pharisees of that day made following God extremely complicated. They had a code of laws and regulations that was burdensome and overwhelming. Jesus challenged them with the commandment to simply love God and their neighbor. The heart relates to our affections, the soul to our spiritual life, the mind to our intellectual considerations, and the strength to our actions and will. Nothing is left out. Then to “love your neighbor as yourself ” (v. 31) becomes a reality.
So, do we really love God with the totality of our being? If not, what idols or counterfeit faith must be removed to allow God to do His work of love and mercy, and prepare us to love others?
“The reality of God’s presence both comforts our hearts and restrains our behavior.” (Robert J. Morgan, 2001)