There are a few verses in the Bible that stand out. Not that other verses are not important but some change the way you view everything.
Luke 10:27 “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.”
This is a simple statement however the implications are huge and require some explaining and examples.
Before we can even begin to look at the ways we are to love God we have to understand that we cannot on our own accord love Him. Our attempts at loving God fall short and our attempts at living a righteous life are but filthy rags. We can only love God because He first loved us. God is good and in His goodness He saved us from our sins by sending His only son to save us. It is by placing our trust in the finished work of the Cross that we can then love God. The twist to the story however is that now we can love God but require His love in us to then love Him properly. We must constantly receive from Him to give our love to Him. I believe that Colossians 3:3 shows this well that we cannot think of our love to God as separate from our being in Him. We love Him because we are in Christ who is in the Father. The implications of this are of course that the love we give to God is really His own love back to Him. Desiring to always be in Him.
With all your heart:
The word for heart that is used is more than emotion and feelings. It does encompass this but it is for your mental, moral i.e rational and emotional. We are called to love God with our thoughts, and to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. We are to think about the LORD, and to be engaged with His heart. We are to seek His heart and then put ours in alignment with His. We are to not let our feelings and emotions control us. This is done through Prayer.
With all your soul:
Loving God with all your soul is to give Him your whole inner being. A dog can love it’s master, it can come when it is called, it can respect that you feed it, but it has no soul so it cannot love fully. God does not desire that we come when called. God desires that we desire Him. We are to long for Him like a deer pants for water my soul pants for God, we are to thirst for Him. This is done through Worship.
With all your strength:
The love we give to God from our strength is by loving with all the ability we have to love with. We are to love God by doing what we are able to do. This is not done to gain merit or earn salvation but instead we do works because we are saved by Grace. Our love for God is shown in what we do, not done to be loved. Loving God with our strength is to love Him through Service.
With all your mind:
To love God with your mind is to love Him with all your understanding. I love God more now than I did when I first gave my life to Him, but my love for Him was no less real than it is now. Now I simply understand more so I can love Him more. The more I learn of Him and the more I seek Him the more I love Him. The more I transform my mind by His word and see what He has done the more I am able to love Him. My daughter loves me more today than she did 5 years ago only because she understands me more now. The more we study the more we have ability to love Him. This is done through Reading the Bible.
Love your neighbour as yourself:
This is done by living in Grace and Truth. Jesus came full of Grace and Truth and we should live the same way. Some churches are big on Truth and some are big on Grace but what would happen if we were big on Grace and Truth. What if we looked to Jesus as our example and said go and sin no more. What if we offered to others the same grace we need. What would happen if we told the truth we desire to hear.
The local church is to be an extension of Jesus. We are to be His hands and feet. We are to love the unloved, to care for widows and orphans, to offer mercy to those who need it. There is a time for discipline and we must use it when needed but we must not be to quick to reach for it. We must be ministers of reconciliation.
As a church we need to have opportunities for people to serve. We need to have opportunities for people to come to Jesus. We should also be active in the community. We cannot expect to have people come to us unless we have first demonstrated that we will go to them. Jesus spent His time going to the people who needed to hear and receive the Word. We should be a force in the communities we are placed in.
We should also be looking to train up the next generation for service. We should be actively looking for those who have a call on their life and equipping them for service. If someone wants to be a pastor or missionary or doctor or lawyer or nurse or mechanic we should be showing them that they can be whatever they are called to be for Christ. Ministry happens everyday in a variety of ways and we should be showing that to the next generation so they can be a force for Jesus as well.
Just a thought,