Jesus said to him, “’You shall love the Lord Your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’” Matthew 22:37
Do you love the Lord with all that you are, all that you have, and all that you hope to be? Our desire is to be loved. God’s command is that we love Him. Jesus said the greatest commandment ever given is to love God with all our heart, soul, and mind. Every area of our human experience is covered in His statement. Love is something we choose to do, but it is also a response. “We love Him because He first loved us.” 1 John 4:19. We respond to God’s love as we experience His love for us. We learn to love Him as we grow in our knowledge of Him.
God’s love for us is unconditional. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. We are able to receive His love only because He offers it. He requires nothing from us except that we believe. We long for love and acceptance. We find it in the heart of God.
Paul prays that the Ephesians will know the love of God. “…that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height– to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.” Eph. 3:17b-19. God wants us to know Him and experience His love. God’s love for us is far beyond our human understanding. We grow in our understanding of Him through our relationship with Him.
The cry of our heart is to be loved, the response of our soul is to love, but if we are to love God fully, we must also love Him with our minds. We can only do this by gaining an understanding of who God is. His desire is that we know Him. We get to know God the same way we get to know anyone else. We spend time with Him and we listen to what He has to say. Prayer and bible study are our main sources of communication with Him. As we study and pray, His Spirit communes with our spirit and our relationship grows.
Knowing God, transforms our minds. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2. The love of God is not something we can understand through the values of the world around us. The two are not compatible. God transforms our hearts through His love. He transforms our souls as we respond to Him. He transforms our minds as we read and study His word.
Sometimes the love of God seems contrary to our experience. We need to remind ourselves that this is a fallen world, one that waits for redemption on all levels. Yet, no matter how we suffer, or what happens in the world around us, the love of God is constant.
God’s love for us is greater than any pain we suffer. It is more assured than any promise ever given. His presence will never leave us. If you are struggling today, if your heart aches for someone who cares, His love is there for you. If life is going well, take time to get to know Him better. There is no time like NOW to seek Him. Knowing Him and understanding His love are the greatest gifts you can give yourself. Seek Him, know Him, and love Him. Paul’s confidence in God’s love can be yours:
“For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angles nor principalities, nor powers, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”