Bad Love, Good Love

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“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5).

How are we commanded to love God? With all our:

  • Heart
  • Soul (mind)
  • Strength

Consider this: What is the second greatest command? “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 18:19). 

There is only one problem with these commands. The standard of behavior is us. We are to love the Lord with OUR hearts, OUR minds, and OUR strength. But the scripture also says that all of these things are affected by sin. Our hearts, minds, and strength are not what they are suppose to be. For instance:

  • Our hearts are “Deceitfully wicked” (Jeremiah 17:9)
  • Our minds are set on death (Romans 8:6)
  • Our strength fails because of our sin (Psalm 31:10)
  • Our “selves” is corrupt (Ephesians 4:22)

Thankfully, Jesus gave us a new command. “Love one another as I have loved you” (John 13:34). The standard of love in this passage is not us, it’s Jesus. This is why it was a new command.

How did God love us according to His standard?

  • He loved us with all his heart (He valued as us of equal value to his own Son. II Corinthians 5.)
  • He loved us with his mind (His thoughts toward us are always of good and of peace.)
  • He loved us with all his Strength (He poured out his strength on the cross.)

I want to be a man of love.

If we want to be people of love, then we need three things. We need to have the heart of God, the mind of God, and the strength of God. Through the Holy Spirit, this is exactly what we have.

  • We have God’s heart (Psalm 73:26 – “God is the strength of my heart.”)
  • We have God’s mind (I Corinthians 2:16 – “We have the mind of Christ.”)
  • We have God’s strength (Philippians 4:13 – Endure all things through Christ.)

If Jesus endured the cross for us, and he promised in John 14:12 that we would do greater things, then imagine what we could endure for his sake.

Memory Verse

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deuteronomy 6:5).

Application

What can you do today that will be an expression of love to God? Acts of love for others helps us to express our love for God, the love he has given us through his Holy Spirit.

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