WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
MARCH 7, 2022
TOPIC: LOVE THE LORD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, SOUL, AND STRENGTH
BY T. O. BANSO
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5 New King James Version).
The Israelites were very familiar with the Ten Commandments that the Lord gave them through Moses (Exodus 20:1-17). One day, one of the Pharisees, a lawyer, came to Jesus and asked Him a question, to test Him. He asked Him which was the great commandment in the law (Matthew 22:36). Mark 12:28 refers to this man as a scribe who asked, “Which is the first commandment of all?” The man wanted to know the most important law.
Jesus replied, “’You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment” (Matthew 22:37-38 New King James Version). The law Jesus quoted was from Deuteronomy: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5 New King James Version). Deuteronomy 10:12b, 30:6b, and Luke 10:27 also refer to this law.
One could notice a little difference in the way the different scriptures cited said we should love the Lord but they say the same thing. Deuteronomy 6:5 says to love Him with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. But Matthew 22:38 says you should love Him with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind. However, Mark 12:30 says you should love the Lord with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.
The summary is that you should love the Lord with your whole being. This greatest commandment has also been described as a summary of the first four of the Ten Commandments, which relates to one’s relationship with God. Also, the second command, which Jesus said was to love one’s neighbour as oneself (Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31) has been described as a summary of the remaining six commandments. Jesus said there was no other commandment greater than these two.
To love God with all their heart and soul, with all their mind and strength means to love Him supremely and completely. It means to love God “with all the powers, faculties, and abilities of the soul, with the highest measures, and most intense degrees of love” (William Burkitt’s Notes on the New Testament).
To love the Lord with your whole being means to obey His Word. Obedience to God flows out of love for Him. Deuteronomy 11:1 says, “Therefore you shall love the LORD your God, and keep His charge, His statutes, His judgments, and His commandments always” (New King James Version).
If you love the Lord, you will walk in all His ways, obey His Word, and hold fast to or cling to Him (Deuteronomy 11:22, 19:9, 30:16, 20; Joshua 22:5). Jesus said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15 New King James Version). He said in verse 24, “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me” (New King James Version). If you’re sinning, it means you’re not keeping His commandments or words. It means you’re not living holy. And without holiness, no one shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).
If anyone loves the Lord with all his heart, soul, and strength, and sin (as nobody has reached a state of sinless perfection), he will promptly repent of it so that it does not become a habitual sin, an addiction. 1 John 1:9 says if we confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
To love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength means that you will submit to His will in everything. You will follow the example of Christ who, though aware of His impending death, said nevertheless not His will but the will of God be done (Luke 22:42).
In John 5:30b, Jesus said, He did not seek His own will but the will of the Father who sent Him. Long before then, Jesus had taught His disciples to pray that the will of God be done on earth as it was in heaven (Matthew 6:10; Luke 11:2). David, a man after God’s heart, prayed to God to teach him to do His will (Psalm 143:10a). The apostle Paul said if anyone did not love the Lord Jesus Christ, he should be accursed (1 Corinthians 16:22).
Let your relationship with Him come before any other. Jesus said, “If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:26-27 New King James Version). Avoid friendship with the world, which is enmity with God; whoever wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God (James 4:4).
Those who love the Lord with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength make Him number one in their lives; they seek to know and do His will in every matter. They ask Him what He wants them to do. They don’t pursue whatever appeals to them. “Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths” (Proverbs 3:6 New Living Translation). The New King James Version says, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”
Furthermore, those who love the Lord love their neighbours. They love others. 1 John 4:20 says, “If someone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” (New King James Version). Verse 8 says anyone who does not love, does not know God, for God is love.
Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Love Him with your whole being.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner, and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner, and I cannot save myself. I believe Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, empower me to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength. Help me to love Him with my whole being. I pray that all the children of God that have left their first love will repent and do the first works. Holy Spirit, help us all to love the Lord by loving our neighbours as ourselves.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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