And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. – Mark 12:29-30
Just what does it mean to love Him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength?
Webster (1828) expounds on the meaning of the word love as given in this verse: “to be pleased with that which gives us pleasure or delight.”
Stop there a moment… We are pleased with good friends, good food, good fellowship…but does not God give us infinite pleasure and delight?
Webster again, “…the Christian loves God with the love of complacency [satisfaction; gratification] in His attributes, the love of benevolence towards the interest of his kingdom, and the love of gratitude for favors received.” The definition is completed with the following thought, “The love of God is the first duty of man, and this springs from just views of his attributes or excellencies of character, which afford the highest delight to the sanctified heart. Esteem and reverence constitute ingredients in this affection, and fear of offending him is its inseparable effect.”
Love delights in Who God is and through fear of Him commits one’s life to His service.
Do we take the time to exult in the beauty of our Savior?
Does the imagination of His awesome greatness take away our very breath?
Less grandly put, do we live every day mindful that the King of all the universe loves us?
So much more may be gleaned from this passage [which will be the subject of future writing], but let us close with some verses that can only motivate us to love our Savior “in deed and in truth” by delighting in His Person.
*See Job chapters 38-41
Laura started attending Lehigh Valley Baptist Church as a child when her family moved to the area. For years, her primary passion was in nursing and furthering her education. In the midst of pursuing a medical degree, God changed her plans and she married Jonathan Snow (read their story here). Now, she has discovered a special fulfillment from being a wife and a mother! Truly, God’s ways are always for our good and for His glory.