“One of the teachers of religious law was standing there listening to the debate. He realized that Jesus had answered well, so he asked, ‘Of all the commandments, which is the most important?’ Jesus replied, ‘The most important commandment is this: “Listen, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” The second is equally important: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” No other commandment is greater than these.’” – Mark 12:28-31 (NLT)
Let’s take a few days to look at the great commandment found in Mark 12 and get some clues on what love is supposed to look like.
When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment of all is, Jesus without hesitation quoted from Deuteronomy 6:4-5, which commands us to love God. The love we are to have for God is a love that supersedes every other love relationship we could have. It is also described as an “all” kind of love which holds nothing back emotionally, spiritually, mentally, and physically.
An “all in” quality of love for God is not a place you arrive at spiritually. The truth is, each day we will be tempted and distracted by all kinds of things to offer God less than all. One day you may be tired physically, the next you might be mentally tempted. Each day will bring a different test, and we must be ready. When we are tired, don’t pretend you are not but ask God for physical strength to make up the difference. When we are tempted, don’t pretend to be immune to it but ask God for the spiritual strength to overcome.
When we ask God for help in these things, we let Him know our desire to love Him with an “all in love.” And God will be faithful to help give you what you need to be the lover He wants you to be.
How about you? Is your love for God an “all in” type, or is it a pluralistic, multi-focused love that is seeking God one minute but self or something else the next? Are you trying to love God out of your own strength and power or do you call on God to help you love Him despite your strength and feelings? Express your desire to love God with an “all in” kind of love and ask God to help you learn love Him first, most and best.