“And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.” Mark 12:28-34 (ESV)
4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9 (ESV)
“Shema”= Means “to hear”. Also, means to take action, to obey God. Repeated twice daily.
- “The Lord our God, the Lord is one” = He is God ALONE!
- “LOVE” (Agape) = Means to love someone by choice. To choose to see them in a favorable light. To choose to delight in them. And to choose to faithfully act on their behalf. When we agape-love God, we see Him as honorable, true, and loving. We trust Him and respond to that trust with obedience.
“By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and obey his commandments. 3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.” 1 John 5:3-4 (ESV)
- “HEART” (Kardia) = Means the center of your life, whether it’s your physical, spiritual, or mental life. Your heart drives your beliefs, emotions, thoughts, and intentions.
“Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. 34 You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. 36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, 37 for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:33-37 (ESV)
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Proverbs 4:23 (NIV)
- “SOUL” (Psyche) = While similar to the “heart”, it focuses on the vital force that keeps us alive. “The soul is the whole of the person, the unity of the body, organs and breath. It is not some immaterial spiritual thing, it is you, all of you, your whole being or self…IT’S WHO YOU ARE!
“And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.” Genesis 2:7 (KJV)
- “MIND” (Dianoia) = Means the seat of perception and thinking, the faculty of understanding, feeling, desiring. While not found in Deuteronomy 6:4, it was logical to add for an audience that was influenced by more logical Greek culture.
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-3 (ESV)
- “STRENGTH” (Ischyos) = Means force, power, and ability. The orginal Hebrew is from the root word (Me’ode), which is also translated as “greatly, exceedingly, and diligently.” This “strength,” also translated into English as “might,” is the effort and passion with which we love God. Where the heart, soul, and mind direct how we feel and what we do, strength or might is the force that determines the extent.
“For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way.” Ephesians 1:15-23 (NIV)
Question For Discussion:
- God desires you to love Him with your “whole” being. What area of your life are you NOT loving God? HEART—SOUL—MIND—STRENGTH.