Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (38) This is the first and great commandment. (39) And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. (40) On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
Jesus commands us to love God with all of your heart, all of your soul, all of your mind. In other words with all of our emotions, all our will, all of our thoughts: with our very being. This is easy to say in theory but how can we accomplish this in practice. One thought comes to mind from the end phrase: on these two commandments hang all the laws and the prophets. Taking a look at the Ten Commandments gives us an insight on how to love the Lord thy God with all of our heart, soul and mind.
- Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. If I love God with all of my heart, soul, and mind I will love nothing more than I love God. Anything I put before God becomes my god. My god can be money, TV, sports, even family or ministry (and you CAN love the service of God even more than God so it can become your god. I have been there and it is not a good place to be). God tells us we cannot love God and mammon for we will love one and hate the other. We must choose to love God above all others. In fact our love for God should be so great it should make the love we have for even our families (and we should love our families) look like hate by comparison.
Exodus 20:4-6 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: (5) Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; (6) And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. While the first commandment dealt with whom we should love, this commandment deals with how we should love.
- This commandment does not speak of no art at all, even God used cherubim in His tabernacle (on the mercy seat on the ark of the covenant) and a snake on a pole to heal people,
- The problem is that we are not to worship the image. When Israel started to worship the brass serpent, then king Hezekiah had to destroy it (see 2 Kings 18:4).
- Another problem is that no image can truly represent God therefore it mares the glory of God (Romans 1:21-23 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became.) vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. (22) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, (23) And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things). While a golden calf could represent the strength of God, it cannot show His love, mercy, grace, holiness, etc. While fellowship, praise, worship are all good things, when it was lavished on an idol, it made God angry and Moses had to intercede on behalf of the people (see Numbers 32)
- If we are going to love God with all of our heart, soul, and mind we need to worship Him the way He designates, not how we feel like it: to worship Him in Spirit & truth and not through dumb idols that cannot see, cannot hear, or cannot love like God can.
That is step one and two. Love God most. Worship Him in His way. Next time three and four. Till then God bless. PT