“Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’”— Matthew 22:37, NIV
In Matthew 22, Jesus is asked by a Pharisee who was trying to test Jesus what the greatest commandment is. His response was “love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind,” a phrase that can also be found in the old testament in Deuteronomy 6:5.
Above anything, God wants our whole hearts and our entire lives, not just pieces of us or certain aspects we are willing to share with Him. We are called to go all in for Christ and live with more than a half-hearted spirit.
Complete Devotion and Dedication to God
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” — Galatians 2:20, NIV
What does it mean to have complete devotion and dedication to God? It entails making God more than a priority in our lives, but rather the priority in our lives. Our will is secondary to His will for us. Our decisions, actions and days should be determined by what God wants us to do and not by what we think will bring us contentment as, ultimately, we will be disappointed looking for our own happiness.
Is this always easy? No, we are humans with sinful natures. We will never be perfect while we are on earth. However, we can do our best to live our lives in a way pleasing to God and strive to grow closer to Him.
Love and Obedience
“And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love". — 2 John 1:6, NIV
Loving God with all our heart also implies obedience to His commandments. Love and obedience go hand-in-hand for us as humans. If we have a parent, significant other or friend who we really care about, we often change our actions to reflect what we know would make them happy.
The same should be true about our relationship with God. Our love for Him should overflow into our actions and habits. Will we mess up? Of course, we are far from perfect. However, God’s forgiveness and love is always there, even when we fall short or struggle. We can always go to Him through prayer to ask for His help when needed, as on our own strength nothing is possible, but with His strength anything is.
Because He First Loved Us
“We love because he first loved us.” — 1 John 4:19, NIV
Romans 5:8 says “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Before we could ever love God, He has loved us. His love for us is not dependent on our love for Him. His unconditional, unfailing love can be an inspiration to us when we love God and others.
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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.