"You must love the Lord your God with all
your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest
commandment” (Matthew 22:37–38).
Jesus threw down a challenge to all who would follow him. The implications of
Jesus’ ranking—and of what it means to love God as he instructed—have been
discussed and debated for centuries.
are three application points to consider.
1. Christianity isn’t for dabblers.
kind of relationship Jesus is talking about involves more than a weekly worship
service. This isn’t a “Sunday only” kind of love; it’s an immersive 24/7
2. Loving God is an act of emotion, an act of the will, and an act
of the intellect.
not enough to love God when one feels like it. Emotions are fickle. Maintaining
a fully committed relationship with him requires effort and determination. Part
of that effort involves brainstorming new reasons to love and praise him, as
well as creative ways to express love for him.
3. Prayer is essential to obeying the all-time number-one
day brings new opportunities, new problems, new temptations, and new
distractions—all of which can interfere with a relationship with God. The best
strategy for dealing with these potential disruptions is to ask for help from
God himself. Continuous communication is essential to maintaining a fully
committed relationship with him.
-- I served as editor for THE BIBLE: WHY IT MATTERS TODAY which is published by Time Inc Books. This blog post was adapted from that title. This special edition magazine is published in the US and available wherever magazines are sold.