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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#1033. Love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength (12/4/24)

This week, as we’ve continued in our Luke series, we’ve been reflecting on The Parable of the Good Samaritan. Today we finish this section by reflecting on what it means to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.  

‘On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”’ (Luke 10:25-28) 

Lesson: Love for God involves every part of us and leads to seeking His glory in all things. 


To listen to this devotional, go to:


This week we’ve been reflecting of various aspects of this great parable. Yesterday, we started to apply it to how we are to love others and today we finish with how we are to love God.


A Christian, having been forgiven of their failure to love God, is to go on to seek to love God. The Spirit living in us wants us to become worshippers. We are taught that we are to, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind.’ Jesus is not teaching us that humans are made up of these four components; rather, he is teaching us that we are to love God with all of our being. However, these words do give us clues as to what this means. 


Heart and Soul

We are to love God from the inside out. Our inner being, often referred to as heart, soul or spirit, is to drive our outward behaviour. Love for God is to so fill us that love for God is seen in how we live. 


Mind

We are to love God in our thinking. What we put into our minds, and what we think about, are to inflame love for God. We are, principally, to read, study and meditate on God’s words so as to fill the mind with knowledge of God and love for God. 


Strength 

We are to love God with how we use our physical strength - our bodies. The body is God’s gift through which we worship God and serve Him through our work and lifestyle. 


Our lives follow this flow - from inside out. The character of our inner-selves (our heart, soul, mind, spirit) will be seen in our lives. Like the religious leaders of Jesus’ day, we can try to act out a facade of worship, but our true selves, as with the priest and Levite in the parable, will soon begin to show and to even stink! Therefore, we must have a transformed heart. We need the Spirit, and the truth that the Spirit has given, to sanctify us. Dallas Willard has written:

‘We live from our heart. The part of us that drives and organises our life is not the physical. This remains true even if we deny it. You have a spirit within you and it has been formed. It has taken on a specific character. I have a spirit and it has been formed. This is true of everyone. The human spirit is an inescapable, fundamental aspect of every human being; and it takes on whichever character it has from the experiences and the choices that we have lived through or made in our past. That is what it means for it to be “formed.” Our life and how we find the world now and in the future is, almost totally, a simple result of what we have become in the depths of our being—in our spirit, will, or heart. From there we see our world and interpret reality. From there we make our choices, break forth into action, try to change our world. We live from our depths—most of which we do not understand.’

Response

Love for God involves every part of us and leads to seeking His glory in all things.  A healthy Christian life involves every part of our human nature: Thinking, feeling and actions are to be used in love for God. To apply this to this specific parable, to love God with our heart, soul, mind and strength will be seen in how we love others. Our love for God will be seen in how we work, sing, pray, write, create, give, parent… but it will also be seen in how we show charity. May God continue to deepen and broaden our worship for His glory. May love for God be our compass in all aspects of life, as we read:

‘So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.’ (1 Corinthians 10:31)

 

COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY

1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

Please ensure that the members of your group are aware and familiar with using the daily devotionals which is accessed in Church News, the Teaching button on the website and are now available on the major podcast platforms. 


2. Icebreaker

How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you? 


3. Worship together

Let’s begin our time together by lifting our eyes and hearts to worship our great God. Perhaps you have readings and songs that you would like to use together. Let’s be open to the gifts that the Spirit wants to give in order to encourage one another.


4. Study and pray together

Our message from our series in Luke on Sunday, based upon The Parable of the Good Samaritan was entitled, 'Go and do Likewise'. Jesus uses this parable to show us how Christians are to live in order to please God, serve Him and become effective in reaching this world with the gospel.  


Please read Luke 10:25-37, and discuss: 

  • Did God speak to you about anything specifically from Sunday’s message?

  • What does the man’s question, “What must I do to be saved?” and the phrase, ‘he wanted to justify himself’,  reveal about his approach to religion? 

  • How do we see Jesus and the gospel in this story? 

  • How is this parable designed to humble us before we seek to apply it? 

  • How are we to live in response to this parable? 

  • SIV - What does this parable teach about SIV (Serve, Invest and inVite)?

  • SIV - Do we have any stories of how we have ‘Served, Invested, and inVited’ recently?

  • Let’s pray together that, this week, we will have opportunities to SIV; and pray for anything else that’s came out of our time in God’s Word.

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