Love the Lord your God with all your heart!

jesus_teaching

Mark 12:28-34

28 Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving[a] that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”
29 Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments 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, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’[b] This is the first commandment.[c] 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’[d] There is no other commandment greater than these.”
32 So the scribe said to Him, “Well said, Teacher. You have spoken the truth, for there is one God, and there is no other but He. 33 And to love Him with all the heart, with all the understanding, with all the soul,[e] and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
34 Now when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, He said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”
But after that no one dared question Him.

So I was meditating on these verses early in the morning and I was wondering what kind of message the Lord was telling me. I found that the Lord was telling me a very important message that I have never noticed in this passage. So in the story a scribe comes up to the Lord and asks a very important question regarding how to live a righteous life for the Lord. He was seeking after living a life that was pleasing to the Lord. So the Lord responds to him with what we all know today as the” Golden Rule”. I will focus on the first part of the passage which is Love the Lord with all your heart. Your heart is the control system for your physical body it is the organ which pumps blood to all rest of your internal organs. Without the heart the body has no ability to function. I believe that the Lord is asking us here to love Him with our heart because He knows that this is the central part of our life and if the heart is given to anyone or anything but God than we are surly deviating from the plan that God has intended for us. I will give a biblical example of this when Solomon was instructed in I Kings 11 not to take on wives from other kingdoms.  The Lord clearly instructed him and told him that if you do, you will deviate from My will and you will forget about Me as your God. Solomon went on to take as many 700 wives and in doing so,  he forgot about the Lord and his heart was turned away from Him. He was so consumed in the worldly lusts that he forgot about the blessings and the gifts that the Lord had given him. Solomon went on to worship other gods and offer sacrifices to them, so the Lord became angry with Solomon because he had turned his heart away from Him. I worry sometimes that in our own lives we are consumed by the world and our heart is given to other things besides the Lord. But the Lord tells us that we must return our hearts to Him in order for our lives to be pleasing to Him because if I love the Lord with the organ that controls my life than I am loving him with the core of my existence. In the book of Joel we read this passage,   Now, therefore,” says the LORD, Turn to Me with all your heart, With fasting, with weeping, and with mourning.”  So rend your heart, and not your garments; Return to the LORD your God, For He is gracious and merciful, Slow to anger, and of great kindness;  And He relents from doing harm. Today is the day that the Lord wants our heart and wants us to figure out what is taking His place in our lives. He wants us to figure out what is hindering our relationship with Him. We all know the things that hinder our relationship with the Lord but He tells us to return to Him because with Him our lives will be great.

St Jerome writes on the comments on this passage saying, “If love is the essence of the commandment, that love is not an external behavior that we merely project, but, it rather represents a life that touches all our possibilities, touches our being, “love with all soul”; touches our emotions and inner feelings, “with all heart”; touches our thoughts, “with all mind”; and also touches our visible behavior, “with all strength’. It is as though, love involves the dedication of man, in his whole, by the Holy Spirit of God, in order to bear the nature of his creator within him; Through “God is love”(1 Jn. 4: 8), we bear His life, and His attributes, working within the soul, the heart, the mind, the body, and all energies and possibilities!” im him

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