Jesus replied, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” The second is equally important: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:30
What does it mean to love God with, “all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength?”
I can be quick to say “I love God!”
But explaining what that means is hard sometimes, especially when I realize how far I fall short of loving Him with all I’ve got, all the time … with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.
So, I’m asking … what does it mean to love God heart, soul, mind and strength when I can’t see Him or touch Him? How do I love God completely when I question His voice and doubt my circumstances?
How does an imperfect person love a perfect God well?
Because Jesus said, loving God with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength is the most important commandment — I want to take a closer look.
Maybe you do too.
So, I did some deep digging into the Word to learn more about this all-consuming life-changing love God calls the greatest commandment.
How to Love God with All Your Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength
Loving God with All Your Heart
To love God with all my heart means to make Him my greatest treasure and gives me the desire to value my relationship with Him, with Jesus, over anything and everything else in my life.
Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. Matthew 6:21
Loving God with All Your Soul
How would you define your soul?
The dictionary defines it as:
- The immaterial essence, animating principle, or actuating cause of an individual life.
- A person’s total self.
- The moral and emotional nature of human beings.
If you’re like me … you find that all a bit confusing.
I prefer the following definition and description of a soul, from Soul Keeping by John Ortberg.
“Your soul is what integrates your will (your intentions), your mind (your thoughts and feelings, your values and conscience), and your body (your face, body language, and actions) into a single life. A soul is healthy — well-ordered — when there is harmony between these three entities and God’s intent for all creation. When you are connected with God and other people in life, you have a healthy soul.”
The Bible says:
Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise His holy name. Psalm 103:1 (NIV)
Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. Psalm 62:5
To love God with all my soul means loving God with all I am … my will (attitudes and intentions), my emotions, my thoughts and feelings, and my body.
Loving God with All Your Mind
To love God with all my mind, means I love Him with my reason and intellect.
Having faith does not mean giving up knowledge and understanding. Mind-loving includes Bible study, prayer, thoughts, and conversations that help my faith grow in ways that make me less easily distracted by a world that is constantly trying to tempt, defeat, and discourage me.
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Colossians 4:2
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You! Isaiah 26:3
Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from Him . . . let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Ephesians 4:21 & 23
Loving God with All Your Strength
Strength is putting my love into action.
It is loving God through what I do and say … honoring Him with my abilities, my resources, my service, and the way I love others for His glory.
And I am praying that you will put into action the generosity that comes from your faith as you understand and experience all the good things we have in Christ. Philemon 1:6
That’s what heart, soul, mind, and strength love looks like. Maybe like me, you’re squirming at the thought of how far you fall short … especially when it comes to the “all” part of God’s command.
And beyond squirming, I’m thankful for God’s grace and mercy. What an amazing blessing to know He forgives each repentant soul.
But, I don’t want to leave it there. I want to do better…
So, I’ve made a list of things I want to do to help me stay mindful of the “all” part of loving God heart, soul, mind, and strength.
10 Ways to Love God
Heart, Soul, Mind, and Strength
1. Read and study His Word.
All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip His people to do every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16–17
2. Write your prayers and His answers.
Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and keep on praying. Romans 12:12
3. Memorize His promises.
I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11
4. Be still in His presence.
Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in Him. Psalm 62:5
5. Spend time with His people.
“For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.” Matthew 18:20
6. Seek to know His will in every part of life.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:5–6
7. Trust His will comes from His love.
You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you! Isaiah 26:3
All He does is just and good, and all His commandments are trustworthy. Psalm 111:7
8. Obey His will to glorify Him.
In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father. Matthew 5:16
9. Praise and thank God for who He is and all He does.
Enter His gates with thanksgiving
and His courts with praise;
give thanks to Him and praise His name.
For the Lord is good and His love endures forever;
His faithfulness continues through all generations.
10. Keep a record of God’s love and faithfulness
and tell others about Him.
I will remember the deeds of the Lord;
yes, I will remember Your miracles of long ago.
I will consider all Your works
and meditate on all Your mighty deeds.”
Promises to Remember
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26
For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you. Isaiah 41:13
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19
For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength. Philippians 4:13
I am confident that when you and I make loving God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength, our heart’s desire Jesus will give us His strength through the power of His Spirit to move closer to His all-encompassing love.
He showers our lives with all we need — forgiveness, comfort, joy, peace, patience, kindness, hope, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control, family, and love.
On our own, you and I can’t begin to love God the way He wants us to but praise God, He willingly and graciously does the work within us when we make loving Him completely our heart’s desire.
“Many Christians expend so much energy and worry trying not to sin. The goal is not to try to sin less. In all your efforts to keep from sinning, what are you focusing on? Sin. God wants you to focus on Him. To be with Him. “Abide in me.” Just relax and learn to enjoy his presence. Every day is a collection of moments, 86,400 seconds in a day. How many of them can you live with God? Start where you are and grow from there. God wants to be with you every moment.” ~ John Ortberg, Soul Keeping
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