The Pharisee said, "Teacher, which command in the law is the most important?" Jesus answered, "'You must love the Lord your God. You must love him with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.' This is the first and most important command."
— Matthew 22:36-38 NLT
Total love. That's what God wants. No more, no less. Total love.
Total love is different than total obedience. While obedience is important, even sometimes necessary even when we don't understand why, it is not love. Obedience can show love, but it can also show fear. If we love God, we will obey him.
Total love is different than total knowledge. Knowledge is good. Knowledge can lead us to know more about God. But knowledge can never replace loving God. If we love God, we will be able to know him.
Total love is not feeling good about God. Some things that love asks us to do are not fun and do not leave us feeling good. But love does help us develop deep feelings for God.
Heart, soul, mind and strength. Jesus wants total love. Love from our emotions. Love from our spirits. Love from our knowledge. Love in our physical actions. Love that reaches in and combines all of who we are and hope to be. Love for God is eternal. It joins us to the King of Ages in joyful appreciation of all he has done for us, is doing through us, and will do for us in the future.
Lord God Almighty, I reverence your holy name. I want to obey your every commandment. I want to become a loving servant and bring glory to you for all you have done for me. But most of all Father, I want you to know how much I love you. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Ex. 20:1-7
- Deut. 6:4-7
- 1 John 4:9-10
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.