Today’s Inspiration. When asked what the greatest commandment was, Jesus replied with the commandment to love God:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (Matthew 22:37, NIV)
Yesterday, I challenged you to ask the question, What is love? from a Biblical perspective. But you’ll notice that Jesus didn’t just say to love the Lord your God: He went further than that, as did the original commandment given in Deuteronomy (6:5, 10:12, 30:6). Jesus commanded us to love him in three different ways, the first of which is with all your heart. We’ll look into that today.
Today’s Challenge. What does it mean to love someone or something with all of your heart? In the English language, we often use the word to refer to something other than the physical organ inside our bodies, and that is how the word is used here—but to what was Jesus referring when he used the word heart and differentiated it from the soul and from the mind?
Your challenge today is to explore the concept of the heart and try to gain an understanding of what Jesus meant by using it in his reply to the Pharisees. Pray, ask for understanding, and then explore other uses of the word in the Bible. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t understand it all at once—this is a question (like yesterday’s) that humans have been pondering and trying to define for millennia; you only need to look through the history of rhetoric for proof of that. If you’re at a loss of where to start, try looking at the cross-references or the lexicon of the language in a resource like Bible Hub or a study Bible.
Today’s Participation. Using your understanding of what it means to love the Lord your God with all your heart, imagine what one manifestation of this love would be or look like—what would you do or say? What would someone notice when they see it in you? Perhaps you don’t have to imagine it—perhaps you can tell us what you do do, what you do say, what people do see in you. Write about it in the comments or depict this and post it online using #writinglifeaugustchallenge. Be sure to tell us what inspired your understanding (what Bible verse or chapter?).
My depiction of this, which quotes part of Philippians 4:7, is in Instagram @rhondalorraineblog but here’s my written response:
Feelings. Emotions. The will. The “middle.” These are the words used to describe the lexicon of the original Greek and Hebrew in the Bible verses that tell us to love the Lord our God with all our hearts.
💕Love him with all of the feelings, all of the emotions that are capable of loving within you.
💕Choose to love him. Choose to keep loving him. Love him freely, of your own will.
💕Don’t let your heart be the only measure of your love for him—or of his love for you. Our hearts can be deceitful (Jeremiah 17:9). Love him with your soul, mind, and strength too (Matthew 22:37).
💕Let his love manifest within you and shine out of you by letting him guard that same heart—your same feelings, emotions, will—with his peace (Philippians 4:6-7).
This is my response to Day 20 of the #writinglifeaugustchallenge, posted daily throughout August on @rhondalorraineblog and in more detail on the Writing Life Blog (#linkinbio).
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