Challenge Day 23

Today’s Inspiration. For the past few days, we’ve been inspired by Matthew 22:37, in which Jesus quoted the greatest commandment of them all. But in the English, the commandment reads a bit differently in Deuteronomy, when Moses first gave it, than it does in Matthew:

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. (4:4-6, NIV)

Did you catch that? The Hebrew in Deuteronomy is translated into English as with all your strength, whereas yesterday’s verse—and the Greek in Matthew—is translated as with all your mind. We’ll turn our focus to strength today.

A gray pillow with white whip-stitching around the edges and an appliquéd letter S against a pale background. Photo text: Challenge Day 23, strong love. #writinglifeaugustchallenge

Today’s Challenge. Today, explore what Moses’ command to love the LORD your God with all your strength means and if it is different from loving the Lord with all your mind. Use a study Bible or a tool like Bible Hub to find verses that use the same or similar language, or look at the meaning of the original Hebrew used in Deuteronomy and compare it to the meaning of the Greek used in Matthew (you can use Bible Hub for this, too). Don’t forget to pray as you begin your exploration.

Today’s Participation. Today is the day to put it all together: Describe or depict what it would be or look like if you were able to do as commanded and love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Share your description or depiction with a friend or post it online. If you post it in Instagram, use #writinglifeaugustchallenge and follow me @rhondalorraineblog so I can see it!

Challenge Day 22

Today’s Inspiration. Since the 1970s, first-world countries have been living in the historic period of time known as the Information Age. Technology and technological advances have made it easier and faster to store, access, generate, and communicate information—so much information, in fact, that data scientists in our universities are puzzling over what to do with it all, with how to make it useful.

So much information that it boggles the mind.

Sometimes I have to wonder, along with the data scientists, how all of this information is useful. But unlike many data scientists, I’m not wondering how the information can be usefully turned into monetary profit. My musings look at all that we consume on a daily basis—the sights (sites, too); the sounds; the words; the media in all of its forms are at times almost inescapable. How is all that we allow into our minds on a daily basis useful? Is it? And is it helping us to fulfill the greatest commandment of all?

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. (Matthew 22:37, NIV)

In this Information Age we live in, what does it mean to love the Lord your God with all your mind?

Large spool of green yarn sitting in front of a colorful row of books. Photo text: Challenge Day 22, mind-love. #writinglifeaugustchallenge

Today’s Challenge. On Tuesday, you were encouraged to explore the Biblical concept of the heart. Yesterday’s challenge was to explore the Biblical concept of the soul. Today it’s the mind. What does the Bible mean when it uses the word mind, and how else—besides in Matthew 22:37—does it use the word?

As always, pray for understanding as you begin your exploration. Then, you may want to use a Bible tool that provides cross-references for the verse and the words in the verse, like a study Bible. Since English versions are translations of the original Greek and Hebrew, not all instances of the words are always translated the same way, so the cross references are useful in finding places the same word, or versions of the same word, are used in original texts.

Today’s Participation. As you think through what the Bible means by loving the Lord with all your mind, think about the connection between that and what you’re allowing into your mind on a daily basis—about all of the information sources you encounter, and what they “say” to you. Then, write a declarative sentence—one that states a fact or opinion to express a direct statement—about the connection and share it with someone, either online (the comments below would work!) or in conversation.