Love the Lord … Soul & Mind

Love the Lord your God with all your heart,  “soul, and mind”. Matthew 22:37-38.

The soul and mind are very close. Our soul is how we connect with God. Our soul is the awareness we have of God and the ability to be inspired and led by the Holy Spirit. With our soul, we confess to Christ and believe in Him. 

Our mind is the thinking, planning, everyday decisions we make. Through our minds, we communicate with others, and in our minds, we generate self-talk. Through our mind, we evaluate what we see and hear. We choose what to think about and what to believe. Stress and anxiety are a common part of our thinking. Because of the fall of man, our mind and soul have been taught to dwell on failures and fear. It is much easier to dwell on negative thoughts and fearful outcomes than to choose hope.

A Command

To love the Lord God with all our soul and mind we must obey a command. This command is not a suggestion but a focused chore. To Love the Lord with all our soul and mind, some re-training is required. The result of these efforts will increase your love toward God and help bring healing to your mind and soul.

Philippians 4:4-8  Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.

Command for our soul

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say rejoice!  This is a command to us as we begin to train our soul and mind toward loving God more. In everything…rejoice in the Lord. The scriptures do not say rejoice in every situation. Would you rejoice for pain, sickness? Would you rejoice in murder or loss? No, but we can rejoice in the Lord. 

We can rejoice that God is aware of our situations. We can rejoice that we have access to God and that He has compassion for us. We can rejoice that we have the Holy Spirit and the blood of Christ to cover and strengthen us. “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I say rejoice” Not “IN” the situation but “IN” the Lord. It is difficult to rejoice and complain at the same time. To rejoice is to choose God’s mercy, promises, and love and not anger, self-pity or unforgiveness. Think of your most challenging situation. Got it? Now rejoice in the Lord. Rejoice that He is God and is aware of that situation. Rejoice because God can take all things and use them for good. Choose to rejoice, and again I say choose to rejoice!

Don’t overreact in situations. Take a deep breath. With thanksgiving, let your requests be known to God. Don’t let your mind wander to dark areas (more about this soon). With just these two commands for our soul (rejoice in the Lord, be calm, ask God in prayer for your needs), there is a promised peace that will guard your hearts and minds through Jesus Christ. Did you get that last phrase? Through Jesus Christ. This is our soul connection to God. This is our soul working daily to love God more.  

Command for our mind

We start with the command found at the end of Philippians 4:8..meditate on these things.   The order is to focus or control what is running through our minds. Generally, most people (including myself) tend to reflect on negative “with if” or “if only”. “What if” and “if only” are not the present. They are not what is true right now. So in the situation, you have right now, filter out what is negative and replace it with what is good. “If only” and “What if” thinking is counter-productive because it does not deal with now. Remember Martha and Mary in John 11 confronting Jesus after Lazarus had died. They said, “If only You had been here, my brother would still be alive”. Jesus however, said. “I AM” the resurrection and the life. Right now is today. Not yesterday or someday. Think about what is real right now. Also, control and meditate the new thoughts according to scripture.

Whatever is true, noble, just, pure, lovely, a good report, virtuous, and praiseworthy. Meditate, think on these things. If you are like me, I have some retraining of my mind to do. As I am writing this, I am determining to capture my thoughts that lead to doubt, fear, what if’s, and things that bring on frustration and anger. I will CHOOSE to think on what is true, noble…

Loving the Lord with our soul and mind through the commands of Phil. 4:4-8 will produce more love for God and health in our communication with God, self, and others. Your lightnside will become brighter as you always rejoice and meditate on proper thoughts.  

Deut. 6:5 Love the Lord your God…

“Love the Lord your God…”

This was a commandment given to the Israelites after being rescued from Egypt and traveling in the wilderness. They were getting ready to go back to Jericho and would win the battle with God’s help. They now needed a standard to live life by. They needed a focus to keep them close to God and out of trouble with each other each day. The command that has all of the commandment build into it…Love the Lord your God.

Built to Love

We are all built to love. It’s a powerful emotion that focuses our life on the object of our love. When we stand to get married, we pledge a promise to love. For better or worse, richer or poor, to love honor and (often omitted) obey. It is the love for one another that brings all the other commands and duties into action. The more we love, the more we want to do for our mate.  

My wife worked for Crisis Pregnancy’s Center for several years.  As a pregnant girl comes in thinking about an abortion, the goal is to have an ultrasound performed. Most every time the girl sees the baby, love is generated toward that child. Because of love, the mother will overcome many difficulties to protect and nourish that child. 

First & Greatest Commandment

In Matthew 22:36-40 a lawyer asked Jesus “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’  This is the first and great commandment.  And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

All the laws of God are automatically wrapped in love for God and love for others. With these two loves focused in our lives, almost every situation would be dwelt with as God would have intended.  

Ignoring & Hating God has consequences

It is when we don’t love God that many problems and dangers come into our lives. Some people hate God. They blame God. That anger produces such hate and darkness around them, and it gives the demonic kingdom a new soul to destroy. Violence, jealousy, selfishness, rebellion, self-hate are all elements of misplaced love. Love of darkness. Love of self.  Love of stuff. Love of sin. This sinful focus only steals, kills, and destroys themselves and others around them. Pride and selfishness ignores God. They become their own God. No respect or honor to Almighty God except to ask for blessings and rescue. Life revolves around themselves. This self focus eventually brings about destruction of self and others.

Love of God Revival

We could use a revival of Love for God in today’s world. Such hate and violence in our streets and politics. What would happen if suddenly a mighty move of God’s presence comes down and repentance begins in the churches and places of power? What if love for God became our national focus? We would start to love one another no matter the political side, the race, or the confused sexual perversions. Healing would come to our cities because the Love of God would change our focus. 

“Lord, help each one of us to evaluate our love for you. How much do I love You? Your word says we should love you with all our hearts.” Is God my main focus of love? Do I declare my love for God? “Lord, help me to love you more. Help me to honor you more. Help me to focus on You rather than on me most of the day.” Love God more and your lightnside will grow bright red for all to see.

The next blog will deal with the added commandment “all our soul, mind, (strength).”

The Lord our God is ONE

Deuteronomy 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!

A healthy connection with God begins with this statement. It is a command to be spoken daily. It is a simple but profound truth that needs to saturate into all the fibers of our heart, mind, soul, and strength. 

This statement in English is not as clear as the original Hebrew. 

We will look at each part of this statement to feel its importance and relate it to ourselves.

Hear, O Israel

Stop everything you are doing. Focus on these words that are coming. They will be the most important words you will hear today, tomorrow, and forever. If you forget these coming words, your life will suffer. You will be following other false truths that will lead you astray.

“Hear, O America.” Stop for a moment and pay attention. Pull away from TV, texts, emails. Pull away from the calendar and today’s agenda. Pull away from social media and what others are saying to you. 

Stop everything and focus. Hear these coming words. Let these words have your complete attention. They will bless your life.

The Lord (Jehovah) -The name of the Lord used by Israel. Our God (Elohiym) – a Plural sense of God (Trinity), powers, creation

This short statement brings in the broad sense of God around us. The Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit.) His glory in creation, His diving direction, and acts upon the earth and it’s people. Miracles of life, gifts of love. The wonder and beauty of creation on land and in the heavens. The powers of the universe that are established and managed. All that is life and wondrous are part of and from our God.

Take a look around you today. Not at the man-made things but nature, birds, weather, the sun. God established them. One time God said, “Let there be trees,” and today there are still trees.  Even man’s ability to create is only possible because God established the mechanics of elements and laws of physics. God gave man the ability to imagine and discover. Hear, O American… The Lord our Trinity, active creations, life in nature, cycle of life to death and new life.

The Lord is one.   

There is only one. The Trinity, majesty, mercy, miracles, control of the universe, life to all creations. All from only one God. There is no other. All other names of gods are fake gods. They are made up replacements for the only God. The One God. Your God.

This truth must be in us.

It must be stated repeatedly so we don’t focus on other colorful sayings that might weaken this truth in us. Like national agendas of emotional outbursts that are trying to take divine focus away from us. State it out loud with me, “Hear, O (you name), The Lord our God, The Lord is one.” He is all and everything. He is mighty and all-powerful. 

Allow this simple statement to daily flood your mind, heart, body, and understanding. In this noisy emotional world, stop, look upwards and say “Hear O (your name), The Lord my God…HE IS ONE.” He is the center of my life. God is the center of my hope and thoughts today. With this truth, my Lightnside will burn bright.