The Way We Should Love God & One Another

by Jordan Gentes

Matthew 22:34-39(NIV) Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
Yesterday, Jack shared a devotional with us focused on John 3:16-18.  That scripture highlights God’s profound love for us, his creation.  If you haven’t already read the Devo for Day 21, go check it out, and then come back.  The reality is, it is nearly impossible to Love God & One Another without first understanding God’s amazing love for us.

Getting into our devo for today:

37 Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."   This is a statement from Jesus that stood out to me this morning as I was contemplating love.

The world we live in has so many broken examples of love.  We see people in the public eye and those around us who fail, Christians and non-Christians alike.  The world offers love as an emotion and as a feeling, and when that emotion or feeling starts to run dry, well it’s time to find a new love.  While it is true that those emotions can accompany love, true love has to go deeper to sustain.

This is idea of a biblical love requires us to first love God in order to love others well, without loving God we can’t properly love the world around us.  When Jesus says “Love the Lord with all of your heart and with all of your soul” what do you think of?  

I think of it as being a deep and profound love that is strong and secure through the journey of life.  It sounds like a love that is deep rooted, that can stand in the midst of offense and hurt, because at times Jesus’s words can offend our minds as he reveals the areas in our lives where we are still broken.   I think of it as a willingness to worship and bring thanks to God even when we don’t feel like it.  It’s recognizing his great love for us and worshipping him as the Lord of all even when our conditions don’t feel happy-go-lucky.  Infact in worshipping and bringing thanksgiving to the Lord we are showing our love for him.

When you hear Jesus say “Love the Lord your God with all your mind” what do you think of?  

I think of an intellectual connection to the Lord.  Connecting your mind at an intellectual level to what your heart and soul are already aware of.  Often times love is a choice we choose to make and in making that conscious awareness to say “I love you, Lord” we are indeed worshipping and loving the Lord our God.  It’s choosing to lay down our selfish wants or desires and allowing God to reshape our desires to be more reflective of his will.  It’s when we connect in these three ways that Jesus calls us to connect that we truly the Lord our God.

As we continue to pursue our Love of God, we are then able to love our neighbor as ourselves.  This goes beyond just treating someone the way we want to be treated.  It often times can mean preferring our neighbor over ourselves.  I find that for me, when I think about loving myself it has do with me getting my way or getting what I want– aka my preferences.  So I want to challenge you today, when you think about loving your neighbor go beyond just treating them the way we want to be treated (respect, care, and compassion) and actually try to prefer them, their thoughts, their requests, when possible.  It’s not always possible, but when it is, it shows a true Christ like reflection of our love for those around us.

This Christmas, I pray that you are able to love God with all of your heart mind and soul, and that through that love you are able to love your neighbors, family and those around you.


  • Take a moment in silence and ask the Lord to show you where you have not “Loved him with all of your heart, mind and soul” this year.  
  • Ask him to draw near with his perfect love and to help you to Love him and love those around you.
  • Rest in his love and go from this place refreshed.  
I encourage you to take time throughout your day and this Christmas week to give thanks to him.  To love him and to love those around you as you connect your heart, mind, and soul to the love we see on display through Jesus this Christmas.