by Kristen C. Strocchia
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.” Mark 12:30
In this, the greatest of all commands, we are called to love God first of all with our whole heart. Not the pulsing tissue-vein-and-artery pump that delivers lifeblood to our bodies, but our spiritual heart which nourishes our soul-man with faith, hope and love.
The Bible tells us that our whole heart is a triune spiritual organ made up of our intellect [Genesis 6:5-6, Psalms 19:14, et al], our will [Proverbs 16:9 and 19:21, et al], and our emotion [1 Samuel 2:1, Jeremiah 4:19, et al]. Unfortunately, just like our physical heart, our spiritual heart was damaged when sin entered the world.
Before sin, the central purpose of the human heart was to revere God. But when sin entered the world, this God-centered purpose was replaced with self-centered love.
And in love with ourselves, mankind has lived sinfully ever after.
But there is hope. There is faith. And there is–the greatest of these–love [1 Corinthians 13:13]. We hide God’s Word in our heart so that He, once again, will be centrally revered in our lives. So that we will no longer sin against Him [Psalms 119:11].
And one of those amazing gems of scripture is the understanding that Jesus is that Word of God [John 1:1-4]. When we invite Jesus into our heart, we are asking Him to reign on the throne of our intellect, will and emotion the way God intended at Creation.
As apologist and author, Ravi Zacharias, explains, hope is the supernatural response of our emotion to God. Faith is the supernatural response of our intellect. And love is the supernatural response of our will to Him.
The greatest of these is love [1 Corinthians 13:13]. The most important and the hardest to master is love–the will to act according to God’s purposes both towards God and towards fellow man. It’s no wonder, then, that this is the first response God calls back into willing submission to Him.
For when we do love, when we do seat God on the throne of our will, we become like Him Who Is Love. We call, by example, a self-centered world back to its Creator.
Is Jesus the Lord of your whole heart? Have you hidden His Word in your intellect, allowing it to govern your emotion and your will? Do you live out love for God and fellow man with all your heart?