The problem of – With all your mind. Or not?


With all your mind.  Or not?

And what is it that we’re supposed to do with all of our mind?  Or not?

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

Jesus added “with all your mind”.  
That wasn’t in the Old Testament.  
Was that an error?  
A mistake?  
Or did Jesus add the mind for a reason?

For my take on why no Christian should consider that an error, please see The problem of inerrancy (in the Bible).  If you read that, you’ll know why my answer has to be no – it wasn’t an error.  Or a mistake.

What did the Old Testament say?   Is this where Jesus got His statement from?

1. Exodus

The first instance of something close to this, comes from Exodus, when the Ten Commandments are initially given –

Ex 20:1 And God spoke all these words:

Ex 20:2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

Ex 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before me.

Ex 20:4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. 5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

Not the exact words.  But I feel like I need to include something from Exodus, since that was the original revealing of the Ten Commandments.  To not include this would be to invite questions . doubt as to where the quote from Jesus actually was derived.

2. Deuteronomy

The first occurrence that’s recognizable as part of what Jesus was referring to is this – which is clearly an explanation of what we just read in Exodus 20:4, part of the section the NIV titles The Ten Commandments –

Idolatry Forbidden

Dt 4:15 You saw no form of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully, 16 so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman, 17 or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air, 18 or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below. 19 And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars—all the heavenly array—do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven. 20 But as for you, the LORD took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace, out of Egypt, to be the people of his inheritance, as you now are.

This is very clear – no idols.  As good as God’s creations are – with us as His greatest creation and yet still only made in God’s image – nothing comes close to God.  As such, He is the one to be praised, worshiped, loved – and no creation of His should be held at anything near that level.  

Dt 4:21 The LORD was angry with me because of you, and he solemnly swore that I would not cross the Jordan and enter the good land the LORD your God is giving you as your inheritance. 22 I will die in this land; I will not cross the Jordan; but you are about to cross over and take possession of that good land. 23 Be careful not to forget the covenant of the LORD your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the LORD your God has forbidden. 24 For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

Moses is giving the people a very real / first hand example of what happens when we don’t place our full trust in God and don’t keep His commands.  Of course – this was Old Testament time – before Jesus.  Moses is talking about the first covenant, while we are under the new covenant and can be forgiven.  However – that didn’t remove any of the law.  As Jesus said –

Mt 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Dt 4:25 After you have had children and grandchildren and have lived in the land a long time—if you then become corrupt and make any kind of idol, doing evil in the eyes of the LORD your God and provoking him to anger, 26 I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you this day that you will quickly perish from the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess. You will not live there long but will certainly be destroyed. 27 The LORD will scatter you among the peoples, and only a few of you will survive among the nations to which the LORD will drive you. 28 There you will worship man-made gods of wood and stone, which cannot see or hear or eat or smell. 29 But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress and all these things have happened to you, then in later days you will return to the LORD your God and obey him. 31 For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your forefathers, which he confirmed to them by oath.

In the OT days, the people would be welcomed back by God if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.

For us today – there is forgiveness, if we believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior – and the expanded version of this verse that Jesus gives us.

3-9. Deuteronomy

The next 7 examples also comes from Deuteronomy.  Let’s look at them with enough context to be able to understand them.

Fear the LORD 

Dt 10:12 And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the LORD’S commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?

 

Dt 11:13 So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul14 then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil. 15 I will provide grass in the fields for your cattle, and you will eat and be satisfied.

 

Dt 13:1 If a prophet, or one who foretells by dreams, appears among you and announces to you a miraculous sign or wonder, 2 and if the sign or wonder of which he has spoken takes place, and he says, “Let us follow other gods” (gods you have not known) “and let us worship them,” 3 you must not listen to the words of that prophet or dreamer. The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love him with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 It is the LORD your God you must follow, and him you must revere. Keep his commands and obey him; serve him and hold fast to him.

 

Dt 26:16 The LORD your God commands you this day to follow these decrees and laws; carefully observe them with all your heart and with all your soul. 17 You have declared this day that the LORD is your God and that you will walk in his ways, that you will keep his decrees, commands and laws, and that you will obey him. 18 And the LORD has declared this day that you are his people, his treasured possession as he promised, and that you are to keep all his commands. 19 He has declared that he will set you in praise, fame and honor high above all the nations he has made and that you will be a people holy to the LORD your God, as he promised.

 

Dt 30:1 When all these blessings and curses I have set before you come upon you and you take them to heart wherever the LORD your God disperses you among the nations, 2 and when you and your children return to the LORD your God and obey him with all your heart and with all your soul according to everything I command you today, 3 then the LORD your God will restore your fortunes and have compassion on you and gather you again from all the nations where he scattered you.

 

Dt 30:4 Even if you have been banished to the most distant land under the heavens, from there the LORD your God will gather you and bring you back. 5 He will bring you to the land that belonged to your fathers, and you will take possession of it. He will make you more prosperous and numerous than your fathers. 6 The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts and the hearts of your descendants, so that you may love him with all your heart and with all your soul, and live.

 

Dt 30:7 The LORD your God will put all these curses on your enemies who hate and persecute you. 8 You will again obey the LORD and follow all his commands I am giving you today. 9 Then the LORD your God will make you most prosperous in all the work of your hands and in the fruit of your womb, the young of your livestock and the crops of your land. The LORD will again delight in you and make you prosperous, just as he delighted in your fathers, 10 if you obey the LORD your God and keep his commands and decrees that are written in this Book of the Law and turn to the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

We see lots of examples here.  There are more in subsequent books, which echo the thoughts from Moses that we just read.  

10. Proverbs

However, when we get to Proverbs – we read something a bit different –

Pr 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding;

Lean not on your own understanding.  That sounds kind of like – don’t use your mind.  So, the obvious question – what’s this about?  Does it really mean not to use our mind?  

This passage talks about trust – while the one we’re examining talks about love.  But both talk about God – whom we both love and trust.  While for some, this is enough of a distinction to avoid any sense of conflict between them, for others it will raise a question.   Given that we’re reading from the Word of God – we should have no hesitation about examining this question – is there any sort of conflict between the two passages regarding the use of our mind?  So – let’s proceed with full trust in God, and see how this get’s resolved.

Let’s start by looking at that word – understanding, from the original Hebrew –

998 בִּינָה [biynah /bee·naw/] n f. From 995; TWOT 239b; GK 1069; 38 occurrences; AV translates as “understanding” 32 times, “wisdom” twice, “knowledge” once, “meaning” once, “perfectly” once, and “understand” once. 1 understanding, discernment. 1A act. 1B faculty. 1C object. 1D personified.  1)Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.

It does appear to be saying exactly that, so let’s go deeper and look at the root word –

995 בִּין [biyn /bene/] v. A primitive root; TWOT 239; GK 1067; 170 occurrences; AV translates as “understand” 62 times, “understanding” 32 times, “consider” 22 times, “prudent” eight times, “perceive” seven times, “regard” six times, “discern” three times, “instruct” three times, and translated miscellaneously 27 times. 1 to discern, understand, consider. 1A (Qal). 1A1 to perceive, discern. 1A2 to understand, know (with the mind). 1A3 to observe, mark, give heed to,distinguish, consider. 1A4 to have discernment, insight, understanding. 1B (Niphal) to be discerning, intelligent, discreet, have understanding. 1C (Hiphil). 1C1 to understand. 1C2 to cause to understand, give understanding, teach. 1D (Hithpolel) to show oneself discerning or attentive, consider diligentl y. 1E (Polel) to teach, instruct. 2 (TWOT) prudent, regard.  2)Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.

This is looking very odd.  Again, it seems to contradict what Jesus said.  So, let’s look at the Greek word used in Matthew that the NIV translates as mind –

1271 διάνοια [dianoia /dee·an·oy·ah/] n f. From 1223 and 3563; TDNT 4:963; TDNTA 636; GK 1379; 13 occurrences; AV translates as “mind” nine times, “understanding” three times, and “imagination” once. 1 the mind as a faculty of understanding, feeling, desiring. 2 understanding. 3 mind, i.e. spirit, way of thinking and feeling. 4 thoughts, either good or bad.  3)Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.

As before, let’s also look at the root from which this word is derived –

3563 νοῦς [nous /nooce/] n m. Probably from the base of 1097; TDNT 4:951; TDNTA 636; GK 3808; 24 occurrences; AV translates as “mind” 21 times, and “understanding” three times. 1 the mind, comprising alike the faculties of perceiving and understanding and those of feeling, judging, determining. 1A the intellectual faculty, the understanding. 1B reason in the narrower sense, as the capacity for spiritual truth, the higher powers of the soul, the faculty of perceiving divine things, of recognising goodness and of hating evil. 1C the power of considering and judging soberly, calmly and impartially. 2 a particular mode of thinking and judging, i.e thoughts, feelings, purposes, desires.  4)Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.

Most curious.  Both words seem to say the same thing.

Since the New Testament passage we’re looking at is complete, maybe we need to look deeper into the verse from Proverbs.  Further examination, from a different translation, shows a different layout from the NIV.  The NIV has Pr 3:5 appearing to be a stand-alone verse.  However, looking at the Authorized King James Version, we see something different – verses 5 and 6 are grouped together.  In addition to that, we see the next passage, verses 7 through 10, are also tied to verses 5-6, since they start off with Be not wise in thine own eyes.  Now, we seem to be getting somewhere.  Let’s look at these two passages from Proverbs and see what we really have (sorry about the “Old English” – but that’s what we get in the Authorized King James Version, along with the often-times more accurate translations.) –

Pr 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart;
and lean not unto thine own understanding.
6 In all thy ways acknowledge him,
and he shall direct thy paths.

In this first passage, we now see the addition of “in all ways acknowledge him [God]”.  We have a distinction between our wisdom alone – and the wisdom we can have with God.  We also see the addition of God leading our way, rather than us picking our own.  Verse 3 now has a distinction drawn between the “understanding” that we have with God – and the “understanding” we have from ourselves.

Pr 3:7 Be not wise in thine own eyes:
fear the Lord, and depart from evil.
8 It shall be health to thy navel,
and marrow to thy bones.
9 Honour the Lord with thy substance,
and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
10 so shall thy barns be filled with plenty,
and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

The word navel comes from 8270 שֵׁר, שֹׁר [shor /shore/] n m. From 8324; TWOT 2469a; GK 9218 and 9219; Two occurrences; AV translates as “navel” twice. 1 umbilical cord, navel, navel-string.  5)Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.   There should be more than this, so let’s look at some cultural background –

NAVEL 1. Depression in the middle of the belly marking the place where the umbilical cord was formerly attached. Ezekiel 16:4 graphically portrays Jerusalem’s hopeless state before God’s adoption in the image of a child whose umbilical cord (navel string) is not cut. Modern translations often replace “navel” with another word more appropriate to the context, for example, “flesh” or “belly” (Job 40:16; Prov. 3:8; Song 7:2). See Midwife. 2. Hebrew expression for “midst of the land” or “center of the earth” (NRSV) in Judg. 9:37; Ezek. 38:12. Israel’s neighbors used the term to designate the earthly place, often a worship place or sacred city, linking heaven and earth. Some scholars use later Jewish references to Jerusalem as the cultic “navel of the earth” to interpret Gerazim and Jerusalem as places celebrated as the earth’s linking point. However the two biblical passages seem to have only geographical meanings.  6)Brand, C., Draper, C., England, A., Bond, S., Clendenen, E. R., & Butler, T. C. (Eds.). (2003). Navel. In Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (pp. 1176–1177). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.

Here we see the reference to the “center place” – very much like we talk about the “core” today.  So now we see the use of God’s wisdom instead of our own leads to health at our core.

After this somewhat scenic route, we now see the importance of us relying not solely on our own wisdom – but on God’s wisdom.  That’s not to leave out our mind – but to actually use our mind to examine things, using our God given mind and God’s own wisdom, which is available to us.

What about strength?

Did you know – “mind” isn’t the only word Jesus added.  The Old Testament references used heart and soul –

with all your heart and with all your soul

But Jesus said – 

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.

But wait!  That’s not the quote I had at the top of the page?  Is this a trick or something?
No.
It’s two different Gospel authors telling of the same conversation.  Or – very possibly, telling of two similar conversations.   Since Jesus traveled in His ministry, spoke to many different people, one would expect that there would be several instances where Jesus would have similar conversation over the course of that ministry.  While some may want to throw out the whole package because the wording is different, we must not do that.  Matthew (from whom we get the first quote) was Jewish, and would bring his Jewish background to what he observes and to what he thinks is important to record.  Mark (from whom we get the second quote) was also Jewish, with a wealthy Levite uncle.  However, while Matthew’s audience was Jewish people, Mark’s was not –

As the ministry of Mark was peculiarly a Gentile one, he is recognized by his Gentile name. Writing specifically for Romans, who stood for power, Mark manifests Christ’s power in service. Accustomed as Mark was to the might of Rome’s legions, he exhibits the soldier’s rapidity of movement and readiness to repel attack, and gives us in his shortest and simplest gospel, a progressive series of victorious conflicts. Vividness, compactness, direction, circumstantial evidence characterize his gospel.  7)All The Men Of The Bible;  A Portrait Gallery and Reference Library of More Than 3000 Biblical Characters;  Herbert Lockyer, D.D., D.Litt.;  Zondervan Publishing House; Grand Rapids, Michigan; A Division of HarperCollins Publishers

Oh – Mark was writing for Roman Gentiles.  No wonder strength was so important to him.  Is there an Old Testament reference that would support Jesus having said “with all your strength” in his recording of the encounter?  Well, actually – yes, there is.

Dt 6:4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.

So there it is.  There is at least one Old Testament reference for every word that Jesus said.  The only “difference” is the point of view of the target audience, with the two authors pointing out the appropriate thoughts for their audience.

Now, let’s look at what both Matthew and Mark recorded – in context.

First – Matthew –

The Greatest Commandment

22:34-40 pp — Mk 12:28-31

Mt 22:34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

Mt 22:37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

And now Mark –

The Greatest Commandment

12:28-34 pp — Mt 22:34-40

Mk 12:28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

Mk 12:29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

Mk 12:32 “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. 33 To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

Mk 12:34 When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions.

Side note – With His final comment, Jesus tells us that “knowing” these two most important commandments isn’t enough to get us to the kingdom of God.  We have to live out these commandments as well.  Today, we’d say we have to not only “talk the talk”, but also “walk the walk”.

Really – all these references for one quote?

If you’re a regular reader here, I hope that by now you’re asking this question – is it legitimate to pull out so many different Old Testament references for something that Jesus said once, or maybe twice?  Wouldn’t Jesus have made it more clear that He was using several different sources?  If we wrote / said something like that today, we’d have footnotes all over the place.  This can’t be right – can it?

Well, today’s comprehensive and legally required footnotes are far from what the practice was in Biblical times.   The quote below refers to times when the Bible says “It is written”, or something to that effect, to make a connection from the time of the speaker / author back to the time of what is being quoted.  True – the passages from Matthew and Mark do not have these actual words, but given the context – the nature of the question – and the fact that the questions were coming from an expert in The Law, it’s very reasonable to place an implicit “It is written” phrase into Jesus’ response.

“IT IS WRITTEN”

Other captions closely allied to the word for Scriptures (graphē) are forms of the verb “to write” (graphō) and “it is written” (gegraptai). These expressions occur about ninety-two times in the New Testament in direct reference to the Old Testament. Although the vast majority of the references are to specific passages in the Old Testament, in terms of quotations or paraphrases, some of them are more general in scope, for example, “How is it written of the Son of Man that He should suffer many things and be treated with contempt?” (Mark 9:12). Other examples of this usage would include, “For the Son of Man is to go, as it is written of Him” (Mark 14:21); “All things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be acomplished” (Luke 18:31); and other statements such as those in Luke 21:22; 24:44; John 1:45. Furthermore, all of these passages—whatever specific quotations or general references—imply an authoritative collection of writings. The expression “it is written” either directly implies or specifically refers to the authoritative writings—sacred Scripture—of the Jewish Old Testament. These references actually mean “It is written in the writings [Scriptures].”  8)Geisler, N. L., & Nix, W. E. (1986). A General Introduction to the Bible (Rev. and expanded., p. 79). Chicago: Moody Press.

So back then, it would have been known that Jesus was referring to the Hebrew Scriptures – in general terms.  In specific terms, many Jews – but especially the experts in The Law Jesus was addressing – would certainly have known the sources from which Jesus was making His statements.

Today, we can’t write anything without proper footnotes.  That’s why the footer on every page I have says that in the absence of any specific Bible translation, any quote from the Bible is based on the NIV.  If you’re listening to someone, especially during a sermon in church, you’ll often be given the translation which the speaker is using.

Obviously, things have changed.  Jesus said what He did, absent the specific references, because that’s how it was done at the time.

Conclusion

Having now addressed the possible question of whether or not Jesus was accurately quoting the Hebrew Scriptures with His response, I believe we are now ready to reach a conclusion as to what Jesus meant when including all of the following words – with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind … and with all your strength.

From the Old Testament, again in Deuteronomy, we read this about the first covenant between God and His people –

Dt 29:9 Carefully follow the terms of this covenant, so that you may prosper in everything you do. 10 All of you are standing today in the presence of the LORD your God—your leaders and chief men, your elders and officials, and all the other men of Israel, 11 together with your children and your wives, and the aliens living in your camps who chop your wood and carry your water. 12 You are standing here in order to enter into a covenant with the LORD your God, a covenant the LORD is making with you this day and sealing with an oath, 13 to confirm you this day as his people, that he may be your God as he promised you and as he swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. 14 I am making this covenant, with its oath, not only with you 15 who are standing here with us today in the presence of the LORD our God but also with those who are not here today.

It makes sense that if the Old Testament Covenant was to allow the people to prosper in everything they did, they would have to use all of their hearts, souls, minds, strength – along with God’s help – into every action, decision, and thought.  In other words – everything.

With the new covenant in the New Testament, things are a bit different, with the promise being about the next life rather than this one.  However, one thing didn’t change – our need to put everything into following God.

Ask, Seek, Knock

Mt 7:7 “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Some of you may be wondering – what does this passage have to do with putting all of ourselves into following God.  Hang in there – it’s coming.

Before we get there, let’s look at what John wrote about God and love – because that’s going to be the key.

God’s Love and Ours

1Jn 4:7 Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 10 This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 11 Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.

1Jn 4:13 We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15 If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17 In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1Jn 4:19 We love because he first loved us. 20 If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21 And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Keep in mind what John just wrote about God’s love and ours – and also remember the second part of Jesus’ response when asked what was the greatest commandment – The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.  Love – the key to all that we’re looking at.

Now, let’s get back to Matthew 7 –

Mt 7:9 “Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

And there we have it.  This statement from Jesus – the New Covenant – includes not only the two commandments from the first covenant – but it sums up the Law and the Prophets.  How much more “everything” can a statement get?

Just in case that wasn’t enough to be convincing, here’s one final passage where Jesus us telling us we need to be willing to give up anything and everything, including our own lives.

The Cost of Being a Disciple

Lk 14:25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

Lk 14:28 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29 For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’

Lk 14:31 “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? 32 If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. 33 In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.

Lk 14:34 “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; it is thrown out.
“He who has ears to hear, let him hear.”

So – are we to love God 

with all our heart?  yes.

with all our soul?  yes.

with all our mind?  yes.

with all our strength?  yes.

We are to love God will everything we are – everything we do – everything we think.  

Everything.

And why not?  In return, He will give us everything.

More correctly – even before we are born – 

1Jn 4:19 We love because he first loved us.

Period.  

Rev 22:21 The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.

End of discussion.

 

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References   [ + ]

1, 2, 3, 4, 5. Strong, J. (1995). Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon. Woodside Bible Fellowship.
6. Brand, C., Draper, C., England, A., Bond, S., Clendenen, E. R., & Butler, T. C. (Eds.). (2003). Navel. In Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary (pp. 1176–1177). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
7. All The Men Of The Bible;  A Portrait Gallery and Reference Library of More Than 3000 Biblical Characters;  Herbert Lockyer, D.D., D.Litt.;  Zondervan Publishing House; Grand Rapids, Michigan; A Division of HarperCollins Publishers
8. Geisler, N. L., & Nix, W. E. (1986). A General Introduction to the Bible (Rev. and expanded., p. 79). Chicago: Moody Press.

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