All Your Mind

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind [emphasis added] and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31 ESV).

The third thing Jesus says about loving God is that we should “… love the Lord you God… with all your mind” (v. 30c). This one is significantly easier to understand that yesterday when we explored loving God with all our “soul.” It can be said that Jesus is drawing our attention to an intellectual love of God.

There are several components to intellectual love for God. First, it is a sincere, practiced dedication to know God. This is more than just knowing about God. I can describe in great detail every part of some of my most pleasurable experiences; however, you would never know those things until you also experienced them. You would merely know about them. Second, Jesus is encouraging us to think clearly and truly about God so that we don’t have false ideas in our minds. This can only be accomplished by a thorough and consistent study of the Scripture. Last, intellectual love of God means not being satisfied with merely an intellectual awareness of his attributes, character, and acts but intentionally devoting that mental effort to serve the affections for God.

If a person doesn’t move from intellectual awareness of God and right thinking about God to an emotional embrace of God, he hasn’t loved God with his mind. The mind has not yet loved until it hands off its thoughts to the emotions where they’re embraced. And then the mind and the heart are working in what feels like such harmony, and you experience it as both intellectual and affectional love for God.

One of my favorite passages of Scripture is Isaiah 55:8 and 9. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” That’s a beautiful passage in the Word of God to describe why the word of God is so unique. Because everything we read here in this life tends to be contrary to what God’s Word is saying. We need to immerse ourselves in the word of God as a way of getting to know God, so that we can love God with our minds. This New Year, dedicate yourself to loving God with your mind.