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On a recent Saturday morning, I sat in the stillness. My mug of hot coffee in my hands brings warmth and comfort, a sense of peace and well-being. It is my favorite time of day as nothing has yet taken place and yet, everything is yet going to take place.

The verse comes to mind and I reach for my Bible which is next to me on the couch. One of the Pharisees asked Jesus a question in an attempt to test Him, “Which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

“And He said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and foremost commandment.”  (Matthew 22:37-38, NASB)

When Jesus used the word “great” here, He used the  Greek word “protos” from which we get our English word “priority”. Basically, Jesus is telling us that these words are to be a priority in our lives.

All our heart. All our soul. All our mind.

Interesting progression. I sat looking at the verse and finally questioned, “Why? Why that order? Don’t we need to know God in order to love God?”

I admit – I ask a lot of questions. I ask them of myself, of others, and of God. The answer came softly as the sun began to brighten the sky …

“If you love the Lord with all your heart, the other two will follow suit.”

Our hearts are critical in this battle of faith. We can know about God in our minds and not love Him. But we can’t love the Lord and not know Him. We must set our hearts on Him and then our minds will also be fully engaged and set on Him and things above.

My mind begins to think on the tanker currently wedged in the Suez Canal. Loss of power caused it to lose its ability to stay on course, centered in the canal, and safely making passage. It knew with its mind what it was supposed to do but had lost its heart (ability and fortitude) to do so.

The tanker brings another Scripture to mind. James tells us if we lack wisdom, we only need to ask of God, who will supply it to us generously. He also exhorts us to ask in faith, not doubting, so that we will not be tossed about by the wind. He describes the man who asks of God while doubting:

“For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:8, NASB)

There’s our word again, and the word is “all”. And it is also the answer to my question about the progression Jesus used. If we are not all in, we will be unstable in all our ways.

All our heart,
all our soul,
all our mind,
brings stability in all our ways.


Image by Ronny Overhate from Pixabay
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