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Scripture Reading: Mark 12:28-34

"You Shall Love the Lord Your God"



1.  Love is often used as a verb (agapao); it is active and vibrant, not static, stationary and stagnant, 1 Jno. 3:16-18; 4:19.

2.  Israel was to “be careful to observe” “all of His statutes and His commandments,” Deut. 6:1-3.

  a.  Because of who He is, Deut. 6:4 (Know God’s greatness and grace).

  b.  With all their being (heart, soul, strength), Deut. 6:5.

3.  Jesus said loving God is the first (foremost) command. Mk. 12:28-30

4.  What does that mean? How do we do this? “This expresses the love of intelligence and purpose and is thus far above φιλεῖν, the love of mere liking or affection.” (Lenski, Mark, p. 538)

5.  The four phrases are not condensed, but given equal weight.

6.  “All” – Entirety, the whole of something. (Acts 11:26)



  -The source: With (en, “in”), Matt. 22:37. Whole heart is the source.

  -The sphere: With (ek, “out of”), Mk. 12:30. Love of God fills the heart.

  A.  The Heart is the Center of Our Being and Personality.

    1.  Seat of our intellect: Thinks (Matt. 9:4), reasons (Mk. 2:6-8), understands (Matt. 13:15), believes (Rom. 10:9-10). 

    2.  Center of our emotions: Grieves (Jno. 14:1), anguish (2 Cor. 2:4), desires (Rom. 10:1); Feelings, sentiment, sensations.

    3.  Place of our will: Decisions (1 Cor. 7:37); intentions/motives (Heb. 4:12), purposes (Acts 11:23).

    4.  Place of our conscience, Rom. 2:15.

  -Therefore, every thought we form, every belief we hold, every decision we make, every emotion we have must express love for God.

  -Decisions of priorities (Matt. 6:33), to worship (Heb. 10:25), to abstain from fleshly lusts (1 Pet. 2:11), etc. – All come from heart.



  A.  Soul is an Inclusive Word, cf. Acts 2:41. (All that is involved in being human): 

    1.  Soul includes one’s entire life, Lk. 12:20.

    2.  Soul include one’s body, Gen. 2:7; Acts 2:27, 31.

  -Therefore, every part of our life, including our bodies, must reflect our love for God, Rom. 12:1-2; 1 Thess. 4:3-5; 1 Cor. 6:18-20.

  -Use our bodies to serve God with holy living.



  A.  The Mind Includes Moral Perception and Reflection.

    1.  Mind includes our ability to consider, 1 Pet. 1:13.

    2.  Mind includes our desires and affections, Eph. 2:3.

    3.  Mind includes our memory, Mk. 14:72; 2 Pet. 3:1.

    4.  Mind includes our sentiment, disposition (attitude), Lk. 1:51.

    5.  Minds includes our understanding, Mk. 12:33; Eph. 4:18; 1 Jno. 5:20.

  -Therefore, our every desire and all the memories we hold dear to us, including our attitudes and our understanding, must show love for God by possessing the moral character and likeness of Jesus, Col. 3:10.

  -Consider one another to provoke love and good works (Heb. 10:24).



  A.  Strength Involves Our Ability and Capacity for Action.

    1.  Strength involves our ability, 1 Pet. 4:11.

    2.  Strength involves our capacity to prevail greatly, Jas. 5:16; Eph. 3:18 (able).

  -Therefore, all our ability and capacity to act is to be directed toward actions that honor and obey God, Jno. 14:15; 1 Jno. 5:3-4; Lk. 6:46.



1.  We cannot enter the kingdom of God without this all-inclusive love, Mk. 12:34.

2.  “Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith.” (1 Tim. 1:5)



On “which is the “first” commandment of all

“The scribes declared that there were 248 affirmative precepts, as many as the members of the human body; and 365 negative precepts, as many as the days in the year, the total being 613, the number of letters in the Decalogue” (Vincent). But Jesus cuts through such pettifogging hair-splitting to the heart of the problem. (Robertson, A. T. (1933). Word Pictures in the New Testament (Mt 22:36). Nashville, TN: Broadman Press)




By: Joe R. Price

Posted: April 20, 2017