The Two Greatest Commandments
Part 1: Loving God Mentally
Loving God is a wonderful, freeing and peaceful experience that brings the greatest enjoyment out of life. No person, place or thing can replace or duplicate the satisfaction that loving God generates. The serenity, God, grants from expressing our love for Him, inspires us to become more Christ-like.
Discovering the love God has for you is an astonishing revelation. There is nothing that comes close to matching God’s love. When Christ accepted you into salvation, it sets in motion an up close and personal connection with God’s love. Jesus in return will show you how to love the Lord.
Let’s take a look at what Christ revealed as the greatest commandment.
“…You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” (Matthew 22: 37-38)
Here is where Jesus made it known to the Pharisees the truth about real love. The Messiah clearly identified the first commandment is loving God with the heart, soul and mind. Christ made it obvious that God wants us to love Him with our entire being. That scripture is the blueprint for striving to love God emotionally, spiritually and mentally.
How can we love God with our minds?
Learning to love our Father with the mind is an ongoing process of examining our thoughts both good and bad. That is a lifelong commitment involving a willingness to discover where we fall short followed by a humble desire to let Christ build our character centered in God’s truth. Letting go and letting Christ take care of our minds is loving the Lord mentally.
Our mind is one of the most exciting parts of God’s gift of life. And without Christ’s spiritual guidance in developing it our understanding of how to love our Father will be hidden. There is only one way to move out of mental darkness and into the Light of God’s truth, and that is prayer.
Like our hearts, the mind needs purification and by opening up a channel to the Lord, a cleansing of the mind takes root. The more humble we pray, the purer our thoughts become and the better we will be expressing our love to God.
Another way we can follow that part of the commandment is by meditating on God’s word. In the Book of Psalms, David used meditation to draw mentally closer to God. David learned the value of letting the Lord control his thoughts and in return our Father allows us to find the same by preserving his writings for us to gain its fruits.
One form of Christian meditation is thinking deeply about the Father’s word and contemplating over Christ’s teachings. In Psalms 1:2 it spells out the need to mentally focus on those two significant spiritual actions the night and day. Any time we are thinking about God’s truth, we love Him.
By surrendering our minds to the Lord, He places thoughts inside us to love Him. All, we have to do, is be prepared in hearing His voice and act accordingly. Devotion is at the center of developing a mental connection with God.
Uniting Prayer with Meditation
As the result of joining the prayer with meditation, an unshakable mental foundation in God’s word emerges. Both the conscious and subconscious parts of the mind arein His hands. That is a powerful and life changing experience because without the Lord’s strength there is no way we can prevent our minds from the corruption of self-deception.
As we continue building a solid Christian mindset, Christ reveals the ways our minds work against God. We become acutely aware of ungodly thoughts and the temptations that influence them. It is those sinful thoughts that stop us from loving God.
Our first step in changing our thought pattern is allowing Jesus to take away those negative thoughts and make room for God to replace them with the thoughts He has planned for us to think. Yes, the Lord has a plan for our thinking and in order to find it, we will need to continue improving on ways in aligning our minds with His will. Our daily commitment to Christ keeps our minds spiritually fit.
The way, this has unfolded in my Christian journey, is quite remarkable. It all began one night when I found myself on my knees asking God to help me with my alcohol abuse. That was my first contact with Him for over eleven years, and a few weeks later I stopped drinking. God had done for me what I couldn’t do for myself and miraculously removed the mental obsession with alcohol from my mind.
I knew then there was no doubt of His existence and began to pray sincerely to Him. Then I was taught the importance of adding meditation into my devotion. Prayer and meditation have revolutionized my train of thoughts. My blindness to rightful thinking has gradually been stripped away and finding Christian ways of thinking has become very desirable.
My biggest mental shift has been identifying the things in my life that take me away from contemplating on God’s word. That has meant reviewing the types of music, movies, and books I like and being willing to discard the ones that are spiritually unhealthy.
Discovering those mental obstacles has paved the way for Christ to supply me with the courage in stopping my mind from sinful temptations. Jesus has made that mental transition a pleasant experience filled with His love and God’s grace. The Lord has made this so worthwhile that I don’t miss them, and when I do revert back to old behavior my conscious reminds me to refocus my thoughts. I am grateful for this because I continue to grow more Christ-like.
Your experience with loving God mentally may be different. However, we all have been commanded by Christ to love the Lord. All that counts is to take action, love God and let Christ continue directing our thoughts.
How do you love God with your mind? I would like to learn from you.
This is the first article in a series of four covering the New Testament scripture Matthew 22: 37-40.