And with all your mind
by Robert Bugbee
I heard an old pastor tell a study group in which I participated, “I’m thinking about God all the time.” Maybe that sounds self-serving, but he wasn’t bragging; he was simply explaining how years of reading, praying and reflecting on Scripture had left its imprint on him.
Jesus said that the first and greatest commandment is to “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” (Matthew 22:37). It’s not surprising to hear Him speak of loving God with heart and soul. After all, we use words like this to describe how a man loves his wife, how parents love their child, or how a professional woman loves her work. Because we love other people and pastimes “with heart and soul,” it makes sense to our ears to hear Jesus say you ought to love God that way. He didn’t stop there, however. He added, “…and with all your mind.”
What might this mean, to love God with all your mind? First, it surely means you ought to dedicate your thinking powers to the Lord’s glory. You use your mind to understand things, to figure out how they work, and to discover how you relate to them. That’s vital if you’re studying toward a university degree, or getting certified in a trade. It’s also a sign of your love for God, when you seek to learn more of Who He is, what He does in the world, what He demands of you… and, most precious of all, the love He showers on you through His Son, Jesus, Who died for you and was raised again.
The Bible is oozing with insight on these matters. It reveals Who the true God is, the Name you can use to reach Him in your prayers, the ways He warned people in the past. It also proclaims how He pardoned their sins, picked them up, and restored them.
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You can even take what some people would call “simple” teaching from one of the Ten Commandments, and use your mind to dig into the Word and learn how that teaching is not “simple,” but deep and rich.It not only puts its finger on elementary subjects like dishonouring parents or stealing. It uncovers how that “simple” idea touches other actions you may never have thought of.
The Word goes on to show how that commandment—which at first looked simple—reveals the attitudes and motives of your inmost heart. It doesn’t stop there! The same holy commandment of the Lord, though spoken in a quick sentence, also points to many positive words and actions you can use to bring joy to your Father God and to brighten the lives of other people.
This doesn’t happen by your sitting around, imagining about God, and expecting Him to come and “zap” you with wisdom and knowledge. He could do that, of course. He has never promised to work that way, however. On the other hand, He has clearly promised through the Scriptures to thoroughly equip His people for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16). When you read the Word, ponder its teaching, perhaps ask your pastor questions about it and discuss what it means for you in everyday life, it’s a way of devoting your thinking powers—your mind—to the love of the Lord…
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