Matthew 22:37New International Version (NIV)

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

When I read this verse, it always strikes me, “You must.” It doesn’t say, if you can, or if you are willing. It is, “You must.” It seems impossible to obey this command in our natural state as a man. No human being with a fallen nature can truly love God with all his heart.

When Jesus made this statement in Matthew 22:37, he was actually quoting Deuteronomy 6:5, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.’ This is known as “Shema”, taken from the first work “hear” in Hebrew.

You will see even today amongst the Jews as they recite the Shema both morning and evening to be one of their sacred duties. They put it in their minds. Some will actually place prayer boxes on their head to keep it as a constant reminder.

As believers in Christ, those who are Christians have been cleansed from sin and have the Holy Spirit indwelling inside us. This helps us have compassion, love, and affection towards God the Father. And over time, we see how God extends his love to us during times of struggle and times of growth in our daily walk with Him.

This month of November is a month of thankfulness. For God’s grace, His provision, His love for each of us. I thank the Father that He sent His Son, because He loved us that much. In return, Matthew 22:37 is not just a law of servanthood but an act of obedience because I am thankful for God, my Heavenly Father.

Strength and Courage

Michael