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Loving with All That We Are

Judging from the list of best-selling books in recent years, people are desperate to find the key to success and happiness. The Secret shot to the top of the lists after Oprah Winfrey endorsed its message of visualizing success. Titles that promise the formula for winning at life, or for finding the most important thing in your life, are almost always guaranteed an audience.

Jesus had a "key" to the question of what was most important in life. Impressed by Jesus’ answers while debating some Sadducees, one first-century thinker—a teacher of the law—wanted to know how Jesus would answer that question. Though he certainly had his own opinions, he was curious to see what the popular teacher would say. He asked Jesus to identify the most important commandment of all. Jesus answered, "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 mind and with all your strength" (vv. 29–30; see Deut. 6:4–5). Echoing the wisdom of God recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures, Jesus confirmed that love is not a matter of feeling warm fuzzies in our hearts, but is about responding to God with our whole beings, even our bodies! This is the most important thing we can do in our lives.

Each one of us will have to answer this question about "the most important thing." Specifically, we will have to answer it in the way we live our lives. As our hearts are turned toward God, as our souls respond to Him, as our minds are shaped by Him, and as we dedicate our bodies to His service, we love Him with all that we are.

Apply the Word

Though Jesus invites us to love God with all that we are, most of us are predisposed to express love in a particular way. If you’re a person who actively loves God with your body—serving like Jesus did—quiet your body today to love God with your heart, mind, and soul. If you’re more contemplative, ask Jesus how you might love God with your body!

BY Margot Starbuck

Margot Starbuck is a writer and speaker who cares deeply about what it means to follow Jesus in the sneakers, pumps or Doc Martens in which we find ourselves. She is passionate about communicating God's great love for the world--inextricably bound to God's love for individuals--in print and in speech.

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