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Annette's Notes, Issue #027 - Love the Lord--Heart, Soul, and Mind
February 01, 2020

Love the LORD--Heart, Soul, and Mind

“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart,
and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.
And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
Matthew 22:37-39

As Valentine’s Day approaches, one can’t avoid the hearts. Candy-filled hearts. Heart-shaped balloons and cookies and cakes. Teddy bears and puppies and elephants cuddling hearts. Greeting cards printed with hearts and playing love songs.

The visual representation of love is often a heart—not the literal blood-pumping organ but a stylized version that looks a bit more pleasing.

When I say I love something with all my HEART, I am, of course, not referring to the physical HEART but to the seat of my emotions, the center of my being. I respond to God’s love and naturally want to express my feelings and emotions to Him. I want to adore, worship, and honor Him. Yes, I can relate to the HEART part of loving God.

The SOUL seems to indicate a deeper love. We can relate to having or wishing for a “SOULmate”—"a person with whom one has a strong affinity, shared values and tastes, and often a romantic bond,” according to This is the kind of love that goes beyond surface feelings. The kind of love that is not altered by time or space. The kind of love poets love to write about. Our SOULS long for a deep connection to God. We want to really know Him and be known by Him.

How do you love with all your MIND? People talk, write, and sing about “falling in love” as if it does not involve the MIND at all. But Jesus said we are to love with our MIND. The other day I ran across a sermon by R.C. Sproul on this topic. He pointed out: “How can you love Him if you don’t know Him? Nothing can be in the heart that is not first in the MIND.” You can’t really love what you don’t know.

As the old song says:
“To know, know, know him
is to love, love, love him.
And I do.”
(by The Teddy Bears, 1958)

The more we read and study and put into practice (obey) God’s Word and the more we walk with Him and get to know His ways, the more truly and deeply we will love Him.

And then there is the second greatest commandment: Love your neighbor as yourself. The knowing-more-and-then-loving-more concept works here too. I remember a student I was having a hard time loving. He came on the bus nearly every Sunday and caused problems nearly every time. He was mean to the other kids. He was mouthy and disruptive. I wondered why he even came since he never seemed to want to be there. He was a very hard child to like. I decided I needed to visit his home to see if I could get some insight from his parents about how to deal with him. One Saturday I went to his house, and when I saw the terrible conditions he lived in and how little his mother seemed to care about him, my heart broke. I did not talk to her about her son’s bad behavior, instead I actually racked my brain for positive things to say about him. I left that house with a better understanding of why this child acted the way he did. My mind was able to help my heart love this child more. (By the way, he did not become a model student after I visited, but he did know that I cared. And I was able to say, “I care about you enough to require you to behave.”)

May all the hearts you see this time of year remind you that in addition to our hearts and souls, we should use our minds to form an even deeper love for God. And we should teach our students to do the same. We have the privilege and responsibility of engaging their hearts, souls, and minds in learning to love God.

Ask yourself:

  • Do I love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, and mind?
  • What should I be doing to know God better so that I can love Him better? Studying His Word more? Praying more? Worshipping Him more?
  • Do I love my students as myself?
  • What should I be doing to know each student better so that I can love him or her better? Giving him my undivided attention when we talk? Taking an interest in things that are important to her such as pets, sports, music, school, friends, family, etc.? Visiting his home? Going to her school play or sporting event? Getting to know his parents better?

In closing, here are a couple of teaching resources:

“What Is Love?” lesson—written for 11- to 13-year-olds but could be adapted for older or younger students: What Is Love? lesson

Greatest Commandment (Mark 12:30-31 NIV) Song:
Greatest Commandment Song by Seeds Family Worship

Blessings and love,
Annette Evans

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