17 May 2018, Jo Kadlecek explores Loving God with all of our Mind at Women of Wisdom.
WOMEN OF WISDOM: MAY 2018 #3—Hand Out
Matthew 22:34-40 New International Version (NIV)34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Mark 12:28-34 (NIV)“And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” 32 And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. 33 And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” 34 And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.
Luke 10:25-28 (NIV)The parable of the Good Samaritan25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ 26 ‘What is written in the Law?’ he replied. ‘How do you read it?’ 27 He answered, ‘“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind”; and, “Love your neighbour as yourself.” 28 ‘You have answered correctly,’ Jesus replied. ‘Do this and you will live.’ 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead . . .”
“Love follows knowledge. In other words, love is the response of our heart, aroused in our will/soul, by means of our minds’ enthralling vision of the goodness of God.” —Thomas Aquinas, in Richard Foster’s book, Celebration of Discipline
“There is not a square inch on the whole plain of human existence over which Christ, who is Lord over all, does not proclaim: This is Mine!”—Abraham Kuyper (1837-1920) Dutch theologian, newspaper editor and prime minister
“Let every student be plainly instructed and earnestly pressed to consider well that the main end of his life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ which is eternal life, Jn. 17:3, and therefore to lay Christ as the only foundation of all sound knowledge and learning. “—Mission Statement for Harvard College, 1643
“If we don’t learn how to learn and think, we become victims of the shoddy, lazy, or worse, nefarious thinking of the age.”—Dorothy L. Sayers
These verses might give you a fuller perspective on loving the Lord your God with all your mind: Joshua 4; Isaiah 26:3, Isaiah 55:8; Jeremiah 31; Daniel 1:17; Mark 7:21-22; Luke 10:30; Romans 1:21; Romans 12:1-3; 1Corinthians 2:16; 2Corinthians 4:4; Ephesians 4:22-24; Philippians 2:5; Colossians 3:2; James 1:8; 1Peter 1:13; 1John 2:15-17.
The two greatest commandments are intricately connected, just as loving the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and MIND can’t be separated.
“Many Christians remain in bondage to fears and anxieties simply because they do not avail themselves of the Discipline of study. They may be faithful in church attendance and earnest in fulfilling their religious duties and still they are not changed . . . they may sing with gusto; pray in the Spirit, live as obediently as they know, even receive divine visions and revelations; and yet the tenor of their lives remains unchanged. Why? Because they have never taken up one of the central ways God uses to change us: study. Jesus made it unmistakably clear that it is the knowledge of the truth that will set us free.”—Richard J. Foster, “Celebration of Discipline”
Sometimes, we are too easily ‘a-mused’, which means:
How the Bible describes an active mind:
Loving the Lord your God with all of your mind could include:
When you love the Lord your God with all of your mind, what happens?
- What did you think about yourself growing up? How has your thinking changed through the years and what would you attribute that change to?
- What childhood books did you love that ‘stayed’ with you? What are some books that you’ve read lately and found helpful for your journey with Jesus?
- According to the founders of many prominent universities, the foundation of sound knowledge and learning is Jesus Christ, and the main goal “in life and studies is to know God and Jesus Christ the Eternal One.” Does this surprise you? What could this mean for us today regardless of what stage of life we’re in?
- What are some lies that have affected your thinking, and therefore, your perception of yourself, others and the world? What does the light of Christ’s truth look like for you as you let go of the lies? Ask God to guide you and renew your mind.
- Christ’s disciples are called to the discipline of renewing their minds. What are some creative ways you practice this? How might you set aside time in your life for thinking, contemplating, reflecting, Bible study, even memorizing scripture?