The first talk in our May 2018 series of Women of Wisdom on Why the Greatest Commandments Still Are. Talk #1: “Series intro/Loving the Lord your God with all your heart.”
WOMEN OF WISDOM: MAY 2018: 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.”
“When Someone gave himself utterly for you, how can you not give yourself utterly to Him?” —Timothy Keller, The King’s Cross, p 107
“You can’t love someone you don’t know intimately, and the more you do love someone, the more you want to know what he loves so you can please him.” —Margie Granger, Hand to Hand
“We love because He first loved us.”—1 John 4:9
“Our hearts are restless till they find rest in you alone, O God.”—St. Augustine, African Bishop
“Jesus replied, ‘Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.’”—John 14:23
These verses on the heart might give you a fuller perspective on loving the Lord your God with all your heart: Deuteronomy 6:5; 1 Samuel 13:14; 1Samuel 16:7; Psalm 37:4; Psalm 119:11; Proverbs 3:5,6; Proverbs 17:22; Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 5:8; Matthew 6:21; Matthew 12:34; Matthew 25:31-46; Mark 7:6,7; John 14:1; Ephesians 3:17; 1John 3:20; Revelation 2:23.
The two greatest commandments are intricately connected, just as loving the Lord our God with all our heart, mind, and soul can’t be separated:
What the heart is and how it is used in Scripture:
Loving the Lord your God with all your heart means delighting in the Lord, so that some things cannot co-exist in your heart if you want to love God such as:
When you love the Lord your God with all your heart, what happens?
- In what ways are some of the words from the Greatest Commandment—i.e., love, command, heart, soul, mind, self, neighbour—used in today’s culture? How do they change meaning in the context of loving “the Lord your God”?
- What do you think it looks like “to love the Lord your God with all your heart?”
- What makes your heart sing? Passions? Delights? Things that are life-giving for you? How can these reflect your love for God?
- What (hurts, bitterness, judgments, etc.) might be crowding your heart that’s keeping Jesus at bay and you from delighting in him? What’s in your heart you need to let go of?
- How would you describe “God’s heart” and how can we reflect his heart to others in daily, real ways?
- How does the love of God change your heart? What are some simple ways your heart can (or needs to) turn to loving the Lord your God in your everyday life?