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weak and foolish

October 16, 2006

Can I just say: I love my Bible. I really do. I’ve been an avid reader since I could read well enough to do it in an “avid” fashion, and a book that you can read a thousand times over and never get bored with is just a great investment.

I was reading about my buddy Jesus last night and he told this guy that the greatest commandment is to, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Matthew 26:37). I thought the last one was “strength.”

So I flipped way back to Deuteronomy 6, and sure enough, verse 5 says, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” Hmm. Certainly Jesus did not, “Err, not knowing the scriptures,” so what’s the deal?

Confident that Jesus did not misquote Deuteronomy, I assume that in this context, “strength” and “mind” must be interchangable. I think this is especially true considering the audiences. In Deut, the Lord is talking to a people who were laborers in Egypt, nomads for forty years, and who are about to take over the land they were promised. They’re lay-people. In Matthew, the Lord is talking to a lawyer; like most of us today, his strength was his mind.

When you love the Lord your God with all your heart, you have nothing left of your heart to give to other lusts or to guard within yourself. You trust Him with it completely, and when it starts to lie to you, you turn it over to Him to take care of. When you love the Lord your God with all your soul, you have nothing left of your will or emotions to give to other lusts or to guard within yourself. You forefeit them completely, and when they start to argue with Him you default to His will and His emotions.

When you love the Lord your God with all your strength, you can’t even stand without leaning on Him. You voluntarily become weak according to the flesh. When you love the Lord your God with all your mind, you can’t think about anything without thinking of Him, you don’t think on things that aren’t pleasing to Him, you try to think the way He does instead of the way thew world does. You don’t seek revenge, don’t live “survival of the fittest” or “every man for himself;” you exhibit mercy and love. You voluntarily become weak according to the world. The Romans wanted a strong king, the Greeks wanted a wise king …

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