40 Days of Discipline

40 Days of Discipline: Day 6 – Bible Study

18 Comments

One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating.  Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘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.’  The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31)

 

Bible reading is good but isn’t Bible Study much more enriching?  Today we continue with our consideration of Mark 12:28-31.  Yesterday in the many wonderful comments made, a lot was said about the quality of God’s love for us.  How about the expected quality of our love for God?  The passage says that love for God should be “with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”.  Prayerfully consider the phrase in quotes and answer today’s questions.

Today’s Questions for comments:

  • How would you characterize the standard of love for God that is commanded of us?
  • What role does Bible Study play in helping you practically satisfy this standard?

Please share your comments if you feel led to do so.  Others are blessed when you share.

18 thoughts on “40 Days of Discipline: Day 6 – Bible Study

  1. “with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all of your strength”…

    In other words, with all that I am!! I once heard a good exposition of the different aspects of one’s love but do not remember it well now – perhaps someone else can elaborate? For now I would say that I am to love Him with all of my desire and passion (my heart) and by feasting on His Word and by being mindful of Him continually (1Thes 5:17) (my mind).

    Bible study obviously plays directly in the ‘mind’ camp, but the more He is revealed to me the greater is my passion for Him!

  2. He wants ALL of me/us, not just part. Reading and studying His word gives guidelines on how to truly love and obey Him.

  3. John 15 comes to mind when I think of the standard of love we have been command to have. Verses 12-13 says My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

    Loving truly involves all that we are. Our souls are drawn to be reconciled with our Creator, our heart is longing for oneness and to be whole and our mind yearns to understand the complexity of His love. The study of the Word helps to develop our mind which affects my heart and soul.

  4. Unconditional! That is definitely how I would characterize the standard of love that is commanded of us. If we really take the time to reflect upon how Jesus loved his disciples, his family, even the people who mistreated him, and make a conscious effort to follow his lead, in time we will be able to really love …..no matter what.

  5. A number of thoughts came to mind as I read today’s 1st question. First, as I read I saw it as a reminder of how overwhelmingly high the standard was, in that it is way above what the way I love and I must therefore continually be in pursuit of meeting it. Secondly, I see loving God like this as a love which permeates every area of my life. Every area of my life is expected to evidence that my relationship with Him is the most important. Thirdly, I thought of how “simple” Jesus communicated to us how this standard is to be met by us – “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” John 14:15. Isn’t it amazing how he is able to make what I would want to view as complicated so simple. Loving me with “all of you” means living a life that pleases me….a life that demonstrates to all that obeying my word is your #1 priority. Finally the picture of the Blessed man of Psalm 1 as “the tree planted by the rivers of waters…” (verse 3) came to mind. We are to be like a healthy tree – our leaves, branches, trunk, bark and of course fruit showing to all our love for The Lord. The secret to the blessed man living like this was that, “…his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.” (verse 2).
    This is one of the reasons why Bible Study is so important. Bible Study helps me to learn how The Lord wants me to live.
    And He continually helps me to remember that He is willing and able to help me love Him the way He wants to be loved.
    “And if that isn’t love, then the ocean is dry; there is no stars in the sky and the sparrows can’t fly….”

  6. When I think of those verses, I immediately think of the story of the Good Samaritan. For me, I am the “almost dead” naked man on the road, and Jesus is the Good Samaritan. There is no way that the man could ever repay the love shown to him by the Good Samaritan, but he will live his life everyday indebted in love for what was done for him. That is what is required of us, to love God with our whole being because He brought us back from spiritual and physical darkness to life.

    • I like Jessie’s answer as it suggests that there is really no way that we can fully meet God’s standard? That does not mean we do not try. Study of the Bible answers my confusion, encourages me, cajoles me, comforts me, reminds me, educates me. It is God speaking to me, telling me what he is like and what he would like of me.

  7. More brain busting questions today! I am loving it! With all my heart? The bible mentions the intents of the heart and that the heart is deceitful above all things, I am getting from this that my love for the Lord represented by the heart has to be pure with no underlying motives such as, what I will get or because of fear or guilt or I should because of what He did for me. The love of the heart should be a sincere love of God for who He is that I am able to experience because I am born again and adopted into His family. With all my soul? Even the dictionary has trouble defining soul! I see my soul as the eternal part of me, the place where the Holy Spirit lives in me. When I surrendered, my soul returned to the place fit for the Holy Spirit i.e God to take up residence. With all my soul I equate with surrendering and the opening up of my being to God. With all my mind? I take this as the journey here on earth to renew my mind with the truth and knowledge of God until I have the mind of Christ. With all my strength I equate with intentionality and effort.

  8. The love I have for God is encompassing, it premeates and envelopes my very being, it’s all consuming. Hiding the word of God in my heart and meditating on it through study, solidifies. and tattoos in my mind why I love him the way I do.

  9. I think it is easy to fall in the trap of loving God with parts of ourselves, often when we’re still focused on the ways of this world. But we’re not only called to love Him with our mind, or solely with our heart -we need to love Him with all of ourselves. We need to give all of ourselves to Him. There’s a certain vulnerability and challenge in that, to give yourself to the Lord and love Him with *all* of yourself, rather than in the ways that it is more comfortable for us.

    Bible study definitely helps with that. Being closer to His Word allows me to grow my love for him, not just in the ways that are easy and familiar, but in every single aspect of my life.

  10. To Love your Brother whom you see everyday is to Love God more whom you don’t see

  11. “with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”
    How would you characterize the standard of love for God that is commanded of us?
    I agree with many of the comments already made – the standard in some ways can be characterised as unreachable, but it may also be that relentless pursuit *is* the actual standard. I am a therapist, which means that my job is to coach people along the relentless pursuit of something – be it a personal goal, a better relationship, less conflicts or greater self esteem (for eg.). What I have observed is that it is a human condition to persist. When we lose the energy to pursue life then we lose the desire to live or to participate in life. I see that in this standard “with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind -” it speaks of continuing, and of covering all of your bases. the love base, the spiritual base and the cognitive base. I characterise this standard as the ultimate back-up. When there is a power outage of heart energy, I must move to spiritual energy – the bible will fortify my spirit/soul and this should help. If my heart is not in it, and my soul is far far away from God, my next back up is right here in my head – I must reason with myself about why I would choose to love God in this moment. The ultimate message is that I must persist in loving God, relentlessly.

    What role does Bible Study play in helping you practically satisfy this standard?
    A bible study is a public forum. This means you get the push of knowing others are reading also, you get the encouragement of their perspectives, and you also get the reminder of brethren – your Christian family who are fighting the same fight as you.

  12.  How would you characterize the standard of love for God that is commanded of us?

    This love for God commanded of us is gold standard and comprehensive. God expects much of us and he has led by example.

     What role does Bible Study play in helping you practically satisfy this standard?
    Bible study helps me to read about examples of the quality of love God requires of us in examples such as Ruth, Abraham and the four Hebrew teenagers. Their demonstration of faithfulness in relationships is a reflection of how we should love God.

  13. “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him …… “(2 Chron 16:9 NKJV)

    King David is an example of the standard of love required by GOD.

    I have been so enlightened by the comments. Has anyone wondered how King David could be a man after God’s own heart (Acts 13:22) after he all he committed adultery and murdered his mistress’ husband among other acts.

    One of my favourite people Joyce Meyer says it is more important to have a perfect heart towards GOD than right behaviour (I hope I quoted this correctly – in any case this is my takeaway).

    What is a perfect heart towards GOD — a reading of the Psalms of David shows the reverence, fear adoration, devotion and total surrender of David towards the LORD. It seems to me he was in love with his Creator.

    If this is the case then there is hope for me yet!

    Having a right heart as opposed to right behaviour does not give licence to sin – see how the LORD severely punished David for his sins (See 2 Samuel 12). Therefore godly fear is an essential part of the standard of love.

    I like what Jane says about relentless pursuit … it speaks of passion and commitment … even when you (continually) stumble … you can still finish this race, if you keep on keeping on.

    if you think of the race ahead of you too much and all the requirements and behaving right you will weary and lose heart. Therefore I believe step by step is the way into the Creator’s heart.

  14. By the way I don’t suggest you have to earn your way salvation – this is the FREE gift of GOD through his son Jesus Christ. My thoughts are on the characterisation of standard of love commanded by GOD

  15. Again, the comments today are nothing short of inspiring. Our contributors have used heartfelt descriptors of the love we should give to God. In doing so they have painted a picture of an extremely high standard (it might almost seem unattainable). The comments caused me to reflect on the fact that throughout history, many have expressed their desire and intent to attain this “gold” standard. In this regard though, desire and delivery are often far apart, and when we experience the gap we should persevere with sincere hearts to learn to love Him more.

    I also reflected on a point of caution too, though. For in fact, some in their zeal have committed atrocious acts as evidence of what they believed was a supreme love for God. Praise God we have a perfect model in his Son and we have a perfect manual in the Word. There is a maturity in love that is undoubtedly aided by persistent Bible Study which points us to practical instructions and examples.

    To all contributors (too many names to list), thank you!

  16. I am truly moved by the comments posted, such as” love involves all that we are “. “love is unconditional” and “love is encompassing”. These comments allow me to refine my own understanding of love of God being Perfect, complete, and never to be exceeded by anyone else.

    I really appreciate all the comments posted. Don’t stop sharing. I thank God for this opportunity to learn more about him through all of you.

  17. Not sure my comments are going through but thanks for submitting as very enlightening.

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