Mark 12:30 - The First and Great Commandment.

Mark 12:30 (NKJV) And you shall love the 
Lord your God with all your heart, with all your 
soul, with all your mind, and with all your 
strength. This is the first commandment.   

Mark 12:30 (NIV) Love the Lord your God with 
all your heart and with all your soul and with 
all your mind and with all your strength.' 

Mark 12:30 (NLT) And you must love the LORD 
your God with all your heart, all your soul, all 
your mind, and all your strength. 


The law of Jehovah dating back to creation, 
was comprised in the two great principles, "Thou 
shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, 
and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, 
and with all thy strength. This is the first 
commandment. And the second is like, namely this: Thou 
shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none 
other commandment greater than these." These two 
great principles embrace the first four 
commandments, showing the love of man to God, and the last 
six, showing the love of man to his fellowman. 
1BC1104 mod. 

The Ten Commandments can be divided into two 
categories: those dealing with love for God (the first 
four Commandments) and those dealing with love 
toward other people (the last six Commandments). 
The same may be said for all the Law and the 
Prophets. [Nelson SB re Mat. 22:29-31 mod] 

To the Shema Jesus joined the commandment 
from Lev 19:18 to show that love for neighbor is 
a natural and logical outgrowth of love for 
God. [NIV SB] 

   Todays Scripture passage is important 
to both Christians and Jews.  Christians 
recognize it because when Jesus was asked concerning 
the greatest commandment of the law, He set 
forth Deuteronomy 6:5, with its love to God. 
   But that passage was important to the 
Jews before Jesus was born. It was important 
because it was part of the Shema. The Shema 
consisted of three short passages of Scripture - 
Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 11:13-21; and Numbers 15:37-41 - that 
had to be recited in prayer fashion by every dew 
every morning and every evening. 
   The Shema wasn't the only prayer the Jews 
had to recite every day. They also had to recite 
what became known as The Eighteen, which 
consisted of 18 prayers. The Eighteen had to be 
recited three times a day - once in the morning, 
once in the afternoon, and once in the evening. 
   The Jews were a people of prayer. They 
took their praying seriously. Not only did they 
have the daily Shema and The Eighteen, but they 
had prayers for nearly every event in their 
lives. Thus they had prayers before and after every 
meal; and there were prayers connected with such 
things as light, fire, lightning; on seeing the new 
moon, comets, rain, storms; at seeing the sea, 
lakes, rivers; on receiving good news; on using new 
furniture; on entering or leaving a city, and so on. 
Everything had its prayer. 
   As Christians we have something to learn 
here. We need to also see the sacredness of 
everything that exists or that happens in our lives. We 
need to have a sense of God's presence 
constantly. We ought also to live lives inundated with 
   But we also must be aware of the dangers 
that the Jews fell into. Satan can pervert even 
prayer. But Jesus can do one better. He can 
resurrect prayer and sanctify it in our daily lives. 
[Walking With Jesus By Knight] 


Loving God With All Your Heart.
   Thats what it all comes down to. God 
didnt put you on this planet to mark things off 
your to-do list. He put you here to learn to love 
him with all your heart, soul, mind, and 
strength. But what does that really mean, and how do 
you do it? 
   Loving God with all your heart often 
happens when youre talking - its how you share 
the gift of communication with the world. Loving 
God with your soul happens when youre feeling 
- when youre sharing compassion. You love 
God with your mind as youre thinking - when 
youre giving consideration to people or ideas. 
And, finally, loving God with your strength 
happens as youre doing - when youre making a 
contribution to the world. 
   Another way to say it is that you can 
love God with all your talk, all your feelings, 
all your thinking, and all your acting. 
   God calls each person to love God in all 
four of these ways. The world needs 
communication, compassion, consideration, and contribution 
from every follower of Jesus. 
   But the reality is that your personality 
causes you to tend more naturally toward either the 
heart, soul, mind, or strength. For the next few 
days, well take a look at the strengths and 
pitfalls of each of these four areas. 
   Today were going to focus on the 
communicators - the people who most naturally love Jesus 
with their hearts.  
   Heart people are talkers, and they have a 
hard time being quiet. When youre a heart 
person, youve got to let it out. Youve got to 
tell other people. Heart people love to tell 
stories. They love to sit and converse, especially in 
heart-to-heart conversations. 
   The world needs people who are 
communicators. We need people who can lead discussions and 
who can verbalize what the rest of us feel. We 
need teachers, counselors, and coaches who can 
teach us and direct us. We need comedians. We need 
preachers. We need all of these people who are built on 
verbal skills and who are able to move the world 
   The Bible says, Let everything you say 
be good and helpful, so that your words will be 
an encouragement to those who hear them 
(Ephesians 4:29 NLT). 
   When talkers use the right words at the 
right time, they can restore, encourage, build up, 
and heal broken hearts. They can also use their 
abilities to guide, direct, and point us in the right 
   But Gods warning for talkers is this: 
You also have to act. 
   Proverbs 14:23 says, Hard work is 
worthwhile, but empty talk will make you poor (CEV). 
   This means you eventually have to act on 
what youve been talking about. Some people 
never get past the discussion stage.  
   What things have you been talking about 
doing? How long have you been talking about it?  
   Dont just talk about it. Start doing 
it! And see how God uses your words and actions 
to make a difference in the world. [Daily 
Devotional by Rick Warren: 

Loving God with Your Soul
   Weve been looking together at the 
different ways you can love God. You can find these 
ways in Mark 12:30: You must love the Lord 
your God with all your heart, all your soul, all 
your mind, and all your strength (NLT).  
   We all love God in all four of these 
ways, but each of us tends more naturally toward 
one than the others. God has shaped you 
primarily to be a talker, a feeler, a thinker, or a 
doer. Talkers most easily love God with their 
hearts. Feelers love God with their souls. Thinkers 
love God with their minds. Doers love God with 
their strength. 
   Today were going to focus on the 
feelers - people who are strongest at loving God 
with all their soul. 
   The world cant get by just on 
communication from talkers, consideration from thinkers, 
and contribution from doers. We also need the 
compassion of the feelers who love God best with their 
   The word soul is used many 
different ways in the Bible. But most of the time, 
its used as a synonym for emotions. You see this 
a lot in the Psalms. 
   Psalm 42:1 says, As the deer pants for 
streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my 
God (NIV). 
   Every emotion known to humanity is in 
Scripture. The Bible talks about souls that are 
downcast, disturbed, satisfied, yearning, troubled, 
forlorn, joyful, bitter, thirsty, hungry, rejoicing, 
and delighted. Can you hear the passion in those 
words? Soul people feel their emotions. 
   Can you guess who else feels emotions? 
God. He gets angry, happy, sad, and everything 
in-between. You have emotions because you were made in 
Gods image. 
   God is passionate, and feelers represent 
that part of him in the world. They care deeply 
about issues, about people, and about knowing God. 
They can empathize with other peoples pain and 
   Theyre great examples of Ephesians 
4:32: Be kind and compassionate to one another, 
forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave 
you (NLT). 
   Feelers offer Gods compassion to the 
world. But, just like every other personality, they 
have their weaknesses. Feelers tend to be 
manipulated by their moods. Instead, they need to let 
God lead them.  
   The Bible says, Let the Spirit direct 
your lives, and you will not satisfy the desires 
of the human nature (Galatians 5:16 NLT).  
   When feelers are led by Gods Spirit, 
they still have feelings - but theyre not 
controlled by them. They let Gods Spirit lead them 
in deciding which feelings to follow and which 
to resist. 
   If youre a feeler, be a Spirit-led 
one. Let God guide you to share with the world 
the passions hes given you. [Daily Devotional 
by Rick Warren: 
https://pastorrick.com/devotional/ re Psalm 42:1] 

Loving God with Your Mind
   Weve been looking at Mark 12:30: 
You must love the Lord your God with all your 
heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your 
strength (NLT). One way to restate this verse is love 
God with all your talk, all your feelings, all 
your thinking, and all your doing.  
   Although every person is called to do all 
of these things, God created each person to be 
stronger in one area. That means God has shaped you 
more naturally to be a talker (heart), feeler 
(soul), thinker (mind), or doer (strength).  
   Today lets look at the thinkers, who 
most readily love God with their minds. 
   Do you know that you can love God with 
your intellect? When you develop and strengthen 
your mind, its an act of worship.  
   One way you can recognize a thinker is by 
this: When thinkers become believers, they fall in 
love with the Bible.  
   Psalm 119:97 says, How I love your 
law! I think about it all day long (GNT). 
   There is no other book in the world like 
the Bible! It has the answers to lifes 
questions, including why God put you here on earth. 
   We need thinkers - because the world 
needs consideration. Somebody has to be thinking 
through complex issues and the implications of what 
the rest of us are doing. We need people who 
think through tough problems and bring solutions 
to the table. 
   But thinkers need to be careful to also 
practice humility. The Bible says, Dont be 
impressed with your own wisdom (Proverbs 3:7 NLT). 
Why? Because God is God, and youre not.  
   Humility is a choice. James 4:10 says, 
Humble yourselves before the Lord (NIV). 
Humility is something you do to yourself. And its 
not denying your strengths; its being honest 
about your weaknesses.  
   Thinkers also need to be careful to 
practice what they know. If you know it, then do it! 
James 1:22 says, Do not merely listen to the 
word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it 
says (NIV). 
   Your personality is unique and precious 
to God. When you use it to serve him with all 
your heart, soul, mind, and strength, you bring 
him glory! [Daily Devotional by Rick Warren: 
https://pastorrick.com/devotional/ re James 1:22] 

Love God with Your Strength
   Jesus said the greatest commandment is to 
love the Lord your God with all your heart, all 
your soul, all your mind, and all your 
strength (Mark 12:30 NLT). 
   As weve learned, God expects every one 
of us to mature in all of these areas. But he 
also knows each one of us tends to lead in one 
area. This means God has shaped you to most 
naturally be a talker (heart), feeler (soul), thinker 
(mind), or doer (strength). 
   Today were going to focus on loving 
God with all your strength. 
   Doers love God with their strength. 
They're energetic activists - the achievers, the 
accomplishers, the workers. They push things forward and 
make things happen in practical ways. 
   What is the purpose of doers in the 
world? Doers are here because the world needs 
contribution - and doers can get the job done! They have 
initiative, energy, action, and a drive to achieve. In a 
practical sense, they often serve as the hands and 
feet of Jesus in the world. 
   But we all have flaws, and for doers, 
its overwork. Doers are always working. They 
have trouble stopping to think or feel. They are 
always busy! 
   Psalm 127:2 says, Its useless to 
rise early and go to bed late, and work your 
worried fingers to the bone. Dont you know he 
enjoys giving rest to those he loves? (The 
Message). If youre a doer, that would be a good 
verse to put up on the mirror in your bathroom. 
God wants his loved ones to get their proper 
   When you become a believer, your past is 
forgiven, you have a reason for living, and you have a 
home in heaven. But theres something that 
doesnt change when you come to Christ: Your 
personality doesnt change. God doesnt slow a doer 
down when you come to him. He just changes your 
direction. In fact, he wants to empower you. Remember, 
you got your personality from him.  
   Colossians 3:23 has great advice for 
doers: Whatever you do, work at it with all your 
heart, as though you were working for the Lord and 
not for people (GNT). 
   If God made you a doer, then he wants to 
use you to get stuff done in the world. But 
youre not meant to do it all, and you should never 
try to do it in your own strength. 
   Its okay sometimes to do less - not 
less for God, but less in other areas so youll 
have more time to do what matters most. [Daily 
Devotional by Rick Warren: 
https://pastorrick.com/devotional/ re Col. 3:23] 


Priority of the First and Great Commandment
   Like many other people, I enjoy social 
media, television, reading, and talking on the 
phone. Until recently, the first thing I did every 
morning was look at social media and see what was 
going on with my friends. I enjoyed sending 
birthday and anniversary greetings. Afterward, I 
would say my prayers. But I began to I realize, I 
was spending more time posting on Facebook than 
talking to Jesus or reading His Word.  
   The things I enjoy are not sinful. Work, 
family, relationships, and hobbies are good things. 
But sin comes creeping in when we make these 
things a priority over Jesus. The first commandment 
says for us to have no other gods before Him. I 
had literally put my entertainment before Jesus. 
Matthew 6:33 (ESV) instructs us, But seek first 
the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and 
all these things will be added to you.  
   When I evaluated my time, I realized that 
all of my time was really His time. I rearranged 
my priorities and put Him first.  
   Since I have reorganized my priorities, I 
begin each day by praying and connecting with 
Jesus. I read my Bible and devotions daily and 
listen to Christian music while Im working or 
driving. Throughout the day, I talk to Jesus. Since 
Jesus has become first in my life, everything else 
is falling into place. His peace is filling my 
heart. I still enjoy Facebook and chatting with 
friends, but I dont let them rule my life and 
time. by Katie Minter Jones  
   Faith Step: Evaluate how much time you 
spend doing other things and if Jesus is your 
priority. [Mornings With Jesus 2020 Devotional by 
Guideposts and Zondervan] 

   The Bee Gees sang, How can you mend a 
broken heart? Elvis lived down at the end of 
Lonely Street at Heartbreak Hotel. Bruce 
Springsteen said that everybodys got a hungry 
heart. Tom Petty was tired of people dragging his 
heart around. And Selena Gomez sang that the heart 
wants what it wants. 
   But heres the problem with our hearts. 
They can lead us in the wrong direction. In fact, 
the Bible tells us in Jeremiah 17:9, The 
heart is deceitful above all things, and 
desperately wicked; Who can know it? (NKJV). The 
Message puts the same verse this way: The heart 
is hopelessly dark and deceitful, a puzzle that 
no one can figure out. 
   Jesus, showing the potential darkness of 
our own hearts, said, For out of the heart 
proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, 
fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies 
(Matthew 15:19 NKJV). 
   Our hearts are dark. Our hearts are evil. 
And our hearts can mislead us. Thats why we 
need to let our minds step in and help us.  
   Jesus said, You shall love the Lord 
your God with all your heart, with all your soul, 
and with all your mind (Matthew 22:37 NKJV). 
The Hebrew word for soul would be closer to our 
use of the word heart. It speaks of something 
deep inside a person. 
   Our love for God needs to be emotive and 
intelligent. One doesnt cancel out the other. We need 
to love the Lord with all of our hearts. We 
need to love God with our emotions and our 
intellect. And we need to love God with our strength. 
We need to love Him with our time and 
resources, with everything that we have.  
   As Christians, the objective is not to 
focus on our hearts. It is to focus our hearts on 
God. [By Greg Laurie from Harvest Ministries; 

   There are a lot of people who say they 
love God, but sometimes we wonder about that 
because their actions seem to contradict it. 
   Matthews Gospel tells us about an 
occasion when the religious leaders came to Jesus 
with a trap. They were trying to get Him to 
identify the greatest of the commandments. But 
instead of answering their question, He tells them 
how to love God and what it actually means. 
   Jesus said, You must love the Lord 
your God with all your heart, all your soul, and 
all your mind. This is the first and greatest 
commandment. A second is equally important: Love your 
neighbor as yourself. The entire law and all the 
demands of the prophets are based on these two 
commandments (Matthew 22:37"40 NLT). Jesus got to the 
heart of the matter about loving God. 
   To loosely paraphrase, Jesus was saying, 
Guys, instead of trying to focus on all of these 
rules, try this. Just love God. If you love God as 
you ought to love Him, then everything will fall 
into its proper place. 
   That is why Augustine, one of the early 
church fathers, said, Love God, and do as you 
please. That almost sounds insane, but it isnt. 
If you really love God in the way the Bible 
tells you to love Him, then youll want to do 
what pleases Him. 
   When you love God with all your heart, 
all your soul, and all your mind, it means 
that you love Him with every part of your being. 
To the ancient Hebrews, the word heart did not 
refer as much to the emotions as it did to the 
core of ones being. For the Christian, the 
objective is not to focus on your heart; it is to 
focus your heart on God. [By Greg Laurie from 
Harvest Ministries; https://www.harvestdaily.com] 

   I prayed fervently and persistently for 
God to fulfill a deep desire. Over time the 
pleas grew deeper and more desperate, and the 
desire grew larger in my own mind. In fact, it grew 
so large that I eventually realized it had 
become almost as important to me as God was. I had 
been desperately praying for God to fulfill my 
love for something that would rival Him in my 
   We do that often, though usually so 
subtly that we hardly notice. We treat God as our 
Cyrano de Bergerac, who was put in the painful 
position of helping another man win the heart of 
someone Cyrano himself loved deeply. We ask God for 
those objects of our affection, forgetting that He 
desires to be an even greater object of our 
affection. We provoke His jealousy in our prayers for 
His blessings. God then has to choose between 
either watching our heart delight in His gift 
rather than the Giver or disappointing us by not 
giving us our heart's delight at all. In His mercy, 
He often gives anyway, but our joy in our 
treasures often overshadows our joy in Him.  
   There's a way around this dilemma, of 
course. It's to always treasure God over and above 
the things we ask of Him. But that's easier said 
than done, considering our common misperceptions 
of His goodness and glory. Hannah was able to 
maintain her priorities by offering the gift, her 
child Samuel, back to God. And in a sense, that's 
what we have to do with every request we plead. 
The God who loves us passionately offers us 
extravagant blessings, as long as we love Him more 
extravagantly than them all.  
   Lord, please forgive me for exalting my 
requests above You. I want You to fulfill my desires, 
but not more than I want to fulfill Your 
desires. My greatest affections belong to You - 
always. [The One Year Experiencing Gods Presence 
Devotional by Chris Tiegreen re 1 Samuel 1:11] 


Staying Close to the Master
   Both dogs and cats have taught me lessons 
about faith. 
   A dog loves unconditionally, accepting 
discipline and holding no resentment. A dog follows its 
master and likes to be right at his or her feet. 
Our dog Shabah was always where we were. When we 
went upstairs to bed, he planted himself right in 
our doorway. In the morning, he sat on my feet 
or Rick's while we did our devotions together. 
He was easily trained because he wanted to 
please us. If he needed something, he let us know 
through his manner and his "puppy dog look": "I have 
to go out." "Please  please  please throw 
the tennis ball." "Give me a scratch." We always 
responded. Shabah died, but now Sarge is much the 
   I had numerous cats when I was a child, 
and cats are lovely but independent. They don't 
need to be with the "master" at all times. In 
fact, cats seem to think they are the masters of 
their own realms. "Here, kitty, kitty," doesn't 
always bring them running. Sometimes cats will look 
at you with that "what do you want?" 
expression, and sometimes they'll find a nice quiet 
place and just plain ignore you. On the plus side, 
petting them is said to reduce stress. Who can 
resist that nimbly purring sound they make when 
they're being stroked? But affection has to be on 
their own terms. They'll come when they're called 
as long as you're offering food or milk. If 
there isn't something in it for them, they'll come 
when they please. 
   Don't get me wrong; I love both dogs and 
cats. But in matters of faith, I don't want to be 
like a cat, thinking I can call the shots and do 
my own thing. I want to be like a dog. I want 
to be at my Master's feet. I want to serve Him 
the way the apostle Peter describes: "willingly, 
not grudgingly - not for what [I] will get out 
of it, but because [I am] eager to serve God." 
When I hear God's quiet voice, I want to come 
running, grinning from ear to ear, ready to do 
whatever He asks. 
   Lord God, I want to be wholehearted in my 
devotion to You, loving You fully and unconditionally 
because You are my God and You care for me. Teach me 
to be loyal, to remain close to You, and to be 
eager to do Your will. May I serve You with my 
whole heart, not out of duty but out of pure love 
for who You are. [Earth Psalms by Francine 
Rivers re 1 Pet. 5:2] 


   How do you get into a swimming pool? Some 
people dip in their toes to test the water's 
temperature. Others walk to the shallow end and slowly 
ease themselves into the water. Then there are 
those who leap off the side of the pool and do a 
cannonball into the deep end. 
   In the early 1980s, cannonballs were more 
than a way to jump into the water. They were a 
source of competition at the World Belly-Flop and 
Cannonball Diving Championships. Contestants dressed in 
funny costumes and bright bathing suits, hoping to 
make a big splash. Each competitor - some weighed 
over 250 pounds - performed three jumps from a 
one-meter diving board where they earned points based 
on six criteria: height of splash, water 
displaced from pool, degree of difficulty, artistry, 
personality, and color of swimsuit. The winner received 
an amazing array of prizes, including a green 
bathroom, a trophy, a bowling bag, a set of wrenches, 
and a bag of cash. Not to mention bragging 
rights as the world's best cannonballer. 
   A silly contest might appear to have 
little to do with our faith in Christ. But when it 
comes to following Jesus, he wants us to dive in! 
Dipping your toe into Christianity can be an okay 
way to start, but until you take the plunge and 
give your whole life to Christ, your faith can 
leave you feeling cold. 
   During Jesus' time on earth, a teacher of 
the law asked him which of the commandments was 
the most important. Jesus answered, "Love the 
Lord your God with all your heart and with all 
your soul and with all your mind and with all 
your strength (Mark 12:30). Notice that Jesus 
said all your heart, all your soul, all your 
mind, and all your strength. We can't effectively 
live for Christ when we just dip in our toes. 
Doing a cannonball into a life with Jesus Christ 
can seem scary. You might risk people thinking 
you're a little weird. But in reality, diving into 
your relationship with God isn't risky at all. 
When you take the plunge and wholeheartedly 
commit to Christ, you're guaranteed to never 
belly-flop but always make a big splash. [Case For 
Christ For Kids by Les Strobel] 


Love is not the work of the Holy Spirit, it 
is the Holy Spirit - working in us. God is 
love, He doesn't merely have it or give it; He 
gives Himself - to all men, to all sorts and 
conditions. Joseph Fletcher  

Make Christ first and last and best in 
everything. Constantly behold Him, and your love for Him 
will daily become deeper and stronger as it is 
submitted to the test of trial. AH106 


Matthew 22:36-40 - The Greatest Commandment.


Matthew 22:36-40 - Loving God With All Your 
Heart, Soul And Mind. 



If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or 
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either 
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in 
hearing from you.  Thanks in advance and let's keep 
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred 


Most Important Decision in Life: 

Steps to Peace by Billy Graham: 

A Man without Equal by Bill Bright: 

Seeking God Made Real: 

Prayer Made Real: 

Importance of Choice: 
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]  

Medical Seminar on Healthful Living by David 
DeRose, MD, MPH: 


Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies: 

Amazing Facts Bible Studies: 

Hope Awakens Bible Study Guides: 

Glow Tract Video Bible Studies: 


Islam and Christianity in Prophecy, The 
Third and Final Conflict by Tim Roosenberg: 

Unlocking Bible Prophecies by Cami Oetman of 
Adventist World Radio: https://www.awr.org/bible 

Revelation Now by Pastor Doug Batchelor: 

Hope Awakens by John Bradshaw of IIW: 

Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet: