Loving God With All Our Heart


We all know how much God loves us because the Bible clearly tells us, John 3:16 / 1 John 3:16. And so, there is no questioning God’s love for us, but how do we love God?

God never commands us to do something without first telling us how to do it. And so, after telling Israel that the LORD God is one, Moses goes on to explain to us how we are to love God.

‘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 strength.’ Deuteronomy 6:4-5

The Hebrew word for love is the word ‘ahab’ and it carries with it the idea of having the ultimate love that we can express or feel. In other words, when we say we love the Lord, we’re actually saying we have loved Him, we do love Him and we will continue to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and strength.

Do you love God with all of your heart? If we’re honest with ourselves, we would confess that we don’t always love God the most. Sometimes we love our spouses more, our families more, and there are times when we love our jobs or hobbies more.

We have many other things in our lives which pull at our ‘heart strings’, all of which are trying to win our attention and our affection.

So how can we obey the Lord’s command to love Him with all our heart? We have to acknowledge that we can’t really love Him or anyone else without His help.

In other words, He doesn’t ask us to do anything which didn’t first originate from Him, 1 John 4:19-21. God is the actual source of our love for Him, He loved us first, and He instilled us with His love. The love of God in us is the love with which we can love Him in return.

When most people think about love, they think of the warm fluffy feeling they get when they meet someone. But love isn’t merely a feeling, it’s an attribute, hence why God is love, 1 John 4:8 / 1 John 4:16.

We can’t claim to love anyone if we don’t know God because God is love. The reason we know and rely on the love of God is simply because God is love.

So what is the heart? You would be forgiven for thinking it is an organ in your body which keeps you alive. That’s just a pump that keeps the blood flowing through your body.

We have to remember in the Old Testament the word ‘heart’ didn’t carry the same deep meaning in Hebrew as it does in the Greek New Testament.

This is one reason why the New Testament gives a deeper meaning to the word ‘mind’. In other words, the Hebrew concept of ‘heart’ included both feelings and thoughts, Genesis 6:5.

Thinking is an activity of the mind, hence why Jesus asked the scribes why they were thinking those thoughts in their hearts, Matthew 9:4. This shows that our mind is part of our heart. We read that when we exercise our will, our will is part of our heart, Acts 11:23.

Rejoicing is related to our emotions, but we read that our heart rejoices, John 16:22. This shows us that our emotions are also part of our heart.

Having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience tells us that our conscience is also part of our heart, Hebrews 10:22. Our heart does way more than we think, our heart thinks, decides, and perceives what is right from wrong.

The truth is, if we didn’t have a heart, we couldn’t sense love in our lives or love anyone in return. God created us with a heart so that we could have a loving relationship with Him.

Without our heart, we couldn’t have a relationship with Him or anyone else. When God created us, He created us with a heart which is capable of loving Him.

He wants to be our life and He wants us to love Him with our whole heart, Mark 12:30. And if we’re truthful with ourselves, we would all admit that it’s easy to love God when things are going well, when we enjoy one blessing after another.

But what about when difficult times come our way? What happens when life’s challenges come our way?

Israel had to learn the lesson which we still have to learn today. Loving God with ALL of our heart means loving God at ALL times. This means we are to love Him in the good times and the difficult times.

This means we are to love Him when He answers our prayers or doesn’t answer our prayers. The more we love God, the more we will fall in love with Him.

And we do that until we can say what the Apostle Paul said in Philippians, Philippians 4:11-13. Paul uses the word ‘courage’, in the text and the root word for courage is ‘cor’ which is Latin for ‘heart’.

Living with courage in our heart is a good way to remind ourselves to love God. Living with courage in our heart is a good way to remind ourselves not to trust our own feelings or understanding, Proverbs 3:5.

When we depend on our own feelings and understanding, we end up confused. God doesn’t love me anymore! God has abandoned me in my time of need!

But we know that these statements are simply not true, God has always loved us, Romans 8:38-39, God promised He would never leave us or abandon us, Hebrews 13:5.

Loving God with our mind means renewing our mind daily so that we think more of His thoughts instead of our own, Romans 12:2. God’s will and thoughts are good, pleasing, and perfect and we need as much of them as possible to fill and renew our mind.

Renewing our mind in God’s Word is an important way of loving God. God is a loving God, and He created us with a heart so that we would love Him totally. But like I mentioned earlier, we know our heart loves many other things besides God.

So what do we do to make sure we continue to love God with all of our heart?

When our heart is turned away from the Lord and set on things such as sins, selfish preoccupations, and worldly pleasures, it has a veil on it, 2 Corinthians 3:15-16. In other words, they stop us from seeing the Lord.

But when we turn our heart to Him, the veil is removed, and we can see the Lord again. We see His beauty, His virtues, and how wonderful He is. Then He instils more of what He is, including love, into us and it’s in this way, our love for Him grows.

We can turn our hearts to the Lord Jesus at any time by praying to Him, confessing our sins to Him and studying His Word. When we do these things, the veil will be removed from our heart, our fellowship with God can be restored and our love for Him will continue to grow stronger.

‘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 strength.’ Deuteronomy 6:4-5

Our love towards God is to be completely directed to God alone and is further indicated by the repetition of the word ‘all’ along with the terms ‘heart,’ ‘soul,’ and ‘strength’ in the same verse.

Sadly, when Israel forgot the Lord, things went from bad to worse, Jeremiah 2:32 / Jeremiah 23:27.

‘For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.’ Matthew 6:21