Advent Devotional - Day 24

Tuesday, December 22
Mark 12:29-31, Deuteronomy 6:5, Leviticus 19:18

In Mark, Deuteronomy and Leviticus we learn that we should “love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.” Equally as critical is the fact that we must love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

These passages strike me as a powerful lesson that our love for God and our neighbors must be reflected in lots of ways. Just as living out all the five core practices – giving, small groups, worship, prayer and reading the Bible – is critical for becoming a committed follower of Christ, we almost must learn to love with our hearts, souls, minds and strength in combination.

Loving the Lord and others with our hearts and souls might feel quite easy. The notion of loving from the heart evokes experiencing the emotion of love. But what about loving from the mind and from our strength?

Loving from the mind might take the form of putting away distractions to listen to a friend in need, or offering someone who is out of a job help with a cover letter or LinkedIn refresh.

Loving from our strength might take the form of helping a friend move, or shoveling snow for a neighbor.

While these actions may seem small in the short term, Matthew 25 makes clear that the love we show for others is a direct expression of our love for God.

As Christmas quickly approaches, consider how you can demonstrate your love of God and others each day through your heart, soul, mind and strength.

Reflection by Judith Rowland

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