We often associate the word “love” with some pleasant feelings, or intense and delightful emotions.  But the word Jesus used for love means something much deeper.  It is the word "agape" [AH-gah-pay], and it refers to the love that means desiring communion with something that is good in itself.  If we say that we “love” ice cream, of course, we mean that we very much enjoy eating it.  We probably do not mean that we want to enter into a spiritual communion with ice cream. If we love a person, (using Jesus’ word “agape”) it means we love spending time with them, getting to know them, and sharing the experiences of life with them.  But when it comes to loving God, Jesus wants to make sure that we understand that even the word agape is not enough to completely convey the type of love we are to have for God, ourselves and our neighbor.  He says that we must love God with all of our hearts, our minds and our souls.  We must love Him with all our hearts; this means we must desire what God desires.  We must love God with all our minds; this means we must value and understand things in the same way that He values and understands them.  We must love Him with our whole souls; this means we must choose to actively live in accordance with the desires and understanding of His mind and heart.  If we love God as Jesus commands us to do, than loving our neighbor as ourselves will pretty much become second nature to us.  I would argue in fact that if we truly do love God with all of our hearts, minds and souls it would be virtually impossible for us to do anything but love our neighbors in the way that Jesus envisions us doing.  And always remember, the love of Jesus, i.e. Christian love, is much, much more than a feeling.


AuthorCathy Remick