How do you "Love" God?

The Bible tells us to love God with all our heart, soul, and might, but, practically speaking, what does that mean?

Concept image of man reaching out to God in heaven (Image © Bigstock)

A person who loves God eagerly serves Him with acts of righteousness, fulfilling His commandments, as expressions of that love. “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3). However, Yeshua warned His disciples not to make a show out of their acts of righteousness. He wanted them to focus their efforts on the love of God, not the love of attention. Yeshua chose three specific acts of righteousness to illustrate the point: charity, prayer, and fasting. The three examples correspond to the three spheres of love toward God—heart, soul, and might:

Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)

  • Prayer = Heart
  • Fasting = Soul
  • Charity = Might

Prayer = Heart

Biblical Hebrew uses the word “heart” the way that English speakers use the word “mind.” Prayer issues from a man’s heart as the Master said, “The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (Matthew 12:34). Judaism refers to prayer as the service of the heart:

It has been taught: “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart.” What is the service of the heart? You must admit, prayer is the service of the heart. (b.Ta’anit 2a).

Fasting = Soul

Biblical Hebrew uses the word “soul” to refer to man’s life, vitality, and person. The Bible speaks of fasting as “humbling” or “afflicting” one’s soul.

Charity = Might

The rabbis interpreted “your might” in Deuteronomy 6:5 as “your wealth” (b.Pesachim 25a). In Judaism, to love God “with all your might” requires a man to use his wealth to give generously to the poor and to the things of the LORD

Yeshua taught His disciples to conduct themselves discreetly and modestly. He warned them against ostentatious displays of piety. “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them,” He said (Matthew 6:1). Of course, He expected His disciples to fast, to pray, and to give generously to charity, but He warned them against doing so with improper motives. If they practiced acts of righteousness for the sake of social prestige, they would ultimately find their charity, prayers, and fasting detrimental to their spiritual health. A man who takes on religious duties and disciplines only for the sake of earning the respect and esteem of men finds no favor from God for His efforts. He is acting only for the sake of the love of men and their praise, not for the love of God.

Join the Conversation:

FFOZ Friends are individuals, families, or congregations who resonate with the mission and vision of First Fruits of Zion and contribute financially towards reaching our ministry objectives.

Become a Friend!

Share this Teaching

Adapted From:

Chronicles of the Messiah

Chronicles of the Messiah presents an extensive harmonized study of the Gospels from a Messianic Jewish perspective, published in a sturdy, hard cover edition of six books.

Learn More


Get the Email Newsletter

The eDisciple

Get these insightful teachings about a life of discipleship and the deeper meaning of the words of Yeshua delivered to your inbox free once a week.

SIGN UP TODAY

© 2017 First Fruits of Zion, Inc., All Rights Reserved

FOLLOW US ON

First Fruits of Zion

© 2017, All Rights Reserved

Copyright Privacy Contact Help Donate