Loving God

When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together, and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?" He said to him, " 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the greatest and first commandment. And a second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Matthew 22: 34-40 (NRSV)

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8 (NRSV)

Nancy Brow is from California. In today's reading, Jesus said that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all our heart, all our soul, and all our mind. Throughout Nancy's Christian walk, she learned to love God with all her heart and soul, but her mind had a mind of its own. Training her mind to love God became the answer to a huge problem she had with her thoughts.

Every morning she read scripture and prayed to start her day. But by the time the day turns to evening, Nancy had experienced many negative and unkind thoughts. The idea of loving God with all her mind has changed her thinking. Nancy wants to be more aware of her thoughts during the day and learn to replace them with healthier, more godly thoughts. For example, if Nancy thinks an unkind thought about someone, she may follow the thought even further and eventually gossip about that person. Instead, she is learning to confess the thought to God immediately and forgive herself. Then she thinks about what is admirable, excellent, or praiseworthy. Nancy wants to love God with her mind, and over time she is learning to do that.

This is a good practice for all of us as everyone has a moment when they think of something that is unkind or negative. It happens so fast that sometimes we are not even aware we are doing it. Learning to refocus our minds is tricking but if we trust in God, and He knows the desires of our hearts, we can learn to do better.

Prayer: Dear Father, forgive us our careless thoughts that do not honor you. Thank you for the scriptures that redirect our thoughts, in Jesus' name. Amen

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