“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” –Luke 10:27 (NASB)
Often, when we think about love, we think about loving others. While this is a worthwhile endeavor, just for a moment, think about being loved. Who are the people who love you the most? Now take a minute to think through why they love you more deeply than anyone else.
When I look at my list, I find the commonality between them is that they all know me the deepest. They’ve seen me at my worst, at my best and the mundane days in between. They know the dreams I have for my future and have seen me try with a mix of success and failure to attain them. This group of people has been around enough to know my tendencies to fall into sin and the areas where I thrive. With these people, I am known. They have chosen to relate with me in such a way they know me to my core and as a result, I have no doubts about how deeply I am loved by them.
I think that sort of love is exactly what Jesus is discussing with the lawyer here in Luke 10. Just as we want to be known and loved, so does our God. He created us in his image and for relationship with him. He wants us to know him and, therefore, love him. It starts with our own heart, soul, mind and strength. As we give him more of ourselves, he gives more of himself to us, and we get to love him on entirely new levels, growing in intimacy with him. What a joy it is to grow in relationship with our Lord and to love him deeper as a result.
Shelby Rikard is the connecting director at Northwest Bible Church in Dallas. She and her husband, Josh, are expecting their first-born in January 2020.