One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”

“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”
(Mark 12:28-30)

If we can condense what God desires of us into one statement, this is it. In Matthew 22:40 after referring to this concept Jesus states, “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

When I ended my former blog, I had many reasons. One reason was that the scope of my blog was too narrow. I love being a mom. My role as wife and mother are two of the most important roles I have.

Yet, I have a role that is greater than that. I am a daughter of the King. Loving Him comes first, and my love for Him encompasses topics that don’t fall under the realm of parenting.

In my attempt to broaden the scope of topic, I am centering it on this command of our Lord: To love God and our neighbor.

Just like the God we worship, this concept is huge. These two commands summarize the 10 commandments, and when Jesus teaches on these in the sermon on the mount, we learn more about the depths of these commands. The study and application of loving God and my neighbor, though such a small statement, will require everything of me and I will still fall short.

By God’s design I am both a thinker and a nurturer. I think too often we separate into camps and act as if mercy and logic don’t go together. God made us to love him with all that we are—every aspect.

We can’t properly love with our hearts if they are not informed with our minds. With our minds we learn specifically and logically through God’s word what our hearts should be set on. And shouldn’t we be good stewards of our bodies to have the strength to do this? And what if our bodies are feeble and frail or incapacitated? God doesn’t ask us to be more than he made us. But we are to use all the gifts, talents, and abilities he gives us for his glory. We are even to use our weaknesses for his glory.

God’s multi-faceted attributes combine in a perfect love toward us that helps us see what this love looks like.

This one statement is to be our aim, but we cannot fulfill it. And yet, he fulfills it for us because we cannot. Oddly enough, though I cannot achieve this goal, the more I pursue it, the more I plunge into the depths of his love for me. And the more I pursue it the more I see of Him.

Everyone worships. The question is who or what do we worship?

Will we worship our own reason? Will we serve the ideologies or philosophies of our day? Science? Psychology? Our own comfort? Money?

Not to us, LORD, not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.
Why do the nations say,
“Where is their God?”
Our God is in heaven;
he does whatever pleases him.
But their idols are silver and gold,
made by human hands.
They have mouths, but cannot speak,
eyes, but cannot see.
They have ears, but cannot hear,
noses, but cannot smell.
They have hands, but cannot feel,
feet, but cannot walk,
nor can they utter a sound with their throats.
Those who make them will be like them,
and so will all who trust in them.
Psalm 115:1-8

“Those who make them will be like them.” We become like what we worship. If we worship ideas or things made by man, we will become less than those things. Those things will not uphold us.

This blog will explore many topics, but the aim of all is to point to the Living God.

For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever!

(Romans 11:36)


In addition to blogging at Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind, Stefani Carmichael is an author, counselor, and director of Spiritual Life for the WIC at French Camp Presbyterian Church