Six Obstacles to the Greatest Commandment

The Greatest Commandment (Matthew 22:34-40) is almost too great of a challenge for us.  When Jesus told the Phrarisees that they must love the Lord their God with all their heart, all their soul, and all their mind, did he mean all at the same time?  I often find that hard to do.  Loving God with all my heart, all my soul, and all my mind.  There are so many obstacles:

LOVING GOD~  This is the first obstacle.  Love is the greatest other focused action possible.  Loving God puts God in my view, puts God above me, places God as my affection, and places God as my pursuit.  Reality Check #1: I need to work on this.

ALL~ This is the second obstacle.  All implies every little and every big bit.  Every ounce.  Every aspect.  Every seen and unseen component.  No residue left over.  Every crumb.  Plate licked clean.  All implies that nothing is held back, everything is exposed and handed over.  Ananias and Saphira all is not.   Reality Check #2:  Honesty, I still try to cling to my own life too much.

MY~ This is the third obstacle.  What’s mine is mine.  Not yours, right?  Well, God wants my stuff.  Reality Check #3: I look around and notice that I still own a lot of things.

HEART~ This is the fourth obstacle.  The heart is the seat of my affection and desires.  My longings and wants.  This is the capturing of my dedication and dreams.  The heart of my mattering.  What matters to me.  Uh oh.  Reality Check #4: My heart gives way too much affection to really crappy things… like sin.

SOUL~ This is the fifth obstacle. The source of my self.  The soul is the core of identity.  The one who has your soul is the one who has your life in their hands.    Who I am is determined by who has my soul.  Am I Christ’s?  Am I my own?  Am I somebody else’s?  Reality Check #5: Sold my soul to the devil?  Clinging to my soul and claiming equality with God?  Or have I surrendered my soul to Christ? 

MIND~ This is the sixth obstacle.  The mind is the storehouse of my thoughts and plans.  That greyish matter is the control center of my body.  So what do I think about?  What is it that occupies my synapses?  Does my reflection reflect God’s thoughts?  Over time, has there been any deterioration in my thought process (physical or spiritual)?  Is my mind sharp… all out focused on God?  You know, the mind can be easily tripped up and tricked by shortcuts or cheating.  Reality Check #6:  Could Romans 12:2 be said of me?


  1. Hey Russ! I’ve got to tell you I love the fishing site. Very cool… and very funny… in a cool sort of way. I look forward to catching up with you in Calgary some day. Not sure I’ll be in Indonesia anytime soon.

  2. Hey Man,
    Nice blog thingy! I’ll be checking it out once in a while for some good theology. I might argue with you once in a while if that’s ok. Miss hanging out, glad to hear that you are moving on in ministry. I think this position is a great thing for you (and the church). Praying for you, your family, and your ministry. Love Russ

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