October 11, 2018

Once again, I feel it to be beneficial to you to be able to read this devotional written by Dr. Johnnie Pope. As always, he gives unique insight and thought provoking perspective to the Word of God. Enjoy!


Text: Mark 12:28-34

Mark 12:30: “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”

We are to love the Lord with all our mind. The word mind comes to us from the Greek word “dianoia” meaning “deep thought, the faculty of the imagination.” This is the New Testament addition, not mentioned in the Old Testament. Our Lord seems to be the one who added this way of loving Him with everything we have.
The Bible says in Proverbs 23:7a, “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he…”. The imagination is powerful. In Jeremiah 9:14a, the prophet laments that the people have disobeyed God, “…But have walked after the imagination of their own heart…”. This was the epicenter of the beginning of the end of civilization of the Antediluvian world as shown to us in Genesis 6:5, “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” If we love the Lord with all our mind or imagination, could we not do the opposite of those who lived before the flood and by God’s grace serve the Lord continually and have an imagination thinking righteously continually?

We are to love the Lord with all our strength. The Greek word for strength is “ischus” which means “force, ability, might or power.” This is where “all of it” eventually must end up, i.e., exercising loving our Lord with all the power of our being. Any casual observer of a life may tell where one’s heart is. Allow me to illustrate.
A hard working boy from the Midwest grows up, married and he and his wife had one daughter and adopted another daughter. He loved his girls, and was successful in business. However, no one took the place his wife and daughters held in his heart.

And so he began to imagine–he imagined a better amusement park. He used his talents in cartoon drawing to help him imagine a place that could become what he would call “the happiest place on earth.” And thus, the idea of Disney Land and later Disney World were created. Walt Disney was quoted, “I only hope that we never lose sight of one thing–that it was all started by a mouse.” I submit to you it was not started by a mouse; it was started by the love for two girls, Diane and Sharon.
Think of what great expectations await the Christian who is so in love with the Savior that his or her love drives them to imagine things that have never been done–missions that have never been accomplished–evangelistic enterprises that have never been tried. In D. L. Moody’s youth he heard a man who was about to die say, “It is yet to be seen what God can do with one man totally surrendered to God.” Moody said, “By the grace of God, I’ll be that man!” After a lifetime of phenomenal service for his Lord and personally witnessing over two and a half million people come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, Dwight L. Moody lay on his deathbed. And as he was soon to die, he was overheard saying, “It is yet to be seen what God can do with one man totally, wholly surrendered to God.” Just imagine! Would you be that man? Would you be that woman? It will require, “all of it!”

-Pastor Pope-