Adam Clarke on Loving God with all our Heart

What is implied in loving God with all the heart, soul, mind, strength, etc., and when may a man be said to do this?

1. He loves God with all his heart, who loves nothing in comparison of him, and nothing but in reference to him: – who is ready to give up, do, or suffer any thing in order to please and glorify him: – who has in his heart neither love nor hatred, hope nor fear, inclination, nor aversion, desire, nor delight, but as they relate to God, and are regulated by him.

2. He loves God with all his soul, or rather, εν ολη τη ψυχη, with all his life, who is ready to give up life for his sake – to endure all sorts of torments, and to be deprived of all kinds of comforts, rather than dishonor God: – who employs life with all its comforts, and conveniences, to glorify God in, by, and through all: – to whom life and death are nothing, but as they come from and lead to God, From this Divine principle sprang the blood of the martyrs, which became the seed of the Church. They overcame through the blood of the Lamb, and loved not their lives unto the death. See Revelation 12:11.

3. He loves God with all his strength (Mark 12:30Luke 10:27) who exerts all the powers of his body and soul in the service of God: – who, for the glory of his Maker, spares neither labor nor cost – who sacrifices his time, body, health, ease, for the honor of God his Divine Master: – who employs in his service all his goods, his talents, his power, credit, authority, and influence.

4. He loves God with all his mind (intellect – διανοια) who applies himself only to know God, and his holy will: – who receives with submission, gratitude, and pleasure, the sacred truths which God has revealed to man: – who studies no art nor science but as far as it is necessary for the service of God, and uses it at all times to promote his glory – who forms no projects nor designs but in reference to God and the interests of mankind: – who banishes from his understanding and memory every useless, foolish, and dangerous thought, together with every idea which has any tendency to defile his soul, or turn it for a moment from the center of eternal repose. In a word, he who sees God in all things – thinks of him at all times – having his mind continually fixed upon God, acknowledging him in all his ways – who begins, continues, and ends all his thoughts, words, and works, to the glory of his name: – this is the person who loves God with all his heart, life, strength, and intellect. He is crucified to the world, and the world to him: he lives, yet not he, but Christ lives in him. He beholds as in a glass the glory of the Lord, and is changed into the same image from glory to glory. Simply and constantly looking unto Jesus, the author and perfecter of his faith, he receives continual supplies of enlightening and sanctifying grace, and is thus fitted for every good word and work.

~Commentary on the Bible, by Adam Clarke [1831].
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

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