Part 2: The 4-Degrees of Loving God – Loving God With All Your Soul

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You will remember from last week’s time on the couch, our foundational scripture was taken from Mark 12:30, And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart…” This week we want to move into the 2nd degree of loving God –– loving God with all our souls.

In the African American Heritage Hymnal, on page 581, you will find a song entitled My Soul Loves Jesus. The first stanza of this hymn reads:

My soul loves Jesus,

my soul loves Jesus,

my soul loves Jesus;

bless his name.

My soul loves Jesus,

my soul loves Jesus.

my soul loves Jesus;

bless his name.

As I read these words, I can hear the old saints, on the Mother’s Board and the Deacon Board, singing the lyrics of this song. There would be no organ, no piano just the stomp of their feet against an old wooden floor. And when it got to feelin’ real good, you would see them rocking from side to side, as they sat in the pews, ringing out these lyrics, from the very depths of their hearts. During those days, they meant what they sang. It was during some of the hardest times, in their lives, where they had to depend on hymns like these. But even though times were hard, it did not rob them of the joy and love they possessed for God.

I can imagine that their voices were like that of the people of Judah in Isaiah 26:9 when they sang, “With my soul, I have desired You in the night, Yes, by my spirit within me I will seek You early; For when Your judgments are in the earth, The inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness.”

When we look at the word soul, in this passage of scripture, the Hebrew word is nephesh. It means that which breaths –– the breathing substance or being –– the soul, the inner being of man. It’s where our appetites, emotions, and passions are seated. It is the place where we can express our deepest thoughts and our heart desires – the soul. It is the place that was birthed in us when God breathed into our nostrils the breath of life. (Genesis 2:7)

But what does all this have to do with loving God with all our soul?

In essence, it means with all our consciousness –– with full awareness of God and who He is in our lives. When we love God, with this type of reverence, it honors Him and exalts Him to the highest place in our being. We become infatuated with Him, having a readiness to do anything that we can to please Him.

Can you remember how you felt when you encountered your first love? The adults may have called it ‘puppy love’. But it didn’t matter what they called it, all you knew was that you couldn’t live without that person. You wanted to spend all your time with them, morning, noon, and night. Well, that’s the type of love the Father desires from us. The same feelings that we exerted towards our first love, is the same passion that He longs for us to exert towards Him.

The Gospel group, Forever Jones, penned these lyrics:

There’s a voice that cries out in the silence
Searching for a heart that will love Him
Longing for a child that will give Him their all
Give it all, He wants it all
And there’s a God that walks over the earth
He’s searching for a heart that is desperate
And longing for a child
That will give Him their all
Give it all, He wants it all.

So, I challenge you today, love the Lord your God with all your soul. You’ll find that if you had a thousand tongues, you would not be able to fully express, the affection you have towards Him. But I also believe that you would agree it’s a good predicament to be in.


Join me next week for Coffee on The Couch.