Deuteronomy 6:5: "Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength."
In case you're not familiar with where books are in the Bible, Deuteronomy is in the Old Testament. You might remember the story in Luke 10:25-42 about the lawyer who tried to trip Jesus up about the requirements of the scriptures by asking Him what he needed to do to be saved. Jesus turned the question back on the lawyer. The man repeated this verse of scripture to Jesus, and added that he should love his neighbor as himself.
What does it mean to love God that much, and to love your neighbor that much?
"All your heart" - does that mean you love only God, no one else? No, not at all. In fact, the more I love God, the more I love my husband, my kids, my grandkids, my friends--and even my enemies. Not that I dislike anyone, but loving the ones who dislike me? Or who have hurt someone I love? More difficult, but possible with God.
"All your soul" - isn't that kind of repeating the all your heart thing? I don't think so. Your heart will pass away when your body does. Your soul is eternal. Love God forever!
"All your strength" - physical or mental strength? I think both. Have you ever been in a situation where you needed every last ounce of physical oomph to accomplish something for God? And sometimes I feel like I'm on my last molecule of gray matter, too. Same thing for resisting the urge to do something you know you shouldn't do.
And one more odd thing about this--it takes God's strength on top of all we can gather of our own. Not just to continue to love and serve God as we should, but to love and serve those who are our neighbors.
God will bring people into your path who are difficult to love. Love them anyway. God will help you.
Prayer: Lord, when we are on our last ounce of heart, soul, and strength, please step in with Your own to help us out. We can't do it on our own. Thank You, Lord.