Evangelism and Personal Renewal through Loving God with Our Minds -- By: Delos Miles

Journal: Faith and Mission
Volume: FM 13:2 (Spring 1996)
Article: Evangelism and Personal Renewal through Loving God with Our Minds
Author: Delos Miles


Evangelism and Personal Renewal through
Loving God with Our Minds

Delos Miles

Retired Professor of Evangelism
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forest, NC 27587

Faculty lecture delivered in Binkley Chapel
Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
Wake Forest, NC 27587
October 26, 1993

Scripture Lesson: Deut. 6:4; 1 Pet. 1:13–21

The greatest thing in the world is a person, and the greatest thing in a person is mind. The mind is the standard of a person. Our minds are one of the most valuable resources we have in the service of God. Saint Augustine was educated many years before his conversion. Following his experience of salvation, he said, “It became clear to me at that time that the usefulness of all my studies is measured by their service to God.”1 We should steadfastly refuse to let anything prevent us from staying green above the ears.

The Greatest Commandment

The Bible has a number of things to say about loving God with our minds. Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart…and with all your mind” (Matt. 22:37). That statement was part of His answer to the lawyer who inquired, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” (Matt. 22:36). Moreover, Jesus was quoting from the well-known Shema of Deut. 6:4–5. The quotation from Deuteronomy is made even dearer in the parallel passage of Mark 12:29–30. The real thrust of Jesus’ answer is that we are to love God supremely above all others and all else, and that We are to love Him in a balanced way with all of our faculties. The four faculties specified for the love of God are “all your heart,…all your soul,…all your mind, and…all your strength” (Mark 12:30).

We need not enter into discussion of Hebrew psychology in order to understand what Jesus meant by these four faculties. Suffice it to say that in our English version of the Old Testament the word mind generally represents one of three Hebrew words: nephesh (or soul), ruach (or spirit), and leb (or heart). Especially should we note that the current distinction between mind as the seat of thinking and heart as the seat of feeling is alien from the meaning of those terms in the Bible.

Both in the Old Testament and the New Testament the heart is the organ of understanding and knowledge as well as...

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