In the old testament, God states lots of commandments that were all relevant and important for the time that He was saying them. People were basically wildin’ and not knowing how to honor Him well or focus on His goodness - so he set some commandments to help them and show them what it truly meant to love him and themselves well. Later, He sent Jesus the revolutionary. He sent Jesus to teach people in a way that they could truly understand and build a relationship with God. In the gospel of Luke in chapter 10, verse 27, Jesus said 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and, Love your neighbor as yourself.'
Heart. Soul. Strength (aka Body). Mind. These are the ways we can love God. Another way of loving God is worshipping him. Although many of us consider worship a Sunday kind of thing when music is playing - it’s actually way bigger than that. Worship is a lifestyle. It’s a way of being that bring’s God glory and brings us closer to him. When Jesus is stating that we are to love God with ALL our heart, soul, strength, and mind - what I think he’s really trying to convey is that every part of us is one. It’s not to be compartmentalized like sometimes we do with our lives where we have our work friends, church friends, and neighborhood friends. Rather, God is inviting us to love him and worship him with all of what and who we are completely. In the message version of Romans 12:1, it says “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.”
So here’s where temple lovin’ comes in. Another way to think of this term is by thinking of ‘healthy living’ - it’s something that has become all the rave lately. A trend- juicing, meditation, self-care, etc. Although lots of people are not doing it because they think it’s a trend - we have to sometimes recognize that some trends are good for us (and obviously some are not). This particular one is incredibly spiritual. Not everyone is viewing at such but if you’re a follower of Jesus - loving all parts of your temple is a way to worship and love God.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 says “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” - God is sharing with us that not only are our bodies a sacred temple that we should take care because he made us and it’s a form of worship but it’s also a place where the Holy Spirit dwells. If that is true, then don’t we want to love well the body, mind, soul, and heart where the Holy Spirit is finding his resting place?
The breakdown of the 4 parts that God is particularly focused on in the Luke verse gives us a profound glimpse as to the things that God truly cares about. This means he cares about what we eat and put into our bodies. This means he cares about what we watch on tv and social media and how it effects our mind. He cares about the relationships we have and the communities we choose to be a part of and how it effects our hearts. And he cares about how often we are in the word and connecting deeper with him and how it effects our soul. It all matters to God so shouldn’t it all matter to us too?
Here is a free resource we have created to invite you into more ways to love and worship God through your body, soul, mind, and heart. Temple Lovin’ doesn’t just happen. Intention is behind it. The second page of the resource is something for you to fill out weekly on whatever day that best serves you to plan for the week ahead. On that page you can write an encouraging verse that will keep you going throughout the week and there’s 5 lines in the 4 different sections where you can write your plan, goal, or focus for the week in the particular area of your life that will be a form of worship to God and benefit to you.
Now, don’t think I forgot about the last part of the Luke verse where it says “love your neighbor as yourself”. That is vital commandment that came directly from Jesus but note it says to love your neighbor AS YOURSELF. You have to first be loving God well and yourself well to love others well. As women, this isn’t always something we take too seriously or is natural to our ways of being but it’s vital to our well-being and to glorifying God. So yes, love others - other people matter immensely but girl, love God first, then yourself, then others. It’s just simple math.