Todd Tilghman grew up in Meridian, Mississippi. He and Brooke, his high school sweetheart, were married in 1998. He eventually became pastor of his home church.
Todd and Brooke had three children, then adopted a daughter from South Korea and her biological sister. The couple then had three more children for a total of eight.
Todd never sang outside of church services. However, his wife urged him to wait in line for hours at an open audition for the singing competition, The Voice. “I am really thankful that she believed in me in a place in my life where I didn’t even realize that I had sort of stopped believing in myself,” he said later.
As the competition progressed, whether viewers were Christians or not, they could tell that there was something different about him. His peace, serenity, humility, and humor came through all season long.
This week, he sang I Can Only Imagine during the show’s final competition. The next night, he became the oldest person ever to win The Voice.
Why we should love God with all our “soul”
This week, we’re discussing ways to love our neighbor during this pandemic by loving God with our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Mark 12:30–31). We’ve seen that when we love God with our strength through practical commitment, we will love others in the same way. If we love him with our minds through biblical study and submission to his Spirit, we will love him with our strength and our neighbors as well.
Today, let’s think about what it means to love the Lord with “all your soul.” The word soul (psyche in the Greek) occurs about one hundred times in the New Testament. It points to the inner life, often with reference to the emotions.
Across Scripture, the psyche is associated with pleasure (Matthew 12:18), happiness (Luke 12:19), and sorrow (Mark 14:34; Luke 2:35). In contrast with our heart, mind, and strength, to love God with our soul is to love him emotionally and intuitively.
Such an intimate, personal relationship with Jesus will empower us to spend time in Scripture and to think biblically. It will move us to serve the One we love in practical ways. And it will motivate us to love others as we are loved.
This kind of deep relationship with Jesus will be obvious to others. As with Todd Tilghman, people will see the passionate joy in our lives, and they will want what we have.
Research shows the power of prayer
Loving God with our souls is especially urgent in this difficult season.
Continue reading Denison Forum – What makes ‘The Voice’ winner so special: The joy of loving God with ‘all your soul’