Full-hearted Love

OPENING PRAYER

Lord, You are the God who has gone before Your people in love. Help us to follow You.

 

Read: DEUTERONOMY 6:1-25

[1] These are the commands, decrees and laws the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, [2] so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the LORD your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. [3] Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the LORD, the God of your ancestors, promised you. [4] Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. [5] Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. [6] These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. [7] Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. [8] Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. [9] Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. [10] When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you-a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, [11]houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant-then when you eat and are satisfied, [12] be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. [13] Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. [14] Do not follow other gods, the gods of the peoples around you; [15] for the LORD your God, who is among you, is a jealous God and his anger will burn against you, and he will destroy you from the face of the land. [16] Do not put the LORD your God to the test as you did at Massah. [17] Be sure to keep the commands of the LORD your God and the stipulations and decrees he has given you. [18] Do what is right and good in the LORD’s sight, so that it may go well with you and you may go in and take over the good land the LORD promised on oath to your ancestors,[19] thrusting out all your enemies before you, as the LORD said. [20] In the future, when your son asks you, “What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the LORD our God has commanded you?” [21] tell him: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. [22] Before our eyes the LORD sent signs and wonders-great and terrible-on Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household. [23] But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land he promised on oath to our ancestors. [24] The LORD commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the LORD our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today. [25] And if we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”

 

Reflect: WHAT IS AT THE CENTER OF WHAT GOD CALLS US TO?

Jesus himself used verses 4 and 5 as a way of summarizing the Law (Mark 12:29,30). It is the central prayer in Judaism, called the Shema (“Hear”). It tells us that the way to respond to our one and only God is to love him with all our heart, soul and strength, as he first loved us (4:37; 7:7,8).But loving God full-heartedly is hard! We have busy schedules; we can’t spend every second on our knees in prayer! So what can we do to ensure that we show God full-hearted love? (a) God’s commandments were about his people living his way in the place he had given them to live (6,18,19). Do you live his way, or do you follow your own agenda? (b) Repeatedly Moses encourages the people to tell the stories of what God has done, to share the commandments with each other, including children (7,20-25). Do you let these daily Bible readings and notes sink in, or do you skip-read through them on your way to more important things? (c) Where are the “door-frames” in your life? How can you “wear” God’s promises and commandments (8,9) so that you don’t forget what he has done, every day (12)?

 

APPLY

Find a door-frame (literal or metaphorical), and put a verse from Scripture on it, keeping it before you daily.

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord, thank You that You who brought the Israelites out of Egypt have delivered us from the grip of Satan and sin.

 

Syndicated via Scripture Union
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