Deuteronomy 6:4-5 ESV
(See also Matthew 22:37)
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
The Lord our God is the one and only true God. Although he exists in three distinct persons – Father, Son (Jesus Christ), and Holy Spirit – he is still just one God. So, we are to worship no other gods or anything else called god or worshiped as though he (or it) is a god. We are to have no other gods before our God. And a god can be anything or anyone that we put in place of God or to whom (or to which) we give our undivided loyalties and devotion.
And love for God is not just some warm affection for him or some fuzzy feeling we feel inside of us about him. Certainly affection for God is part of our love for him but it is not the totality of what that love should look like. For it is also to take pleasure in him and in who he is, and it is also to long for him, to hunger and to thirst after him and after his righteousness. So we will diligently seek after him and after his will for our lives if we love him.
But when we love God, it also means that we prefer what he prefers, and what he prefers is what is holy, righteous, morally pure, upright, honest, faithful, loving, and kind. We choose his choices and we obey them in his power. We prefer to live our lives through him and not in our own flesh. And we choose to submit to him, to repent of our sins, and to obey his commands because we love him and we want to please him.
And the way in which we are to love God is with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. So, this means that we love God fully, completely, with every aspect of who we are. He is God of our lives in every area of our lives, and our lives are surrendered to him completely to doing his will for our lives, holding nothing back. He is not an afterthought. He is not someone we think about occasionally. He is everything to us!
Also, to love God is to obey him. If we claim to know God but we do not obey him, i.e. if we deliberately and habitually choose to not obey him and to go our own way, instead, then Scripture teaches that we don’t know him and that we are liars if we say that we do (1 Jn 2:3-6, 15; 1 Jn 3:4-10, 18, 24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6; Jn 8:51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:10; Rom 6:16; Heb 5:9; 1 Pet 1:2; Jas 1:21-25; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13).
So, if we are loving God with our whole heart, soul, and might, which means to obey him fully in every area of our lives, then our lives will be centered around him and around his will for our lives. We won’t talk about just spending some small amount of time with God each day nor will we miss days entirely without communion with him, but we will be in communion with him continuously, listening to him, and then doing what he says.
Deuteronomy 6:6-7 ESV
“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”
We who are followers of Jesus Christ, what commands are we to obey? Some people say we don’t have to obey the Lord anymore since we are not under the law, as though God now made us to be lawless. He did not. Others add lots of external laws to God’s laws which are legalistic or they try to get us to feel as though we must obey all the laws under the Old Covenant. We do not have to obey all of those ceremonial and liturgical laws of old.
So, what are we required to obey? I believe a good rule of thumb is that if a law of God is repeated for us believers in Jesus Christ in the New Testament then we must obey it. Or, in some cases, Jesus even expanded the laws to their fuller or fullest extent, such as he expanded the meaning of adultery to include lusting in our minds after another person to whom we are not married. And I believe that includes self-lust, which is lusting sexually after oneself, most often resulting in self-gratification.
Honestly, I don’t know how anyone can read much of the New Testament, especially from Romans to Revelation, and then conclude that they do not have to obey the commands of God. Obedience to our Lord is insisted upon all throughout the New Testament, and we are given all sorts of instructions which we are required to obey. And again, if we don’t obey, then we don’t know God, and thus we do not have eternal life with God.
Okay, so not only are we to be those who are walking in obedience to our Lord’s commands – all the ones commanded to us in the New Testament, many of which were also in the Old Testament – but we are to be teaching our children to obey them, too. And we should first and foremost be teaching them by example, for hypocrisy is no way to teach anyone anything. For, how can we expect them to obey if we don’t?
So, not only are we to walk in obedience to our Lord’s commands, thus setting the example for our children to follow, and not only are we to be teaching these commands to our children or to those under our care or to others within the body of Christ, but they are to be on our lips continually, but not just on our lips but in our hearts and being lived out through our lives in practice everywhere we go, no matter who we are with.
Deuteronomy 6:8-9 ESV
“You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Now, I believe we can take this literally or figuratively. The New Testament does not teach this literally, but I do believe it teaches this in principle. For, if we think of our foreheads as representing our minds, and our hands as representing our deeds, then this would be teaching us that the commands of God should be not only in our minds, to where we think on these things, but they should be evident by our deeds.
For we are to be doers of the word and not hearers only, and we are to do what God says, not just give lip service to him. So, when we read that Scripture that talks about hiding God’s word in our hearts, this is not talking about just mentally memorizing Scripture verses, which is how many take it. If the word of God is hidden in our hearts, it means his word is a reality in our hearts which is evidenced by how we live our lives.
Many people know the Scriptures intellectually who do not apply them to their lives. They can recite chapter and verse but it is not a reality in their lives. They might even know the Original Greek and how to know if a passage is being translated with accuracy, and they may be able to win arguments with all their knowledge, but still not be putting the word of God into practice in their own lives, so it really means nothing at all to them.
So, we can have all kinds of Scriptures plastered all over our houses and in our rooms, and so it has the appearance possibly of righteousness, but if the Scriptures are not a reality in how we live our lives every day, all those Scriptures hanging on our walls are just for show, are they not? They are to give the appearance that we are righteous people, but appearances can certainly be deceiving.
So, be real! Don’t be a phony. Don’t have anything to do with a Christianity that is outward only, and only for show, but that is not a living reality in your day to day lives. Honor the Lord God with your lives in everything!
We Will Glorify
By Twila Paris
We will glorify the King of kings
We will glorify the Lamb
We will glorify the Lord of lords
Who is the great I am
Lord Jehovah reigns in majesty
We will bow before His throne
We will worship Him in righteousness
We will worship Him alone
He is Lord of Heaven, Lord of Earth
He is Lord of all who live
He is Lord above the universe
All praise to Him we give
Caution: This link may contain ads