Love Your Lord God

Deuteronomy 6:4-5 ESV

“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.”

Do you know what it takes to love God like this? Well, first of all we need to be in relationship with him via dying with Christ to sin and being raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him in obedience to the Lord and in holiness and righteousness. We cannot love God like this if our hearts are not surrendered to him, and if we are not seeking his will for our lives, and if we are not walking in the ways he has for us to walk.

For, the Scriptures teach us that to love God is to obey him and that if we don’t obey him we don’t know him, and he doesn’t know us, and so we are not in relationship with him. In other words we can’t be saved from our sins and be on our way to heaven if we have no desire to obey the Lord and if we are choosing to disobey him, instead, and if we are choosing sin over obedience to the Lord Jesus, as a matter of life practice.

[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 8:51; Jn 14:15-24; Jn 15:10; Matt 7:21-23; 1 Jn 2:3-6,15-17; 1 Jn 3:4-10,24; 1 Jn 5:2-3; 2 Jn 1:6; Rom 2:6-8; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-14; Rom 12:1-2; Tit 2:11-14; Heb 5:9; 1 Pet 1:1-2; Jas 1:21-25; 1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13; Php 2:12-13; Jn 10:27-30; Acts 5:32]

So genuine faith must come first, and then we love him by following him every step of the way day by day in being who he wants us to be and in doing what he says to do and by loving his word, and by loving our fellow humans, and by living and sharing with others the gospel of Christ (the whole counsel of God). And this is full-time for all of us, this loving God and his word and doing his will and us loving other humans with his love.

Deuteronomy 6:6-9 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. 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.”

The Word of God should never be something we read for 10 minutes a day and then ignore what it says throughout the day. The Word of God, the teachings of Jesus and of his New Testament apostles, which are directed to the church, are to be lived out in our lives day by day. In other words, we don’t have to obey the Old Covenant ceremonial and liturgical laws. We aren’t under those. But we do have to obey the commands of Jesus.

And the Word of God should be on our hearts, not just in our heads. To hide the word of God in our hearts is not just via memorizing and reciting Scripture verses. That may be in our heads and never get to our hearts. To hide the word of God in our hearts is to put them into practice in our every day lives. It is to obey the teachings of Jesus and of his New Testament apostles and any Old Testament teachings that align with those.

And not only should we be putting the word of God into practice in our daily lives, but we should be teaching the Scriptures to other people. And we don’t have to be gifted teachers to do that, either. We can just share with others what the Lord is teaching us and how he is applying the word to our own lives. There doesn’t have to be any formality to it, at all. It should be perfectly natural to share with others what we are learning from God.

And the Lord and his word should be as natural for us to talk about in our conversations with others as talking about anything else. We should be in the practice of talking about the Scriptures, but not in theory, and not just to intellectualize, but in all practicality to our daily living. And our Lord and his word should be on our minds when we awake, and throughout the day, and as we are going to sleep at night, too. We should live and breathe his Word.

[Matt 4:4; Lu 8:21; Lu 11:28; Jn 8:47; Acts 4:31; Acts 6:7; Acts 12:24; Acts 15:7; Acts 18:11; 1 Co 1:18; 2 Co 4:2; Eph 6:17; Col 1:25; Col 3:16; Col 4:3; 1 Thess 1:8; 1 Thess 2:13; 1 Tim 6:3-4; 2 Tim 2:9,15; Heb 4:12; Heb 6:4-6; Heb 11:3; Jas 1:21-25; 1 Jn 2:5; 1 Jn 2:14; Rev 6:9; Rev 20:4]

Deuteronomy 6:16-19 ESV

“You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah. You shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and his testimonies and his statutes, which he has commanded you. And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, that it may go well with you, and that you may go in and take possession of the good land that the Lord swore to give to your fathers by thrusting out all your enemies from before you, as the Lord has promised.”

How did they put the Lord to the test? They grumbled against him, and they were idolaters and revelers, and they engaged in sexual immorality, etc. They willfully disobeyed the Lord’s commands, in his face, perhaps testing to see if he would actually do anything about it. Well, he did. Those who rebelled against the Lord and did such things as are mentioned here were put to death in several different ways, for God was not pleased with them for their unbelief, and so they did not enter into his eternal rest.

And their lives serve as examples to us of what not to do and of the consequences to us if we should decide to ignore the commands of God and go our own way, instead. So we are to flee idolatry and sexual immorality, and the like, for we cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons, too. Therefore, if the Lord is speaking to us about something we need to repent of, we are not to harden our hearts or we will not enter his rest.

And what this says here about God’s requirement of obedience to him is repeated for us multiple times in the New Testament. We just aren’t required to obey the Old Covenant liturgical, ceremonial, purification, sacrificial and dietary laws and restrictions the Jews of old had to obey. Yet we do have to obey our Lord’s commandments under the New Covenant. And if we do not obey him we don’t know him and we do not have eternal life with him.

[1 Co 10:1-22; Heb 3:1-19; Heb 4:1-13 and Scripture references above]

I Stand in Awe

By Mark Altrogge

You are beautiful
You are beautiful beyond description
Too marvelous for words
Too wonderful for comprehension
Like nothing ever seen or heard
Who can grasp Your infinite wisdom?
Who can fathom the depth of Your love?
You are beautiful beyond description
Majesty, enthroned above

And I stand, I stand in awe of You
I stand, I stand in awe of You
Holy God, to whom all praise is due
I stand in awe of You

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