Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength – Deuteronomy 6:5
The other day I was reading this scripture as part of my devotion and I planned on writing a post on it yesterday because it resonated with me in a way it never has before. However, I didn’t want to rush the process of unfolding my thoughts about this powerful yet simple scripture.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO LOVE GOD?
Loving God is more than just saying “I love God” or “I’m a Christian”. Love is a verb therefore a word followed by action. Meaning that to love God, we have to actively demonstrate it. How do we do this? We do this by being obedient to his word and his commandments. This statement shouldn’t be accompanied with a feeling of shock, because even in our normal friendships and relationships. Can you honestly say you feel respected when your friend ignores you, or continues to do something to you when you have already expressed that what they are doing makes you feel uncomfortable. This is the same as being obedient to God’s commands. And alongside this, God’s commands are actually guidelines that protect, elevate and mould us. So why is it so hard to obey?
“If you love me, obey my commandments – John 14:15
So, we have established that an active form of demonstrating our love for God is obeying his commandments. And is it fair to say that God’s commandments direct us on a path that is contrary to the path of sin? I am assuming you said yes. Well if this is the case, the main scripture says we should love the Lord “with all” our hearts, “with all” our souls and “with all” our strength. The repetition of “with all” reinforces the fact that God doesn’t believe in half-hearted love. Therefore, love that is not fully committed, love that is inconsistent as a result is dependent on how we feel or the company we keep. He wants us to love him completely from the depths of our heart and soul where nobody but he sees to our physical being (strength).
The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” – 1 Samuel 16:7
Our love for God should sprout forth from the inside out. I say this because we now understand that loving God is obeying his commands and that his commands juxtapose sin. Consequently, when God says that we should love him with all our hearts, soul and strength. We can conclude that he is saying, sin should not run deep in our hearts. Sin should not run deep in our soul. And sin should not run deep in our actions. Therefore, my question to you is: What is the condition of your heart? Is it filled with filthy emotions like jealousy, anger, rage? And what do you use most of strength and ability for? In other words, what is your main and first priority? Is it getting that job? Buying that house? Finishing that degree? Or drawing closer to God?
To truly love God, is to willingly put him first. To put him first, is to spend time with him. To spend time with him, is to worship, pray and read his word. To read his word enables us to discover and identify his commands and expectations. Which then gives us the opportunity to display our love for God to see and for others to see through obedience.
The scripture Deuteronomy 6:5 is repeated a lot of times in the Bible. Its repeated in:
Matthew 22:7, Mark 12:30, Mark 12:33, Luke 10:27, Deuteronomy 10:12, Deuteronomy 13:3
The repetition of this command indicated the importance in the act of obedience that we are meant to carry out to demonstrate our love for God. And not just our declaration of it but our commitment to it.
Love God with all you’ve got. Because he loved us with all he had. And that’s everything.
Note to self and note to you.
Stay blessed and stay tuned,