Bible Order: Judges 17–19
Chronological Order: Deuteronomy 31:30–34:12
New Testament Only: Luke 1:39–56
Do You Love Me?
After reading today’s passages I had a large number of thoughts on which I could have commented. God’s Word is often like that. In fact, if I have only one thought about such a large passage of Scripture then I probably haven’t looked deeply enough into that passage. Still, time constrains us all.
For some reason Deuteronomy is affecting me more this time around than it ever has before. I almost feel like Peter when Jesus repeatedly asked him if he loved Him. “Do you love me?” Here in Deuteronomy we are firmly reminded of the priority God is supposed to be in our life. A couple of days ago we read Scripture that became the first part of the Shema – the Jewish statement of faith. The verse “and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” (Deut. 6:5) is the one that weighs most heavily on me today. A similar verse from today’s reading added to this weight.
Deuteronomy 13:4 ESV
“You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear him and keep his commandments and obey his voice, and you shall serve him and hold fast to him.”
Do you walk after God? Do you fear Him and keep His commandments and obey His voice? Do you hold fast to Him? What position does God hold in your life? Is He number 1? Does He serve you or do you serve Him? Do you love him with ALL your heart and soul and might? As much as I like to think that God is number one with me and that I serve Him and that I love Him with all that I am, my behavior doesn’t often reflect that. Oh, I go to church and I pray and I read my Bible every day but I must admit that God has not gotten all my heart, soul, and might. I am usually serving myself and only God when it is convenient for me. These are hard things for me to admit and write.
Some might look at me and say “boy, that guy sure loves God, look at how much he does”. How much I do and what I do don’t really tell the full story. Loving God isn’t about what you do it is about the position He has in your life. God has always been about the condition of your heart. If God has the right place in my heart I will want to do the things that He expects of me. Doing those things doesn’t make me right with God, and some will do them only so they will look like godly people. For them the godly acts are only a façade, an outward appearance – they have their reward.
Let me ask you, what would your life look like if God was truly number 1? What would be different? When I was young I thought love was something you fell into, that you had no control over it. As I matured I have discovered that love is a choice, it is a decision. Being married and having a child has taught me that love is a lot of work. It has also taught me that love is sacrificial. That is how I know that I am God’s child, that He loves me, because He made the biggest sacrifice possible for me. God will know I love Him when I sacrifice what I want in order to hold fast to Him, to obey Him, to make Him number 1 all day, every day. I guess that is when I’ll know I truly love Him too.
Have a blessed day!
Your brother and servant in Christ,
Dying to self, living to serve!
(Originally posted 3/18/11)