Message of the Day: Loving God Supremely and Unreservedly!
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5, NKJV)
This is the beginning of the Jewish confession of faith (v.v. 6-9 – The Creed of the Jews), the Shema (Hebrew word for “hear”) which probably belong to the daily morning and evening Jewish Services – “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your strength.” This statement was repeated in Deut. 10:12; 11:1, 13, 22) and was reemphasized by Jesus in Matthew 22:37. Jesus gave it first place in his teaching.
This passage asserts that the Lord God of Israel is absolutely God, and none other. He, and He alone, is Jehovah (Yahweh) the One who had made Himself known to Israel. Since there is but One God, and that God is Israel’s God, so Israel must love God unreservedly and entirely. Love for God and neighbor is built on the love that the Lord has for His people and on His identification with them. Such love is to be total, involving one’s whole being.
The New Testament itself requires no more than this total self-surrender of man’s being to his maker. A person’s first responsibility is to love God; the second is to love one’s fellow human beings. No matter how strong our determination to do right, we would be unable to keep God’s law unless we first have a strong and genuine love for God himself. Love for Him would give us the inner power to walk in His ways. The fact that people are commanded to love shows that love is primarily a matter of doing, not feeling. it is an attitude of loyal obedience that governs a person’s mind, will and emotions.
To love God with all the heart is to fix our affections supremely on Him, more strongly than on anything else, and to be willing to give up all that we hold dear at his command. To love Him with all our life (“soul”) is to be willing to give up the life to Him, and devote it all to His service; to live to him, and to be willing to die at his command. To love God “with all your mind” is to submit the “intellect” to his will.
Halley, Henry H. Halley’s Bible Handbook. ePub Format. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 2000.
MySword for Android. Riversoft Ministry, 2011-2019.
The NKJV Bible
Zondervan NASB Study Bible. Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1999.
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