February- The Love of God, the Love of Christ
“And now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul, and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?” Deuteronomy. 10:12-13 (NIV)
“fear the Lord your God,”
Once I had a disturbing conversation with a friend. She related that her husband had told a co-worker he didn’t fear God. All I could tell her was the Biblical thought of fearing Him was we were to have very deep respect for God. Job spoke of the fear of the Lord as being wisdom and when we shun evil that is understanding. (Job 28:28, NIV)
“to walk in all his ways,”
It seems we are to follow God and live as He directs. Sometimes we venture out on our own in doing things. When we do this, we find ourselves having difficult times. We have to pray before we act.
“to love him,”
When we love another person, we choose to spend time with that person. We converse often with them. We respect them. This is all God asks of us. We love him by following His word, reflecting Him in all we do, and lifting our needs to him.
“to serve the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul,”
An interesting word, serve. We take it to mean to work for someone. Jacob served Laban for 14 years. We have men and women who serve in our armed forces. We have others who work in restaurants who serve food to those who go out to eat. But, what does it mean to serve the Lord? God calls some of His children to work for Him full-time, in the pulpits or in foreign lands on the missionary fields. Some of those in foreign lands are there in other capacities due to certain countries being closed to the Gospel. Whether these people serve God at home or in foreign lands, we need to pray for them.
“to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees,”
God gave us laws and rules he expects us to obey. He gave the Israelite people certain holy days and Sabbath years to observe. We have evidence in His Word that the Sabbath years were not observed. He taught them a lesson about neglecting the observances. The Israelite people spent 70 years in exile because they disobeyed God and didn’t observe the Sabbath year rests for the land.
“that I am giving you today for your own good?”
Everything God told His people, all He gave them was for their own good. Adam and Eve had paradise until Eve allowed the serpent to beguile her and Adam couldn’t say no to her about that forbidden fruit. God told the Israelites, as they came into the Promised Land, to rid the land of all those who lived there. They didn’t do as God told them. The people chose not to observe the Sabbath year rests, even when they had been told what would happen if they chose not to obey this command.
God always has the best interests of His children in mind. He wants us to choose to obey Him. He gave us Free Will so that the act of our obeying Him is our choice and not His mandate.