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 your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and to observe the LORD’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?
To the LORD your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it. Yet the LORD set his affection on your forefathers and loved them, and he chose you, their descendants, above all the nations as it is today.
I wonder if we pause often enough to reflect on who God is? It is too easy, in the frantic pace of the modern world, to be so caught up in our business and the many demands that are made of us, to forget that we owe everything to the LORD to whom ‘belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.’ Does this strike a chord?
How often have you, in coming to God as the day begins, prayed that through the day you may keep looking to Jesus; that you will consider him as you make decisions; that in quiet moments your thoughts would turn to him and then, taking stock as the day ends, find that you have failed miserably? I know I have!
How can this happen when we reflect that the LORD has set his love upon us and chosen us?
Yes, I know that the words of our verses today were addressed to Israel but even more so, if that were possible, we should hear them and take them to heart, as we are even more blessed having experienced the supreme outworking of that love and choice in the death of Jesus for us.
What does that look like in practice? It is doing what the Lord our God asks of us!
To fear him (acknowledging that he is indeed the Sovereign LORD and that everything is his); to walk in all his ways; to love him and to serve him with all our heart and soul.
This is not optional!
Jesus was asked ‘what is the greatest commandment in the law?’ and his reply was:
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Matthew 22.35-37
He then added ‘the second is like it “Love your neighbour as yourself”v.38
To live like that is hugely demanding but the resource we need to achieve it is freely available to us – The Holy Spirit.
I am challenged in all these areas and it is my hope that you are also.
Let us pray, this day and every day, for our ourselves and our fellow believers, that as we become more obedient in these things our impact on the world will be obvious and that God will be glorified.