Deuteronomy 6:5 (KJV) And thou shalt love 
the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with 
all thy soul, and with all thy might. 

Deuteronomy 6:5 (NKJV) You shall love the 
LORD your God with all your heart, with all your 
soul, and with all your strength.  

Deuteronomy 6:5 (NIV) Love the LORD your God 
with all your heart and with all your soul and 
with all your strength. 

Deuteronomy 6:5 (NLT) And you must love the 
LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, 
and all your strength. 


What was the greatest of God's commandments?
   Deuteronomy 6:4-9, known as the Shema 
(Hebrew for "hear), has become the Jewish confession 
of faith, recited twice daily by the devout, 
along with 11:13-21 and Numbers 15:37-41. "Hear, O 
Israel: The LORD ... LORD is one!" (v. 4). The 
intent of these words was to give a clear statement 
of the truth of monotheism, that there is only 
one God. Thus, it has also been translated "The 
LORD is our God, the LORD alone." The word used 
for "one" in this passage does not mean 
"singleness," but "unity." The same word is used in 
Genesis 2:24, where the husband and wife were said 
to be "one flesh." Thus, while this verse was 
intended as a clear and concise statement of 
monotheism, it does not exclude the concept of the 
   "You shall love the LORD your God with 
all your heart, with all your soul, and with all 
your strength" (v. 5). First in the list of all 
that was essential for the Jew was an unreserved, 
wholehearted commitment expressed in love to God. Since 
this relationship of love for God could not be 
represented in any material way as with idols, it had to 
be demonstrated in obedience to God's law in 
daily life. See 11:16-21; Matthew 22:37; Luke 
   These words ... in your heart" (v. 6). 
The people were to think about these 
commandments and meditate on them so that obedience would 
not be a matter of formal legalism, but a 
response based upon understanding. The law written 
upon the heart would be an essential 
characteristic of the later New Covenant (Jer. 31:33). And 
"teach them diligently to your children" (v. 7). 
The commandments were to be the subject of 
conversation, both inside and outside the home, from the 
beginning of the day to its end. [MacArthur Daily 
Bible 2003] 


   Years ago, I gave my mom a journal called 
"Reflections from a Mother's Heart: Your Life Story in 
Your Own Words," which had pages that asked 
specific questions. On a recent visit, she returned 
the book filled out. Although I already knew 
much of the information, I enjoyed gaining new, 
insights into her memories. Mom's answers painted a 
typical picture of a poor farm family in the 1930s 
and 40s. She had worked in the fields and 
garden, milked the cows, and as the oldest of seven 
children, helped care for her younger siblings. She 
did homework by the light of the fireplace. She 
walked across pastures to catch the bus and in high 
school rode three different buses to school. 
   Pages about vacations, traveling, and 
music lessons were blank. The wedding/honeymoon 
page told of exchanging vows before a justice of 
the peace, returning to her in-laws' house, and 
going to work in their cotton fields. Yet, when 
asked to choose one word to best describe her 
life, she wrote, "Wonderful - I haven't been 
perfect and have had some bad times, but I think 
I've had a wonderful life." Despite poverty, 
hardships, disappointments, and the grief of losing 
siblings and her husband of sixty-nine years, my mom 
can look back and say that. How? 
   The answer is on the page in the book 
that asks for life advice to share. She wrote, 
"Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind, 
and strength and your neighbor as yourself." The 
theme of this memory book? The surest way to have 
a wonderful life is to have a love of Jesus 
scattered across all the pages of our days and 
chapters of our lives. Dianne Neal Matthews 
   Faith Step: Thank Jesus for your good 
memories and ask Him to heal any hurtful, negative 
memories with His love and grace. [Mornings With 
Jesus 2021 Devotional by Guideposts and 


   These are words from the mouth of Moses, 
but they come straight from the heart of God. 
It's repeated several times in Deuteronomy, again 
in Joshua and the Psalms, and then deemed the 
most important commandment by numerous rabbis and 
by Jesus Himself. And this "commandment" is 
also a plea - not from a God desperate for love 
but from a God who created us for that purpose 
and wants it fulfilled. God wants an emotional 
closeness to and heartfelt commitment from those made 
in His image.  
   It's easy to hear the divine heartbeat on 
this subject: "Why do you think I made you to be 
like Me? There's no reason for your design other 
than relating to Me. Haven't you noticed? I have 
pursued you for centuries. I've waited patiently and 
planned your restoration in detail. I haven't called 
your straying 'disobedience' only, I've also 
called it 'adultery.' Why? Because it's personal. 
Because I want your heart and you've given it to 
others. I can be hurt and grieved by your attitude 
toward Me. But I've continued to call you back to 
Me. I've made enormous sacrifices for you. I've 
placed My affection on you. I've made extravagant 
promises that include giving you an eternal 
inheritance and letting you rule the earth together with 
Me. And I've shown you love that's higher and 
wider and deeper than a finite mind can 
comprehend. Don't misread the cues. Don't underestimate 
My commitment to you - or My desire for you. I 
want you for Myself."  
   God, I want to love You with my whole 
heart. I know this is Your greatest desire for me, 
that it's the reason I was made. But You know how 
weak my love can be, and how easily I'm 
distracted by lesser, more visible things. Please help 
my heart respond to You and love You with 
passion. [The One Year Experiencing Gods Presence 
Devotional by Chris Tiegreen] 

   The Bible has often been described as an 
instruction manual for life, as if we are simply to read 
the Word and follow the directions. And for 
many, this approach is the beginning and end of 
God's voice to them. God has given His commands, 
and we are to follow them. We read, and then we 
do. It's like assembling a piece of furniture; 
the instructions are printed on a page, and we 
follow them step by step. That's how it's supposed 
to work - if the Bible is only an instruction 
   The problem with that perspective is that 
God is intensely relational, and instruction 
manuals aren't. God never intended for His voice to 
be reduced to a reading list or a long-distance 
letter or a business plan. Though we certainly 
receive His instructions through His Word, we also 
receive them through our hearts during the night 
(see Psalm 16:7), through a voice speaking into 
our ears (see Isaiah 30:21), and many other 
ways. And though part of our relationship with God 
is instructional, most of it goes much deeper. 
It isn't enough to merely follow instructions; 
our hearts have to be engaged (see Deuteronomy 
28:47-48; Matthew 15:8). Jesus made it very clear that 
it's possible to know the Word thoroughly yet not 
know God. (In John 5:37-39, He tells the 
religious leaders, who knew Scripture quite well, that 
they had never heard God's voice.) Reading His 
Word and hearing His voice are not necessarily 
the same thing.  
   Let Scripture be your entryway into a 
conversation with God, not the sum total of your 
communication. Hear His instructions, but let your 
relationship with Him go much deeper than that. Never let 
the Bible be reduced to a spiritual to-do list. 
Let it launch you into God's presence.  
   Lord, I understand that reading the Word 
and hearing Your voice are not the same thing. 
Please help me to hear Your voice in the Word and 
to use Scripture as the beginning of a 
conversation with You, rather than as the conversation 
itself. [The One Year Hearing His Voice Devotional 
by Chris Tiegreen re vs 6] 

Love Beyond Words
   A. W. Tozer says we must speak of God's 
love, though we "can no more do justice to that 
awesome and wonder-filled theme than a child can 
grasp a star."  
   Of course, a child can't grasp a star. 
Yet Tozer says that by reaching toward it, a 
child can call attention to a star and show us 
where to look for it. In that humble frame of 
mind, a Christian calls attention to God's love. 
Tozer says he "stretches his heart toward the 
high, shining love of God to encourage others to 
look up and have hope."  
   How does this apply to our lives? Tozer 
quotes the apostle John's insight that perfect love 
casts out fear and notes that it is obviously 
God's magnificent love that is perfect.  
   So, if we are responding to God's love, 
we need not fear.  
   Tozer also says that God's love is active 
and creative. We need look no further than the 
familiar John 3:16 for an affirmation of that: "For 
God loved the world so much that he gave his one 
and only Son" (NLT). What love could be more 
active and "wonder-filled" than that?  
   If we believe in Jesus, we will 
experience this awesome love forever.  
   Another stunning aspect of God's love is 
the biblical revelation that he loves us in a 
big way. Julian of Norwich said we're so 
personally and specially loved that we couldn't even 
come close to grasping the marvel of it. God 
loves us!  
   So, we are objects of God's love, as a 
beloved child is the object of his or her parents' 
love. Tozer concludes, "The love of God is one of 
the great realities of the universe, a pillar on 
which the hope of the world rests."  
   Father in heaven, it's hard to imagine 
how much you love me. Help me to sense your love 
today. Put your love within me, and help me live so 
that others can sense your love. [The One Year 
Book of Encouragement by Harold Myra] 

A Gauge of Love
   What is it that God really wants from us?
   We have a Bible filled with the Lord's 
commands, kingdom principles, and specific 
instructions for godly living. This job description can 
be daunting! It's a good thing that God 
summarized His law in a single verse: each of us is to 
love God with all our heart, all our soul, and 
all our might. 
   God wants far more than external 
conformity to His laws. He seeks enthusiastic obedience 
as a response of love for Him, not obedience 
stemming from a sense of duty or obligation. 
   So, as God's child, flee from anything 
that draws you away from loving your heavenly 
Father. Beware if your heart is comfortable with sin 
- and remember that the closer you are to God, 
the more detestable evil will be. Put yourself 
in places where you can know God better, 
because to know Him is to love Him. 
   Finally, realize that a love relationship 
with God truly is His desire for your life. 
Obedience to His law is simply a gauge of your love; 
obedience is not God's ultimate goal for you. He wants 
your heart, not obligatory submission. He wants 
you to enjoy your time with Him. He wants you to 
love Him. [Being Still With God Every Day by 
Henry Blackaby] 


Staying Close to the Master
   Both dogs and cats have taught me lessons 
about faith. 
   A dog loves unconditionally, accepting 
discipline and holding no resentment. A dog follows its 
master and likes to be right at his or her feet. 
Our dog Shabah was always where we were. When we 
went upstairs to bed, he planted himself right in 
our doorway. In the morning, he sat on my feet 
or Rick's while we did our devotions together. 
He was easily trained because he wanted to 
please us. If he needed something, he let us know 
through his manner and his "puppy dog look": "I have 
to go out." "Please  please  please throw 
the tennis ball." "Give me a scratch." We always 
responded. Shabah died, but now Sarge is much the 
   I had numerous cats when I was a child, 
and cats are lovely but independent. They don't 
need to be with the "master" at all times. In 
fact, cats seem to think they are the masters of 
their own realms. "Here, kitty, kitty," doesn't 
always bring them running. Sometimes cats will look 
at you with that "what do you want?" 
expression, and sometimes they'll find a nice quiet 
place and just plain ignore you. On the plus side, 
petting them is said to reduce stress. Who can 
resist that nimbly purring sound they make when 
they're being stroked? But affection has to be on 
their own terms. They'll come when they're called 
as long as you're offering food or milk. If 
there isn't something in it for them, they'll come 
when they please. 
   Don't get me wrong; I love both dogs and 
cats. But in matters of faith, I don't want to be 
like a cat, thinking I can call the shots and do 
my own thing. I want to be like a dog. I want 
to be at my Master's feet. I want to serve Him 
the way the apostle Peter describes: "willingly, 
not grudgingly - not for what [I] will get out 
of it, but because [I am] eager to serve God." 
When I hear God's quiet voice, I want to come 
running, grinning from ear to ear, ready to do 
whatever He asks. 
   Lord God, I want to be wholehearted in my 
devotion to You, loving You fully and unconditionally 
because You are my God and You care for me. Teach me 
to be loyal, to remain close to You, and to be 
eager to do Your will. May I serve You with my 
whole heart, not out of duty but out of pure love 
for who You are. [Earth Psalms by Francine 
Rivers re 1 Peter 5:2] 


   When Tim, an elder at our church, moved 
into his home in the Santa Monica Mountains five 
years ago, he was awestruck by an enormous rock 
formation that was set back from the main highway. The 
rock citadel towered majestically over the waters 
of a sparkling lake. "That first year I nearly 
ran myself off the road and into that lake half 
a dozen times, rubbernecking to get every view 
possible of its grandeur, at every time of day, in 
every different kind of light," Tim said, "the sun 
illuminated its dramatic cracks and crevices in so many 
diverse and magnificent ways. If that rock were in 
the middle of Kansas, it would draw a million 
visitors every year!" A few months ago he was driving 
a visitor from the airport to his home. They 
came around a corner and his guest exclaimed, 
"Look at that Rock!" to which Tim replied "What 
rock? Oh, that rock!" 
   The next week in church, Tim blushed as 
he told us about the incident. "It reminded me 
of the 'sin of familiarity' - a sin which only 
those who have seen and loved the grandeur of our 
Rock of our Salvation, Jesus Christ, can 
   My elder-friend went on to say that 
familiarity with Christ keeps us from enjoying true 
intimacy with the Lord. We listen to Christian talk 
radio, thinking it suffices for our daily 
devotions. Or we reach for an article on the latest 
theological controversy, and fail to reach for the Word 
of God itself. Ask the Lord to give you a new 
sense of his presence and a fresh touch of his 
Spirit. Renew your commitment to love him with your 
whole heart, soul and strength. 
   Lord Jesus, you are my Rock and Fortress. 
You tower over every thing in my life. Forgive 
me when I take for granted your grace and 
strength in my life, and may I never, ever allow your 
death and resurrection to become 'familiar.'[Joni 
Eareckson Tada Daily Devotional: 

Watch Your Handoffs
   FAMILY. The place where principles are 
hammered out on the anvil of daily living. Where 
character traits are molded and shaped under the 
watchful eyes of moms and dads. The batons in this 
relay are many. 
   Determination. "Stick with it - 
   Honesty. "Speak and live the truth - 
   Responsibility. "Be dependable, be 
   Thoughtfulness. "Think of others before 
   Confidentiality. "Don't tell secrets. 
Seal your lips." 
   Self-control. "When under stress, stay 
   Patience. "Fight irritability. Be willing 
to wait." 
   Purity. "Refuse anything that lowers your 
   Compassion. "When another hurts, feel it 
with him or her." 
   How is this done? Over the long haul, 
believe me. There are no 100-meter-sprint courses on 
character building. Relays require right timing and 
smooth handoffs  practiced around the track hour 
after hour. And where is that? The home. God's 
built-in training track for runners. That's why He 
urged all the dads in Moses' day to relay the 
   You must commit yourselves wholeheartedly 
to these commands that I am giving you today. 
Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk 
about them when you are at home and when you are 
on the road, when you are going to bed and when 
you are getting up. Tie them to your hands and 
wear them on your forehead as reminders. Write 
them on the doorposts of your house and on your 
gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9 
   What a genius plan! In the everyday grind 
of life, relay the truth - diligently  
consistently. If you determine to do this, you'll have to 
fight two major mistakes that plague the relay: 
slow starts and sloppy handoffs. You really don't 
have forever, moms and dads. Procrastination is 
an enemy. Nor can you dump a ton of truth once 
or twice a year. Crisp, sharp handoffs at just 
the right time each day make winners out of 
runners. [Chuck Swindoll www.insight.org.] 


   Stay ever so close to Me, and you will 
not deviate from the path I have prepared for 
you. This is the most efficient way to stay on 
track; it is also the most enjoyable way. Men tend 
to multiply duties in their observance of 
religion. This practice enables them to give Me money, 
time, and work without yielding up to Me what I 
desire the most--their hearts. Rules can be 
observed mechanically. Once they become habitual, 
they can be followed with minimal effort and 
almost no thought. These habit-forming rules 
provide a false sense of security, lulling the soul 
into a comatose condition.  
   What I search for in My children is an 
awakened soul that thrills to the Joy of My Presence! 
I created mankind to glorify Me and enjoy Me 
forever. I provide the Joy; your part is to glorify 
Me by living close to Me. (Deu. 6:5; Col. 3:23; 
Psa. 16:11) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young] 

Memorizing Scripture
   I know of no other single practice in the 
Christian life that's more rewarding, practically 
speaking, than memorizing Scripture. That's right. No 
other single discipline is more useful and 
rewarding than this. No other single exercise pays 
greater spiritual dividends! Your prayer life will 
be strengthened. Your witnessing will be 
sharper and much more effective. Your counseling 
will be in demand. Your attitudes and outlook 
will begin to change. Your mind will become alert 
and observant. Your confidence and assurance 
will be enhanced. Your faith will be solidified. 
   God's Word is filled with exhortations to 
implant His truth in our hearts. David says that a 
young man can keep his life pure by treasuring 
God's Word in his heart (Psalm 37:31; 119:9"11). 
Solomon refers to this in Proverbs 4:4: 
   "Let your heart hold fast my words;
   Keep my commandments and live."
   The words hold fast come from a single 
Hebrew term, meaning "to grasp, seize, lay hold 
of." Scripture memory gives you a firm grasp of 
the Word - and allows the Word to get a firm 
grasp of you! Solomon also mentions writing the 
Word "on the tablet of your heart" (Proverbs 7:3) 
and having Scriptures kept within you so "they 
may be ready on your lips" (Proverbs 22:18). 
   Now, I know you've been challenged to do 
this before. But is it happening? Perhaps you 
have procrastinated because you have mental 
blocks against it. Maybe you tried, but you either 
did not see the value or could not get beyond 
the method that was demanded by some memory 
program - little cards, booklets, checkup 
techniques, hearers, etc. Perhaps that seemed elementary 
and insulted your intelligence. I understand. 
   Okay  forget the methods  but don't 
throw the baby out with the bath water. Take your 
Bible, turn to a passage that's been especially 
helpful  and commit that passage to memory - all 
on your own. Don't learn just isolated verses 
here and there. Bite off whole chunks of 
Scripture. That way you can get the flow of thought God 
had in mind. 
   Here are seven things I have found 
   1. Choose a time when your mind is free 
from outside distractions  perhaps soon after 
getting up in the morning. 
   2. Learn the reference by repeating it 
every time you say the verse(s). Numbers are more 
difficult to remember than words. 
   3. Read each verse through several times 
- both in a whisper and aloud. Hearing 
yourself say the words helps cement them into your 
   4. Break the passage into its natural 
phrases. Learn the reference and then the first 
phrase. Then repeat the reference and first phrase 
as you go to the second phrase. Continue adding 
phrases one by one. 
   5. Learn a little bit perfectly rather 
than a great deal poorly. Do not go on to the 
next verse until you can say the previous one(s) 
perfectly, without a glance at your Bible. 
   6. Review the verse(s) immediately after 
you have gone through this process. Twenty to 
thirty minutes later, repeat what you've memorized. 
Before the day has ended, firmly fix the verse(s) 
in your mind by going over it fifteen to twenty 
times. (You can do this as you drive or do your 
   7. Use the verse(s) orally as soon as 
possible. After all, the purpose of Scripture memory 
is a practical one, not academic. Use the 
verses in conversation, in correspondence, in 
teaching, in counseling, in everyday opportunities. 
Relate what you've learned to your daily situation. 
You'll be thrilled with the results. [Chuck 
Swindoll www.insight.org.] 


Of all God's commandments, this is the 
central and most important one. When we love God 
first and foremost, obedience follows as a natural 
result and ceases to be a chore (see John 14:15; 1 
John 5:3). [Life Principles SB By Charles Stanley 
re Deu. 6:5] 

We dont follow Him in order to be loved; 
we are loved so we follow Him. Neil Anderson 


Mark 12:30 - The First and Great Commandment.


Deuteronomy 6:4-9 - How To Live For Jesus.



If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or 
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either 
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in 
hearing from you.  Thanks in advance and let's keep 
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred 


Most Important Decision in Life: 

Steps to Peace by Billy Graham: 

A Man without Equal by Bill Bright: 

Seeking God Made Real: 

Prayer Made Real: 

Importance of Choice: 
http://creationhealth.com/CREATION-Health/Choice [click on video]  

Medical Seminar on Healthful Living by David 
DeRose, MD, MPH: 


Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies: 

Amazing Facts Bible Studies: 

Hope Awakens Bible Study Guides: 

Glow Tract Video Bible Studies: 


Islam and Christianity in Prophecy, The 
Third and Final Conflict by Tim Roosenberg: 

Unlocking Bible Prophecies by Cami Oetman of 
Adventist World Radio: https://www.awr.org/bible 

Revelation Now by Pastor Doug Batchelor: 

Hope Awakens by John Bradshaw of IIW: 

Prophecies Decoded by Pastor Ron Clouzet: