Deuteronomy 6:5 - LOVING GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, SOUL AND STRENGTH.
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
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
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
Staying Close to the Master
Both dogs and cats have taught me lessons
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
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]
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
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
LINKS FOR FURTHER STUDY ON THIS TOPIC
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
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT
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:
LINKS FOR BIBLE STUDIES
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies:
Amazing Facts Bible Studies:
Hope Awakens Bible Study Guides:
Glow Tract Video Bible Studies:
LINKS FOR BIBLE PROPHECY SEMINARS
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: