“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 might.”
– Deuteronomy 6:4–5
Deuteronomy 6:4-5, two of the most famous verses in all the Bible, certainly in Deuteronomy but much larger than that. This verse, specifically Deuteronomy 6:4, is known as the Shema. Shema is a word in Hebrew that means ‘to hear or listen’. It’s really even more than just simply hearing and listening. That word is rich. It carries the connotation of obeying, not just listening, but listening with the intent to obey. Not just hearing something, but living according to what you hear. So, “Hear, O Israel: the Lord, our God, the Lord is one,” just an affirmation of the one true God, the Lord, Yahweh.
God, we want you to be the center of our love.
And then this command that Jesus would later reiterate in the New Testament, Matthew Chapter 22, other places, The first and greatest commandment, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.”
And if that’s the first and greatest commandment, well, can I just ask you, did you wake up this morning or tomorrow morning? You think about your day, is that the first and greatest priority on your mind, and on your heart to love God with everything you have? This is what we were created for. And it’s an awesome thought, isn’t it? That you and I were created for a love relationship with the God of the universe, the creator and sustainer and sovereign ruler over all? That we are created to love him, be loved by him to be in a love relationship with God? Like, yes, sign me up. What else could you or I live for, that is greater than this? There’s nothing.
And so we pray, oh God, Lord, Yahweh, creator, sustainer, sovereign ruler, over everything. Oh Lord our God, we thank you. Praise you, for your love for us. Even as we think about Jesus saying these exact same words, your son, God, in flesh who died on the cross for our sins to make it possible for us to have, and enjoy this love relationship with you. Because of your love for us, we say today, we want to more than anything else today, more than anything else, more than we want to make money, more than we want to eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner, more than we want to hang out with friends, more than we want to be with family, more than we want to exercise, or more than we want our team to win, more than we want anything, more than we want anything else today.
We want to love you with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our might, with everything we have. We don’t want to love you with some of our heart, and some of our soul, and some of our might, and then give other parts of our heart to this or that in this world, other parts of our might to this or that in this world, God, we want you to be the center of our love. And we know that as we love you, we open the fountain in our hearts to love our neighbors as ourselves, to love others, as we should, all flowing from supreme love for you.
So God, may it be so, more and more and more in our lives, God uncovers. Today, any and every way that we’re not loving you with all our heart, all our soul and all our might. God bring us to deeper love for you today. Deeper enjoyment of your love for us today, than we had yesterday and the same for tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day. God help us to make this the first and greatest priority in our lives every single day to love you with all we are. And with all we have in Jesus’ name, we pray Deuteronomy 6:4-5. Amen.