Focal Passage: Deuteronomy 6:4-14; 7:6-9
What are you passionate about? Perhaps the best way to answer that question is to ask the people around you. Ask them what you talk about the most. Ask them where they observe you spending most of your time. Ask your check register – in what are you financially investing? The answers to these questions will demonstrate where your passion truly lies.
In this week’s passage, Moses reminds the people of Israel of God’s past faithfulness and their past failures. He also tells them of the coming danger of their hearts once again being drawn away from God by the idols of their own hearts and those of the surrounding nations. Therefore, based on the unique character/nature of God (6:4), His grace toward them (7:6-8a), and His covenant-keeping faithfulness (7:8b-9), Moses calls them to pursue with passion a love for God and God alone. This passionate pursuit of, and commitment to, the one true God is described in terms of a unique love relationship: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (6:5, HCSB). In the New Testament, Jesus said this is the greatest commandment (Mark 12:29-30). As Thom Rainer recently put it, “We can’t escape the fact that nothing else really matters in life if our relationship with God isn’t what it should be.”
Why must we so passionately pursue a love relationship with God today, with God as the singular focus and object of our affection? Because our hearts will drift if we don’t. In the words of the hymn writer, my heart (and yours) is “prone to wander, Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love.”
We must, therefore, not only demonstrate such a passionate pursuit in our own lives, but also teach our children to passionately pursue a love relationship with God as well (6:7).
Those who have a relationship with Christ have it because of God’s grace toward them. We must never forget, however, that God’s grace changes us. Therefore, we must passionately love and obey God, by His grace and for His glory.