Deu 6:4-13 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. "And when the LORD your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you--with great and good cities that you did not build, and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant--and when you eat and are full, then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. It is the LORD your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. (esv)
I was reading through Deuteronomy yesterday and came across this familiar passage. Lori and I have been reading through the Gospels again and it sounded quite familiar. Jesus, in Matthew 22, tells the Pharisees and Sadducees that the greatest commandment is to love your God with all of your heart, soul, and mind. Just as God told Israel after they came out of Egypt, He again reminds them what their number one priority needs to be. Isn't it amazing how God needs to remind generation after generation the same things over and over again? Sounds like parenting to me...
As I read on in Deuteronomy I couldn't help but sit for a couple of minutes on verses 7-9. Teach these words diligently, bind them on your hands, post them on your gates, etc... I started to feel quite convicted regarding these verses. How diligently have I been over the past 20 years teaching, instructing, and modeling the Word of God to my children? There are a lot of things I have spend many hours teaching my children. How to pitch a baseball, how to ride a bike, or even how to figure out a complex math problem. But have I done my due diligence in teaching them the Bible? I must honestly confess... No I haven't done as well as I could have. Oh sure, we have spent time reading devotions and we pray with the kids every night, (at least the ones who are still around) but being diligent to teach them consistently over the years has been a downfall for me.
DILIGENTLY, adv. With steady application and care; with industry or assiduity; not carelessly; not negligently.
Thankfully we serve a good God. One who forgives and allows us to learn from our mistakes and try again. Even if we fall short in a certain area of our life, God will always be there to help us pick up the pieces and begin anew. The Bible is packed full of instructions for how we should live our lives and unless we open it up and read it on a daily basis we will all fall short.
I receive new insight to the character of God each time I open His Word. It is as if the pages have new life and God is wanting to reveal not only something about His character, but my character as well. As I continue on in the book of Deuteronomy I come to the end of chapter 6 where Isaiah tells the people of Israel "Deu 6:24-25 And the LORD commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the LORD our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day. And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us.' "
It will be righteousness for us if we do all that He has commanded us. I am seeking God's righteousness in my life but when I read this I think to myself, "How am I to keep ALL of His commands to be righteous?" I am but a sinful man who struggles with a sinful nature. There is no possible way for me to be righteous. Thankfully, this is where Jesus comes in. "Only Christ could keep all the commandments of God, and his obedience is our righteousness; and he only is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believes, and to him we must seek for it." (John Gill's Exposition)
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. This is the message of the Gospel. And Jesus adds to this in Matthew when he tells us to also love our neighbor as ourselves. There are many times I fall short, but Jesus is my propitiation. Because of Him I am righteous before the Almighty Creator of the universe. When my diligence falls short in instructing my kids, or loving my neighbor the way I should, or even messing up with my walk with Him, I am assured that He will forgive me when I turn to Him and Jesus will make me righteous before God.
Thank you Lord for showing me something new about my character every time I open your Word. Thank you for forgiving me of my shortcomings and allowing me to be renewed in you each day. Please help me to keep your commands as I seek to follow you more closely. I know you aren't looking for me to work my way into Heaven by being good or doing all the right things, but because I am in you and you are in me I desire to be like you. Help me to be like You every day.