The Shema

James Leadly

READ : Deuteronomy 6:4-9

And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. (v. 6)

The reading for today is known as the Shema, Hebrew for “hear” (v. 4). Many Jews repeat the Shema multiple times a day, just as Deuteronomy commands. It’s a good practice. When Christians recite Scripture daily it is not because we are literally commanded to do so, but so that the words will be imprinted on our hearts.

We must be reminded daily that we are to love the Lord our God with all of our hearts, souls, and might. If we write this down everywhere, and repeat it often, then we will be less likely to forget to love God in everything that we do. The Shema gives us a command, but it also gives us a list of ways that we can remember this command. We must be willing to do these things in order that we may receive this message in our hearts and never forget it in any situation.

All too often I have read over this passage without taking it literally. When I finally started to follow the instructions of this passage, I was much less forgetful about keeping my focus on loving the Lord. God is speaking directly to us in this passage. This is a practical way of making sure that we never forget to love him. Eventually, we will hear these words so many times that they will actually be written on our hearts.


Lord, remind us daily to love you with our entire beings. Amen.