Love, Full Circle

Randy Smit

READ : Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (v. 5 NIV)

“You shall love the Lord your God,” says Deuteronomy. It sounds like it should be written in caps. Hearing it this way has bothered me from a very young age. I have wondered, perhaps like you, can love be demanded of someone? Is this really the spirit of God, to forcefully press a person into submission, into love?

A closer look at the original Hebrew is helpful if we are to understand the meaning of this verse passed on through Moses. It expresses something more like longing—”Oh, that you would love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength.” It also carries the significance of “And you will love the Lord your God,” as though ultimately it could never be any other way. If verse 4 pleads with Israel to receive God’s lordship and undivided love, verse 5 pleads with them to respond with the fullest extent of their own devotion.

In the end, the message comes full circle: God is the first and fullest love of our lives. What might it mean to you today to offer your deep, unwavering love? How might it shape how you relate with others and even yourself? Love God with all you do and say and plan and hope for. The more you do, the more you’ll discover the immeasurable depth of God’s love for you.

PRAYER

Lord, with an undivided heart and mind let us love you and discover life’s greatest joy. Amen.