Yesterday morning I went to Starbucks to buy a latte and scone for my wife. I drove through the drive thru window. When I got to the window to pay the attendant told me to put my card back in my pocket because the man in the car in front of me had paid for my order and wished me a happy new year. I was somewhat stunned. I had never before experienced anything like this in all of my many years here on the planet. I have come to realize that this was a sign from God, letting me know that 2013 would be a year of transforming love. Yes, the transforming power of the love of God is going to break forth in a new way this year. I can feel it in my spirit.
I have been contemplating the Shema which is the first and greatest commandment … It is found in the book of Deuteronomy 6:4-5 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. (5) You shall love the LORD your God with *all your heart* and *with all your soul* and with *all your might.”* When you stop and examine this, think about it…one realizes that this commandment is a very tall order indeed. What makes it so? I think it is the word ALL. All your heart, all your soul and all your might is a tall order indeed. If we are ever tempted to believe that we obey and live the law, ever tempted to believe that our behavior is righteous, we would do well to return to the Shema and reflect on our obedience to it.
One cannot truly love who they fear. If one is in constant fear of breaking commandments and not being pleasing to the Father’s sight then I say unequivocally that it is impossible to love God will all heart, soul and might. Here you have it, no one can keep this commandment on their own. The truth is that one must receive supernatural power to love God with all the heart, soul and might. Where does this supernatural power come from? The answer is trusting in, clinging too and relying on God’s love, mercy and grace. This is why the gospel is so very important. One must realize that they have been redeemed and made right by Jesus as a freely given gift… one with no strings attached. When one truly relies on that one finds that they cannot help but love God… Guess what, in this realization they love God with ALL their heart… with ALL their soul…. and with ALL their might.
Resting in Jesus and his finished work is the only chance that anyone has for obeying Deuteronomy 6:4-5. It is the only possible way that one can truly love God… I mean love him for real. True love for God based upon resting in God’s mercy love and grace is the catalyst for true, real transformation. When one rests in Jesus, and begins to truly love God then, and only then will they want to obey out of faith and love, and not out of the fear of torment.