You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. (Deuteronomy 6:5-6)
In Judaism, the phrase “And you shall love” is known as the v’ahavta –- literally, the “And you shall love.” It is considered so important that it has long been part of the liturgical order in the synagogue. Every week, congregants recite these words as a reminder that God’s people are to honor and love Him, first and foremost, with their heart. Underscoring the significance of this command, we are reminded that Yeshua said this was the first and greatest command of all.
All parents want their children to honor and respect them and, in some cases, fear them. However, above all, a parent wants their children to love and, consequently, do as they are instructed. Likewise, our Heavenly Father desires to have servants who love Him, perhaps more so than those who fear Him. Of course, it is important to have a Godly fear of the Almighty, but one who fears without love may leave the relationship if duties expected of him become too overwhelming in his mind. But one who loves is willing to make sacrifices so that he may keep commands of his master because it is in his heart to do so.
Messiah said, that everything God has instructed us to do hangs on two primary commandments — “Love God with all your heart” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
In other words, if a person fails to honor those two properly, obedience to the others is pointless. Don’t miss this though: these two fundamental commands are motivated by love, not fear necessarily. Genuine love distinguishes His true followers from those who go through the motions of religious exercise. In short, we should obey Him because we love Him and thus Messiah said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” And so, today, we are presented with the question: what does our level of obedience to God’s Word say about our devotion to Him? Can someone tell that we love Him when they observe our lifestyle? Or does our lifestyle indicate a love of self? Something to consider. Be blessed!
Blessings and Shalom,