28: Deuteronomy 6:5
It is November and a month an a half until the new year. Earlier this year we were searching for ways to “stir up” one another to love and good deeds. And from January 9th to May 28th, 2011, all the families receiving this newsletter were encouraged to have family devotions. Sixteen families received awards for their diligence in 2011, and we will have a similar contest in 2012. But this year there will be additional contests, all of which are related to reading God’s word.
In Deuteronomy 6:7-8, we are called to teach our children. We are familiar with this scripture and hear it referred to at every home education conference or curriculum fair. But verses 7-8 come after verses 5-6. These two scriptures are so important in this chapter. For many years I missed their import as they were hidden in the shadow of my responsibility to teach my children.
Deuteronomy 6:5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
I now see that before we can teach, we must first love God with all our heart, and secondly His word must be on our heart. There is an intriguing connection between our love for God and his word. Hear what Jesus has to say in John 15:9 As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.
And John, in the Spirit, writes; For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; 1 John 5:3
The best habit God has helped me to maintain in the 30 plus years I have been following Jesus, and seeking first His kingdom, is daily reading a portions of the inspired word of God.
There are five fruits enumerated in Deuteronomy 17, that the King would receive as he read the Bible every day. “And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, by carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted up above his countrymen and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left; in order that he and his sons may continue long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel. Deuteronomy 17:19-20
- Reverence for God – ‘that he may learn to fear the LORD his God’,
- Obedience to God – ‘carefully observing all the words of this law and these statutes’,
- Humility towards others – ‘that his heart may not be lifted up above his countrymen’,
- Will not be led into error – ‘that he may not turn aside from the commandment, to the right or the left,’
- He and his sons have long reigns – ‘may continue long in his kingdom in the midst of Israel’.
In Hebrews we are encouraged to ‘consider how to stir up one another to love and good works’. Hebrews 10:24 ESV
I believe daily reading God’s word is a ‘good work’ that bears eternal fruit in my relationship with God and in being a better husband and father. So in the spirit of “stirring” up one another to love and good works, the contests will be expanded to include daily bible reading.
Watch for more resources in coming letters. I will have bible reading charts available for young children as well as adults. And heading to the press this month is a collection of hymns, with piano accompaniment, to sing in your family devotion times.
May God give us each a renewed love for the living God and His written word,