We’ve Got to Get This Right!

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 NKJV
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 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. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

Verses 4 and 5 of the scripture are the central theme of Judaism. They are known as the Shema. The Shema is defined by Dictionary.com as “a liturgical prayer, prominent in Jewish history and tradition, that is recited daily at the morning and evening services and expresses the Jewish people’s ardent faith in and love of God.” It is the Hebrew word that begins the most important Jewish prayer in Judaism.

It is not only central in Judaism, but also in Christianity. When Jesus was asked which was the foremost commandment, He responded by reciting the Shema, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ He then states, ‘This is the first commandment” (Mark 12:29-30).

Before Moses told the Israelites the Shema, he prefaced it by telling them that he was giving them statues and judgments that he had been commanded to teach them, and that they would also be obligated to observe constantly in the land they were going to possess. Moses told them that they had to be wholeheartedly committed to the Lord in both word and deed. They had to diligently study God’s word and display His goodness and greatness in everything they did. They were to make the word of God a part of their heart, then continuously teach them to their children and their children’s children. They were to teach them when they sat to study, when they stood and walked, when they laid down, and when they got up. They were to literally “bind them as a sign on [their] hand, and they shall be as frontlets between [their]eyes, and write them on the doorposts of [their]house and on [their]gates.” The 6th chapter of Deuteronomy closes with an understanding of God’s promise, “Then it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to observe all these commandments before the Lord our God, as He has commanded us” (v.25).

When the scribe responded to Jesus’ recitation of the Shema, Jesus’ response to him was just as reassuring as the Israelites understanding of their promised blessings for keeping the commandments. Jesus said, “You are not far from the kingdom of God” (vv.32-34).

Loving the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength is the key that unlocks the door to peace and prosperity on earth, and to eternal security when this life is no more. Whatever else we do, WE’VE GOT TO GET THIS RIGHT!

Be Blessed!

Rev. J. Loren Russell is an associate minister at Goodwill Baptist Church and is the spiritual leader of both LaGree Baptist Church and the Evangelical Church of God, all in the Bronx, President/CEO of The JLR Company for Church Financial & Strategic Consulting (718-328-8096), and is the creator and host of “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Monday nights from 8:00 – 10:00 PM on Facebook Live. Be sure to ‘Friend’ the Matters of Faith YouTube Channel. Email us at mattersoffaith.mof@gmail.com. Order your copy of Matters of Faith: The eBook at www.smashwords.com/books/view/993177.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email