As the people of Israel approach the Land of Promise, God commands them to love him with all their heart, soul and strength. This heavy demand is because God has always loved his people. He demonstrates his love by freeing them from slavery and leading them to the Land of Promise. This should motivate them to love him back.
One day, a Jewish leader asked Jesus, “What is the greatest command?” Without hesitation, Jesus quotes the passage we have been studying, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:29). Jesus demonstrates the love God has always had for us by dying on the cross in our place. Freeing the Jews from slavery foreshadows Jesus dying to free all people from the slavery of sin (Romans 6:6).
Why love God? Because he loved us first and died to set us free. Jesus is our motivation to love God back by living a life that’s different from the world around us, giving him all we’ve got and putting him at the center of our lives.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
If you have never accepted the gift of Jesus dying on the cross to free you from sin—today is the day. Simply tell God you believe Jesus died in your place, and you want to follow him to love God with all your heart, soul and strength. If you pray this today, let us know at email@example.com so we can celebrate with you and guide you to the next step. If you have already accepted God’s gift of life, offer God a prayer of gratitude for freeing you from the bondage of sin.
NEW TESTAMENT READING PLAN
Join us this year as we read through the New Testament.
Today’s reading is Matthew 5.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.