For too many years I was content with an inconsistent relationship with God. His commitment to me never faltered, but my commitment to him was lackluster. I went to church every week and occasionally read my Bible, but I rarely hungered after him.
I didn’t know what I was missing. Thank goodness my sinful, distracted heart eventually turned a little more toward him.
Now I appreciate the value of his words in Deuteronomy 6:5. I see how he loves me and seeks what’s best for me even as he gives this command: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”
Jesus referenced this verse when asked about the greatest commandment, so it’s clearly an important one. I doubt his motive was merely seeking more love and adoration for himself. See, God knows that loving him above all else, even though it’s often challenging, is really, really good for us.
We’ll never love him perfectly, but thanks to Jesus, he’ll never stop forgiving us. And he doesn’t leave us hanging—he gives us ideas to keep our lives focused on him: “These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)