There will be more to challenge us in this series, but today is all about encouragement. I want you to savour all that is yours in Jesus Christ, to see and to enjoy—perhaps with a fresh perspective—what Christ has done, and what He is doing in your life and in the life of every other Christian.
What was God about when He created the world, and when He came to reclaim the world in Jesus Christ? His glory – our peace! His greatness – our joy! His beauty – our pleasure! today, remember what He has done: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased” – Luke 2:14
I want you to see how the root of loving God produces the fruit of loving others. Real self-sacrifice is not produced within us; it has its root in the love of God.
There is one gift that meets everyone’s needs, a present that we all need, the most valuable gift of all.
This is a warning. Be careful! Watch out! There is a particular danger that you are going to encounter as God’s blessings flow into your life.
If you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength, what will be the impact on your family? If I extend myself in serving the Lord, will it hurt my children?
If you have the idea that the Old Testament is all about external rites and rules, then take this in: Love God with all your heart (6:5), These commands are to be on your hearts (6:6). We are talking about a personal, spiritual relationship with Almighty God, formed by faith and characterized by love—and it is right here in the Old Testament.
Children have an amazing capacity of memory. As a child many of us were encouraged and taught a good number of verses from the Bible, as well as a fair chunk of the hymn book. What you learn when you are young stays with you all your life. If you are learning verses of the Bible in church or at home, you will never regret that you did.
The book of Deuteronomy begins with a flashback: God’s people are on the cusp of entering the Promised Land, and Moses says, “Let me remind you how we got here…” Moses goes back 40 years: “The Lord our God said to us at Horeb, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain…’” (Deuteronomy 1:6), and he tells the story of how the people rebelled against God.