“Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.”
– Deuteronomy 6:6-9 MSG
The nation of Israel had been miraculously freed from bondage and enslavement. As they stood on the precipice of promise, Moses gave them the ground rules, “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength.” (Deut 6:4-5 NLT). When asked, Jesus answered, “This is the first and greatest commandment. A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.” (Matt 22:38-40 NLT)
Loving God . . . Loving people. Moses gives some powerful and practical ways to prioritize these principles.
Learn Them. The process begins by inscribing these mandates “on our hearts”. Moses writes, “Get them inside you and them get them inside your children.” (Duet 6:6 MSG). We are encouraged to engage God’s word as one who is not “ashamed and who correctly explains the word of truth.” (2 Tim 2:15 NLT). Paul tells us God’s Word “is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” (2 Tim 3:16, 17 NLT) And, he writes to those in Rome, “to be transformed by the renewal of your minds.” (Rom 12:2). This is our investment.
Live Them. It’s not enough to learn these truths . . . we must live them. Moses takes the next step, “Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night.” Our devotion becomes our declaration. The psalmist wrote, “O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.” (Ps 51:15 ESV) Peter reminds us, “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Pet 2:9 ESV). This is our integration.
Leave Them. The investment of God’s Word and its integration in our daily lives leaves an eternal imprint to all we encounter. For some, it’s illustrated as “tying them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder; inscribe them on the doorposts of your homes and on your city gates.” We never cede, we celebrate. Loving God always leads to loving people. Our compassion is our calling card. Our love is a looking glass into the Kingdom. John wrote, “We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19 ESV) This is our impact.
A friend once encouraged me to “leave it better than you found it”. What have you learned that God wants you to live and that you can leave with others.
Learn His Truth. Live it daily. Leave it with others. Love God . . . Love People . . . Leave a Legacy.