Love the Lord Your God

Deut 6-5 imageThe YouTruth in Deuteronomy 6:5

“Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

It’s clear from this passage that loving the Lord is not a part-time affair. In fact, it’s not only a full-time affair, but it’s an “all-in” affair. What happens in the activity of real life often looks different. It’s easy to behave differently in the workplace than at church. It’s easy to behave differently on the ball field than in your Sunday School class. Compartmentalizing your life is not God’s idea. You (and I) are called to be full-time, all-in lovers of Him. This is required if you are to call Him “Lord.”


The verses in Deuteronomy that follow our passage above give us some key teaching as to how to do this:
“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.”

If you are a parent: Sharing this love commandment (and all of the other commandments for that matter), with your children is a great way to go all-in. Two things are at work here: Children learn by following the examples of their parents and the respected adults around them. Knowing this will encourage you to be a full-time lover of God.

If you aren’t a parent: Share it with any children you encounter!

Regardless of your status as a parent:
Speak! Talk about it! When you get up, let your voice be filled with your love for the Lord. When you are at home, let your love for the Lord be on your lips. When you are out and about, let your words reveal your love for the Lord. End every day verbally expressing your love for the Lord. Remember that we speak with the words of our mouth and the actions that follow them. If a picture is worth a thousand words, an action is worth ten thousand! So include in your love speech, prayers to the Lord for help in walking the walk too.

Make today an “all-in” day for the Lord!

He Has Shown You

Micah 6-8 imageThe YouTruth in Micah 6:8

“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.”

God has a formula for good. Micah lays this formula out in this passage and it looks much like a two-way street that you and God walk on together.
In one direction – how you act toward others – you are to act justly. You are called to treat others with the love that God has for them. Don’t act toward others in ways that are selfish or unfair. In short, love ‘em always!

In the other direction – how you respond when others act toward you – you are to love mercy. When others don’t treat you with kindness and love, you are called to extend mercy to them.

All of this can be hard, if not impossible, particularly if you are not walking on the street that God is walking on. But, if you are walking humbly with God, you can do it! The humility you experience when you are in God’s presence helps you understand that God has more than enough love for you. You don’t need to require love from others as a payment for receiving love from you, because you are already overflowing with the love God showers upon you.

So start your day today, walking humbly with God. Then the goodness of just actions and loving mercy will follow you through your day.

Do Not Throw Away Your Confidence

Hebrews 10-35-36 imageThe YouTruth in Hebrews 10:35-36

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”

Confidence is a pretty hot topic. There are scores of self-help books that teach that “a positive attitude is everything” and “you can do anything you set your mind to.” Well, these books are missing the point when it comes to the confidence of the faithful. Today’s passage can help clear up the confusion.

The Hebrews writer instructs us to hold on to our confidence for two reasons: it will be richly rewarded and we will need it. In order to make our way through life in a world that is set against the will of God, we will need perseverance. Confidence is a big player. Rich rewards lie at the end of a persistent life lived to glorify God in this world. This is a great reason to hold on to confidence. This is also, still sounding pretty much like a self-help book, isn’t it?

For the faithful, we can leap out of “self-help” mode to a whole new level, because our confidence does not originate in us, nor do our rewards—they originate with God. When the faithful are confident, they are confident in God’s infinite abilities, not their own. When the faithful consider the rewards for their perseverance, they rest on His infinite, eternal rewards. No self-help program can offer either of these things!

So enter today with the confidence that God will do great things through you today, resting assured that otherworldly rewards await you.

That He May Lift You Up

1 Peter 5-6 imageThe YouTruth in 1 Peter 5:6

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”

Humility and submission are difficult concepts to grasp in a society that encourages competition and achievement. And yet, God is continually encouraging you in His Word to do it. This passage by the Apostle Peter is one of many examples. Why is God so insistent on this? Because, He never wants you to settle for the world’s rewards by doing things the world’s way. He has rewards of infinitely greater value for you and He doesn’t want you to miss out!

Peter explicitly tells you to humble yourself in this passage. That’s obviously the humility part. Peter also tells you to do it “under God’s mighty hand.” That’s the submission part. Both are intertwined and vital. Imagine it this way: You are out there doing your own thing but have not, through humility and submission, placed yourself under God’s mighty hand. As God cups His hand, and brings it down to ground level to “lift you up,” He comes up empty handed.

Now imagine it the way God desires it to be: There you are, submitted to His Lordship through your faith in Jesus, and humbled, pursuing God’s will in your life instead of the enticements of the world. His mighty hand covers you and protects you. At His appointed time, His loving hand will reposition itself next to you and gently lift you up to the eternal promise. That sounds much better, doesn’t it?

So humble yourself today, diligently seek His will for your day, and rest in the protection and promise of His mighty hand.

You Should Ask God (Really, You Should!)

James 1-5 imageThe YouTruth in James 1:5-6

“If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.”

Do you ever need help sorting out a situation or a relationship? We all do. God has a great idea when you encounter these issues. Ask Him for wisdom. But there is another vital part of the equation that we are not to overlook. So God has another great idea. Listen. Today’s passage helps us understand both parts.
First we can know that our problem is never too petty for God. God will never scold us for asking Him questions because, “You should already know that.” Our passage tells us that God gives wisdom generously without finding fault. So, never hesitate. Ask God. Always ask God.

Hearing God is as important to receiving the wisdom as asking. James reveals in his passage, that belief is the key that opens the ears of our heart to hear what God has to say to us. Without it, we will ask, but we won’t receive! Think about it. If we ask God for wisdom but don’t believe He really holds the answer, we’re just going through motions. This is when doubt creeps in. Doubt is a noisy thing in our heart. With all of the noise of doubt clanging in our heart, we won’t be able to hear God’s sweet voice of wisdom. This is why believing is so important. It keeps doubt out and keeps your heart quiet while God speaks to you.

Need some wisdom today? (Answer, yes.) Go to God believing and He will give generously.