“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Deuteronomy 6:5-7)
Love the Lord your God with all your heart. That is the purpose of life, and there can be no greater. Everything centers on that. That is the one great lesson which ought to be learned in every home, to love God.
The way to love the Lord with all of our heart is to keep His commandments, which means to obey His word and do what He says (John 14:15). Whatever He is speaking to us through His Holy Spirit, we should do it. There are so many blessings waiting for us through obedience and doing His revealed will. Trust that the Holy Spirit will lead and guide you every step of the way and help you to accomplish God’s purpose. Because doing God’s will and obeying His principles means loving Him with all of our heart.
Love the Lord your God with all your soul. The way to do this is to consciously renew our mind with the word of God. When negativity, thoughts, or sinful actions come into us, we make the choice to cast them down quickly, and renew our mind, with the Scriptures. Whatever our battle may be, we should find a Scripture in relation to that problem and go to war against the enemy.
Loving God with all your soul also relates to our attitude. If we have a bad attitude, then we should immediately ask the Holy Spirit to help us change our thoughts. Remember, if we continue to ponder on our thoughts, eventually they will become very powerful and become an actual action. We might find ourselves in an outburst of anger, unnecessary argument, fight, or doing something that we will later regret. So the key is recognizing where we are and we demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). We destroy arguments and the pretense of evil advice with the Word of God and by obeying the Holy Spirit.
What is the soul? The Bible says: “And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7). As we see from this verse, the word “soul” means “life.” The soul is in essence the principle of life, feeling, thought, and action in humans, regarded as a distinct entity separate from the body, and commonly held to be separable in existence from the body; the spiritual part of humans as distinct from the physical part.
The soul and the spirit are connected, but separable (Hebrews 4:12). The soul is the essence of humanity’s being; it is who we are. The spirit is the aspect of humanity that connects with God.
We need to understand that the soul of man, that is, his life, is never directed towards God until after the spirit has become regenerated. Man can never love God or the things of God until he is born from above. He may have a troubled conscience and feel very bad, and still remain dead in trespasses and in sins. When the Spirit of God illuminates the spirit of a man with divine light and life, that man begins to yield his affections and faculties to God.
The Christian who is enjoying unbroken communion with the Lord will then be able to say, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name” (Psalm 103:1).
Love the Lord your God with all your strength. Loving God “with all your strength” speaks of the ultimate expression of our heart, soul and mind. It is the outward expression of what is going on within us to the outside world through our speech and physical actions.
The Apostle Paul tells us to “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power” (Ephesians 6:10). He is telling us that the unlimited power and strength of Christ are the source of strength for those who belong to Him.
As Christians, we are to be strong in the mighty power of God. This means that our strength is not our own; it is not human or fleshly. Our strength is not of the world, but our strength is found in Christ—in our having a vibrant, dynamic relationship with Him. As Paul tells us in Philippians, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13). In other words, there is no other source that gives man the strength to overcome the world with its trials, its temptations, and death. It is through submission to God’s strength that we overcome the power of Satan: “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).
God want us to love Him with all our strength every single moment of every single day. His Great Commandment for us “to love,” is a display by His own eminent love for us in order that by us aligning ourselves with the strength of God through our total submission to Him that we are able to withstand the deceit of the evil one.
These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. As we grow in knowledge and understanding of who God is, we begin to love the characteristics that define Him, such as wisdom, truth, righteousness, and purity (Psalm 11:7; 90:12; Hebrews 1:9; 1 Timothy 6:11). Spending time with God causes our hearts to hunger for holiness, and we find satisfaction only in more of Him, because He is the perfect embodiment of everything we long to obey in His commandments.
You shall teach them diligently. Our first responsibility is to keep His words on our heart, to think on them, to meditate on them, to reflect on them. From infancy we are to teach then diligently to our children. Diligently means with hard work and perseverance. No one else can do it for us. The Pastor, Sunday school teachers can help but it is the utmost responsibility of the parents to love the Lord with all their heart and to share that love with their children.
Our children are always watching us and modeling our attitudes and behaviors. They are parroting back our attitudes about Christ and His church. We cannot train up children to love the Lord with all their heart if we do not love Him first.
Spiritual growth has to take place in our own lives. Do you have an intimate love relationship with Jesus Christ? Is He the priority of your life? Jesus said, “Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you” (Matthew 6:33).
Strong Christian families believe in, value the Word of God, and model it in their personal lives because they love Him. Moses admonished the children of Israel to become role models of this love in their homes. If you love Him, you will obey Him and teach your children about our awesome God and Creator. But remember that we cannot give our children what we do not possess. Therefore we should take this commandment of God very seriously in our own life.
Talk about them when you sit at home: God’s Word should be an integral part of our home life. How can we make it so? Talking about spiritual matters should be a common and easy part of the communication that takes place within the home. Prayer can become a component of the family’s daily life. As the family sits around the home discussing the matters of the day, there is no reason why spiritual issues cannot also be addressed in an educational manner. The home can be a sanctuary of faith where praise is continually on the lips of all family members, starting with the example of the parents.
When you walk along the road: This implies teaching your kids when you go places together. Maybe it’s just to the grocery store. Or maybe it’s a family outing or a hike together. Those are great opportunities to talk about God and the way other people act and how Christians are to act. It is also a great opportunity to point out God’s beauty through His creation.
When you lie down: When your children are getting ready to go to bed you have a great opportunity to quiet them down by reading from the Word of God. You can also talk with them about anything that is going on in their lives and to pray with them and to assure them that God is watching over them.
When you rise up: This presents another opportunity to teach our children. Teach them how to start the day off right with the Lord. Again, our example teaches a lot. If kids are always grumpy in the morning, be an example of how to start off with a cheerful heart. Remind them: I can do all this through Him who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).
If we want to raise godly children, we must love God fervently and we must teach our children diligently.
Children are a gift of God, and He has placed them under our care. Therefore, we are to always remind our kids who God is no matter where we are or what we are doing. We can ask and talk to children about God during football games, while doing laundry, taking them to school, while they brush their teeth, at dinner, at breakfast, or any other time. They are under our care, our protection, and we are to train them as God has commanded us. We need to teach our children respect and how to worship the one True God.
The Lord is with us to guide us and help us through His Holy Spirit to bring up godly children; therefore: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)