Scripture and Devotion: Deuteronomy 6:4-5

Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: and thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might
Deuteronomy 6:4-5 KJV

This passage of Scripture has been used as a proof-text for the Trinity, and rightly so, because it teaches that there is only one Lord God. But just as importantly, this declaration is a statement of exclusivity — the God of the Bible is the one and only sovereign Lord over heaven and earth.

It is for this reason, as God Himself points out in the ensuing command, that we owe this one true God our undivided affection, worship, and service. Serving any other god — including our own schemes, aspirations, or lusts — is an act of colossal rebellion against the loving, holy, and good Lord of creation; any such insurrection is doomed to failure.

Do you recognize the God of the Bible as the one Lord of your life? Is your heart united to fear his name? Does your soul revel in the brilliance of his majesty? Are your energies spent solely for his glory? He is the Lord of the universe, and he deserves our all of everything.

Devotional: Joshua 1:7

There is a striking clash between God’s words to Joshua and the concepts of strength and courage that persist in current Western pop culture.

Whether in movies, TV shows, or novels, the idea is continually touted in our day that the one who is strong will make his or her own way, do his or her own thing, and not bow down to any authority. Teenagers are strong if they stand up to their parents, and employees are courageous if they defy their employer.

But God tells Joshua the way of true strength and of great courage is the way of obedience and loyalty. I have placed Moses over you, God says to Israel, and so you are to obey the law that he has given to you. The more strong you are, the more obedient you will be; the more courageous you are, the less you will question my authority or veer from my commandments.

Is this the decision-making paradigm under which you are operating? Or are you still trying to assert yourself, get your own way, make your own path as you choose a college, pursue a career, or form your family budget?

The only way to truly succeed in any place, or in any situation, is by looking to God for direction and obeying his Word. When you do follow him, however, you will find that you prosper wherever you are and no matter what you are called to do.

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