12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? He requires only that you fear the Lord your God, and live in a way that pleases him, and love him and serve him with all your heart and soul. 13 And you must always obey the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good. 14 “Look, the highest heavens and the earth and everything in it all belong to the Lord your God. 15 Yet the Lord chose your ancestors as the objects of his love. And he chose you, their descendants, above all other nations, as is evident today. 16 Therefore, change your hearts and stop being stubborn. 17 “For the Lord your God is the God of gods and Lord of lords. He is the great God, the mighty and awesome God, who shows no partiality and cannot be bribed. 18 He ensures that orphans and widows receive justice. He shows love to the foreigners living among you and gives them food and clothing. 19 So you, too, must show love to foreigners, for you yourselves were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. 20 You must fear the Lord your God and worship him and cling to him. Your oaths must be in his name alone. 21 He alone is your God, the only one who is worthy of your praise, the one who has done these mighty miracles that you have seen with your own eyes. 22 When your ancestors went down into Egypt, there were only seventy of them. But now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky!”
How we look at God affects how we live and love and also how we:
Finally, when we fear the Lord, we should obey Him, “And you must always obey the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good.” When we live to love the Lord, we realize that the law God gives us is for our own good. Our obedience becomes based on love not obligation. Today we need to be reminded of the words of Jesus in John 15:9-12 “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” When obedience revolves around relationship not rules, love will motivate us not obligate us. Moses reminds us that obeying God’s commands brings blessing not bondage; it is disobedience which brings disaster. Do you have a factual fear of the Father or a fraudulent one? For Christians, the very act of taking up our cross and following Him requires a life of obedience. Today we seem to have settled for wearing a cross rather than bearing one. The call to take up our cross and follow Christ, is in direct conflict with our desire to be comfortable. We are by nature comfort seekers more than Christ seekers. A true follower is not concerned with the question “How can I be comfortable, but how can I be committed” The truth is that Jesus didn’t come to change me but to kill me. Because it’s only when I die to self, and surrender to the Savior, that I find true satisfaction in this life. As long as I fight Christ for control, I will never be content. So, following Jesus requires a focused commitment to deny self, take up our cross of suffering and serve Him. We can’t have a healthy connection to our Father if we have a disobedient life. Obedience comes from a heart that is at home with Him being in charge. But this is not just a matter of outward compliance to His Will, it involves our hearts not just our heads. It’s not just outward conformity to commands but inward change, the driving force behind our obedience is love not the law. Today we see obedience as obligation, all we see is restrictive rules and so we miss the relationship. Take some time to look at and evaluate how you love, serve and obey Him. Is it a delight or a duty? Do you live to love and please Him or is obedience just an obligation?