See, I have set before you today life and prosperity, and death and adversity, in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His judgements, that you may live and multiply, and that the Lord your God may bless you in the land where you are entering to possess it. But if your heart turns away and you will not obey, but are drawn away and worship other Gods and serve them, I declare to you today that you shall surely perish. You will not prolong your days in the land where you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess it. I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days that you may live in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them." Deuteronomy 30:15-20
There is a quote I learned at some point in life that says, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." I alluded last week to how history repeats itself if we are unwilling to learn from our past mistakes. The Bible is the greatest history book we can possibly read! It’s all there, the good and the bad. All we need to know can be found in these very important verses in Deuteronomy. This is God laying out His laws to live by as His children were coming into possession of the promised land.
America was the only nation I know of that had a foundation comparable to Israel. We came here for religious freedom to worship the One true God. If you read our founding documents you will find the truth of the history of our nation. The Bible is quoted more than any other book. We got our laws from God’s laws. That is why our constitution has lasted longer than any other nation, and yet we are still a young nation compared to Europe. We sought God when our constitution was written. Read original letters and documents instead of lies in the revised history books that were used to teach us and our children. Desire to know the truth enough to diligently seek it out, and then care enough to teach it to your children and grandchildren.
God the Father created His children with a free will. Love is something you cannot force on anyone. It must be chosen, or it would not be love. He tells us in our verses He sets before us today life and death, the blessing and the curse. He tells us to choose life in order that we may live and our descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him for this is your life…
Not very complicated! Notice the first and greatest commandment is to make the choice to love Him. If you love Him, you will obey His desires, because you want to please Him. Hopefully we know and understand that in pleasing Him, it enables us to have unity in our marriages and families.
Contrary to movie makers, feelings do not define mature love. Our choices are what dictates love in the long haul. After our honeymoons are over and the grind of real life begins, our decison to love unconditionally creates the feelings. We cannot base our love for God or others according to our surrounding circumstances. Love is not a feeling, but an act of obedience to the God who is love. We must surrender our will for the will of the one you love most and it cannot be yourself.
This isn’t isn’t an isolated decision. It is a daily decision moment by moment. If this truth is lived out and we cling to the one we love and no other, we have true lasting love. We must first have it with God, the Father, and then with one another. We are faced everyday with blessing or curses. If we obey God’s laws we do not sin. If we choose to obey our own desires we will sin, because we love ourselves more than God.
Our choices we make will affect our children for generations. We will either leave generational blessings, or we will leave generational curses. Pride and selfishness is what comes so naturally for all of us. Without experiencing the love of God, we cannot produce within ourselves agape love, His love, which is unconditional, and full of forgiveness, grace, compassion, and mercy. Speaking from experience, no matter how much I desire to love that way, it is not possible unless He remains the first love in my life before everyone else.
In seeking to love Him, it allowed Him to love me! When I hold fast to Him and experience His unconditional love on my worst days, I am able to love with the love I have experienced from Him. If I am not attached to my source which is His Spirit and Word, it is void in my life. I cannot produce it apart from Him. No one can. He knew that when He gave us the foremost commandment to love Him with all our heart, mind, body, and spirit.
I know this is repetitive, but our lives are made up of moment by moment daily choices. Our relationships are made up of daily choices too. Every decision we make is consequential not only for us, but for our children, and generations to come! Please prayerfully read over the verses in Deuteronomy multiple times. Allow it to conceive in your heart.
I know that I know you can never go wrong allowing God to have first place in your heart. That doesn’t mean you will live life on this earth without trials and tribulation. Again, read your Bible for the truth. But even more importantly, know your home is not this world. Our home is being prepared as you read this. Let us live our lives holding fast to Him as He commanded, so we will not shrink back in shame and regret at His coming. God help us be confident and unashamed as we focus on our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who is able to make us stand in His presence blameless, and with great joy before our God in all glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time, both now and forever! Amen!
In His love.
Photos taken during a hike this week with a client to historical Caudill Cabin in Traphill, NC. Outside this little cabin, it became our sanctuary to share communion, and to give our thanks and love to Him for our glorious day in His creation very much aware of His presence!