Five actions that please God……
This morning’s challenge starts with the knowledge that the nation of Israel, having the same selfish sinful tendencies as we have, had been rescued from slavery in Egypt. Yet they turned against the God who rescued them by losing the focus He required of them.
Deut 6:5 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.”
Here is the question for you this morning. First you need to put the anxious moments of the morning and the thoughts of today’s schedule aside. What would God challenge you with if you had strayed from having your love for God as your #1 focus? Then ask yourself what are five reasons that God gives us that should be on our minds as we start the day. Typically we start the day thinking about the things we need to accomplish today. Many times those things have little to do with what the God who created us, sent His Son to die for our sins and sent His Holy Spirit to guide our lives would have us set our priorities as. Israel had lost that vital focus and so can we.
In the book of Deuteronomy we are reminded of five things God directed the Israelites to focus on daily. Before you say to yourself that was for Israel, listen to why our Lord recorded the OT for NT believers and how He would have us approach its truths.
Romans 15:4 “For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”
I Cor 10:1-4, 11 “Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. Now all these things happened to them as examples, and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.
Now for the five priorities that we can compare against those we noted above;
Deut 10:12, 13 ““And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good?”
- Fear God (have reverence for Him) (The only good fear recorded in the Bible II Tim 1:7 and is designed to draw us back to what should be our #1 focus which is ?????)
- Walk in all His ways. (Pattern your life after Jesus’ life)
- Love Him (with all your being Deut 6:5 again designed to draw us back)
- Serve Him with all your heart and soul (Making our worldly priorities small)
- Observe His commands. (Obedience is vital to restoration)
We so many times maintain a worldly focus because the world we live in seems to demand it. While God also demands our priorities, He does not force them upon us. His desire is for us to choose Him this day as Joshua said in Joshua 24:15 and not for us to be robots. Our God takes pleasure in willing servants. This morning concentrate on what God wants you to do today and find real and lasting peace in this world.
Phil 4:4-7 “Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
One final question. Did you allow the Holy Spirit to change your priorities for today??????