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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Anne Robertson

Tuesday, February 1

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.
—Deuteronomy 6:5

If the Bible were written in a circle, I would put this verse in the center. It is already central for Christians and Jews. If you attend a service in a synagogue, you will most likely recite this passage as an important part of worship. For those Christians who might be tempted to put it aside in favor of New Testament passages, remember that when Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, this is what he cited.

Deuteronomy tries to get that message across by commanding that people write the verse everywhere…on their doors, on their gates, even on their bodies…on the back of your hand, so that you can see it all the time, and on your forehead so that anybody looking at you can see it, too. I don’t know of any other commandment that comes with God’s enjoinder to plaster it absolutely everywhere.

I, for one, need that constant reminder. My loves can become disordered, and when it comes time to put love into action, it is not really God that gets my “all.” One glance at our checkbooks and our daily calendars will tell us where our priorities lie and where our true loves are likely to be found. 

I have two altars in my house. One is in the spare bedroom that I have converted into a chapel. The other is my desk where the almighty Dell sits. I’m not happy to report which altar sees me more frequently.

“All your heart, all your soul, all your strength.” I’ve got a ways to go, and I’m betting most of us do. But Jesus and Moses both lift this commandment up as the most important thing. I’ve got to work harder and be more intentional about my love for God. I suspect life will go better when I do.

All-encompassing God, you have loved me totally and truly. Help me to return that love to you. Amen.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2006.