Deuteronomy 11:1-17 (NRSV)
The rewards of obedience
You shall love the Lord your God, therefore, and keep his charge, his decrees, his ordinances, and his commandments always. Remember today that it was not your children (who have not known or seen the discipline of the Lord your God), but it is you who must acknowledge his greatness, his mighty hand and his outstretched arm, his signs and his deeds that he did in Egypt to Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and to all his land; what he did to the Egyptian army, to their horses and chariots, how he made the water of the Red Sea flow over them as they pursued you, so that the Lord has destroyed them to this day; what he did to you in the wilderness, until you came to this place; and what he did to Dathan and Abiram, sons of Eliab son of Reuben, how in the midst of all Israel the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up, along with their households, their tents, and every living being in their company; for it is your own eyes that have seen every great deed that the Lord did.
Keep, then, this entire commandment that I am commanding you today, so that you may have strength to go in and occupy the land that you are crossing over to occupy, and so that you may live long in the land that the Lord swore to your ancestors to give them and to their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey. For the land that you are about to enter to occupy is not like the land of Egypt, from which you have come, where you sow your seed and irrigate by foot like a vegetable garden. But the land that you are crossing over to occupy is a land of hills and valleys, watered by rain from the sky, a land that the Lord your God looks after. The eyes of the Lord your God are always on it, from the beginning of the year to the end of the year.
If you will only heed his every commandment that I am commanding you today - loving the Lord your God, and serving him with all your heart and with all your soul - then he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, and you will gather in your grain, your wine, and your oil; and he will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you will eat your fill. Take care, or you will be seduced into turning away, serving other gods and worshiping them, for then the anger of the Lord will be kindled against you and he will shut up the heavens, so that there will be no rain and the land will yield no fruit; then you will perish quickly off the good land that the Lord is giving you.
Today’s Bible passage gives us two very simple commandments. We are to love and serve the Lord our God with all of our heart and all of our soul.
Love is equated with obedience in this passage. Anyone who has children can understand this connection. I feel most loved and respected by my children when they hear and heed my words. When they make mistakes, and I know it is not will-full, I correct them and we start over. But, when they purposefully disobey me, being lawless, sassy, or disrespectful, my feelings are hurt and swift consequences ensue.
I believe that God feels the same way. Like any parent, God wants to be loved and obeyed. Our service to God is to love God with all our heart and soul and to do our best to keep God’s commandments.
Now, I have noticed something else in this passage that really touches my heart. I noticed that as we love and serve God, scripture promises an abundance of blessing. Now this may seem counter intuitive, for scripture also teaches us that “God makes the sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous (Matthew 5:45).”
So, why does today’s passage say that as we love and serve God we will experience the abundance of God’s blessing? Well, this is something I’ve been thinking a lot on. And I want to share some things with you that I believe Spirit has revealed to me.
First of all, I’ve stopped saying, “God bless you” to people. Instead I say, “I celebrate God’s blessing on your life.” I do this because God clearly blesses all of God’s children. I only want to acknowledge what is obviously the case. God is blessing…right now!
As I am talking with someone, that person is living, breathing, has blood circulating in his or her body, has the ability to think and speak…I could go on and on, but as you can see, we are all blessed!
Secondly, I have noticed that as we love and serve God, we begin to live into an attitude of gratitude! An attitude of gratitude notices all the ways in which God is blessing us and delights in God’s provision.
I truly believe this is why people who love and serve God are so blessed! We take notice of God’s blessing! We thank God when the sun rises and sets. We are grateful to God as we set food on our tables. We appreciate the fact that God grants clean water, clothing, shelter, health care, and education. We rejoice in the activity of our limbs, the laughter of our children, or a cool breeze upon our faces.
Living into an attitude of gratitude means that we are more focused on what is right, than on what is wrong! This is not true for people who do not know—or have fallen away—from their relationship with God.
Folks who do not love and serve God with all their hearts and souls, tend to be focused on what is wrong with the world! They notice every time something doesn’t go right.
They are jealous of the person who has a Mercedes, although the Honda works just fine. They are disappointed when they are served a hamburger, because they feel they deserved a steak. They are livid when someone else is elevated on the job, failing to remember the sister who was laid off just the day before.
When you live an ungrateful life, you get sour grapes every time! When you’re looking for the bad, you find it around every corner and when you fail to appreciate the good, you neglect the blessings in your life.
Simply put, I believe that people who love and serve God are just happier than those who don’t! It’s not that we don’t suffer hardship, pain, and tribulation from time to time. After all, we are human!
But, I do believe that the attitude with which we approach even our trials and tribulations, allows us to feel blessed, and be a blessing, even in the darkest hours of our lives!
Look. God has been good to all of us. God is blessing all of us, right now! Look around. Take a deep breath. Rejoice!
God has done all that is needed for us to have “daily bread” upon the Earth and then to have eternal life in the Heavens.
God loves us! God loves us so much that God gave Jesus to die upon the cross and rise on the third day, all to save us from our sin and gift us with eternal life.
Jesus said, “I am come that [you] might have life, and that [you] might have it more abundantly (John 10:10)!”
Hallelujah! Are you living the abundant life that is your inheritance? Do you recognize the bounty of your blessings? Are you doing your best to love and serve God with all your heart and soul?
If not, I want to invite you to re-evaluate your priorities today. I want to ask you to consider putting all of your hope in Jesus and accepting a radical attitude adjustment. I want to encourage you to live with a grateful heart!
If you desire to make this change, will you please pray with me?
Dear God, I know you love me and I love you too. I believe that Jesus died on the cross and that you raised him from the dead! Please forgive all of my sins and fill me with your Holy Spirit. I truly want to live into an attitude of gratitude! I want to love and serve you with all my heart and soul. God, I accept Your free gift of salvation today. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
If you just prayed that prayer for the first time, today, you are saved! I would be so honored if you would let me know about your decision by clicking “Yes” in the poll located at the top/right of today’s devotional! I am so happy for you! Happy Spiritual Re-Birth-Day!
Next steps: In response to what God did for you just now, let me suggest that you consider telling another Christian so that they can celebrate with you! Ask them to help you find a Bible that is easy for you to understand so that you can learn more about your new-found faith! Ask them to help you find a good Bible believing church where you can make new friends who will walk with you on your new journey! You are already saved; now let God mature you by faith! Congratulations!
Congratulations to the people who have recently put all of their faith in Jesus! We are so excited about your new-found faith in Jesus! You are in our thoughts and prayers!
If you would like to put all of your hope in Jesus today, please visit my blog entitled, “Putting All Your Hope In Jesus” located at
If you have additional questions about how to become a friend and follower of Jesus, please see the devotion entitled, "Come to Jesus"
Pastor Yolanda is now publishing another blog entitled, “A Spoken WORD” in celebration of Holy Hip Hop, Gospel/Christian Rap and Spoken Word. Please check it out @ http://aspokenword.blogspot.com/
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