Dear CSOPC brothers and sisters,
As I know Todd Bordow mentioned last Sunday, we had a wonderful Presbytery meeting last weekend. The Presbytery approved our petition to be received as a local, organized congregation. The Lord has proved unceasingly faithful in guiding our body to this step. All that remains to be done in the process is the ‘fun’ part. Our organizing service is scheduled for Friday, October 17th. The service will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn on 290 and Gessner. We are catering a dinner at 6 with the service to follow at 7:00. Childcare will be provided.
This will be a wonderfully encouraging service including a sermon and charges to the officers, pastor, and the congregation. If you have any neighbors or friends interested in the church, please bring them along.
Finally, while this is a relatively quiet weekend with respect to church happenings, there is much going on the following weekend. Note the following:
- Friday, October 3 at 7:00 PM … Ladies’ fellowship at the Daugherty’s home
- Saturday, October 4 at 8:30 AM … Men’s breakfast, location TBA
- Sunday, October 5 … fellowship lunch and the baptism of Joel Castilla.
Dear friends, the Lord is at work in glorious ways in the church. May we continue to pray for his blessing, presence, and strength. And may we strive to be faithful servants of Christ in all that we do.
Finally, this week’s devotion is a reflection from Deuteronomy 6 on loving the Lord our God!
God bless and I look forward to seeing all of you this Lord’s Day.
From the Pastor’s Desk
“With all Your Heart, Soul, and Might”
Deuteronomy 6:5, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.”
The book of Deuteronomy is Moses’ farewell sermon to Israel. After wandering 40 years in the wilderness due to their disobedience (see Numbers 13, 14), Israel is now on the brink of entering into the Promised Land. With the nation gathered on the Plains of Moab, Moses preaches the word of God to them – calling them to obedience – calling them to ‘trust and obey.’ And Deut 6:4ff stands at the very core and center of this glorious sermon with the call “to love the LORD your God.” There are several points to highlight regarding this verse.
First, why? Why is Israel called to love the Lord? What are the grounds for this call? There are several highlighted in the text. First, he is ‘Yahweh.’ That is, he is the God of the covenant. He is the God who entered into covenant relationship with his people. He is the God, who out of sheer grace and mercy, called the nation of Israel to be a people for himself. Thus, he is ‘Yahweh their God.’ But also, he is the one, true and living God. “The LORD is one,” Moses proclaims (v. 4). This verse is a grand declaration of Jewish monotheism … all the more striking when we consider Israel as surrounded on all sides by pagan, polytheistic nations. In sum, the Lord is the one God; and he is the one God who has entered into covenant with Israel.
Second, how? How is Israel to love the Lord their God? They are to do so with all their ‘heart, soul, and strength.’ In Hebrew thought, the ‘heart’ was the very core and essence of the person. Thus, Israel is called to love the Lord with their whole being – with their whole person. Furthermore, the term for ‘soul’ can also be translated ‘breath.’ Israel is called to love the Lord with every breath – with every passing breath – with each breath of each day. Also, the term for ‘might’ is often used as an adverb and can be translated ‘very.’ Thus, as one OT scholar puts it, Israel is called to love the Lord with all its ‘veryness and muchness’ (Currid, Deuteronomy, 164). How is Israel to love the LORD their God?? With every fiber of the being, with every breath they take, and that to the greatest extent possible. Yahweh was to be their ‘all in all.’
Finally, what? What does such love look like? In vv. 6-7 Moses highlights two ways by which Israel is to demonstrate their love to the LORD. First, the word is to be “on their heart.” That is, they are to study the word of God and to love the word of God. It is to be on their heart and on their mind. They are to be saturated with God’s word. And second, they are to teach this word to their children (vv. 7-9). They are to pass on the knowledge of God to future generations. They are to understand the covenantal nature of God’s purposes – that God’s covenant extends to you and your children.
Brothers and sisters, our Lord Jesus reiterated Moses’ words. Indeed, the first and greatest commandment is to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength (Matt 22:37; Luke 10:27). May we love Christ! May we love him because he first loved us! May we love him because he gave his life for us (Gal 2:20). May we love him with every breath we take! And may we pass on the knowledge of Christ to our children and to our children’s children!
Rev. Robert Arendale, Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church (OPC), www.csopc.org