December 29 2022
Today, Thursday December 29
"Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
"And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
I’ve had the wonderful privilege of pastoring three churches over the past 47 years. If you ask anyone in those churches what you remember most about Pastor Mike, they will probably say, “His passion to get us to read our Bibles every day.” Years ago, I heard someone make this statement: “Feed a man a fish and you will feed him for a day. But teach a man how to fish and you will feed him for a lifetime.” People will not remember my messages and say how wonderful they were, but if they were motivated to read their Bibles, and study and memorize them, I feel like I’ve taught them how to feed themselves daily for the rest of their lives.
When the devil tempted Jesus to turn stones into bread after His forty-day fast, Jesus responded by quoting a verse from the Book of Deuteronomy. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Deut. 8:3). Did you notice that He said, “every word”. The Apostle Paul would later write to Timothy and tell him, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
That would mean “every and all the words”, from the first verse in Genesis to the last verse in Revelation. The more I’m studying and teaching through the Psalms, I am being reminded how David must have been very familiar with the “Book of the Law”, the Bible that he had available in his day. In our passage in Deuteronomy 6 today, we read the “Great Commandment”, which is to “love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength” (Deut. 6:3). How can you faithfully and diligently keep this commandment?
Well, the next few verses give us the answer! We must keep God’s Word in our hearts and before us at all times! Which means we center our activities and keep our life surrounded by the Word of God! And we make sure that our children grow up being taught to do the same. If you ask me what is really wrong with America and our families today, I would tell you that the problem is an absence of God’s Word in our lives!
If God’s Word is living in your heart, you will not forget God! You won’t forget His promises to bless when you obey, and you won’t forget His warnings if you disobey! In other words, you will practice “the fear of the LORD which is the beginning of wisdom”!
There are only three days before we begin a new year. I want to encourage you to listen to God’s Word. Two great Bible apps to assist you are the Bible.Is app found at: https://www.faithcomesbyhearing.com/audio-bible-resources/bible-is or the YouVersion app found at https://www.youversion.com/the-bible-app/ These two wonderful apps are free and have a ton of resources to help you stay in God’s Word daily and faithfully.
I also want to encourage you to memorize God’s Word. As a brand-new believer in 1971, I memorized my first 180 verses in the Bible by using a little book my dad, J.O. Grooms produced called Treasure Path to Soul Winning. Today my brother, Mark Grooms is the president of Treasure Path Ministries, and you can find the website and resources at: https://treasurepath.org/ Or you can purchase the book on Amazon.
God promised Joshua, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success” (Joshua 1:8). I believe this is for us today too!!!!