Are you fulfilling your duty?

October 22, 2018

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Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind.
(Ecclesiastes 12:13 (NIV))

Everyone has things that they feel they need to do. Some people call them obligations. Some call them responsibilities. Some people call them their duty. Others may say that these things are their priority, while some simply refer to them as the right thing to do. No matter what you may call them, we all have something that we feel we must do.

What are the things in your life that you place as a priority, as your duty?

Is one of your duties to provide for your family? Perhaps you are a business owner and you have employees and customers that are a central part of your daily life. Perhaps you are called to be a first responder and you feel that your duty is to protect and to serve. If that is you, thank you for your selflessness!

No matter what you may feel that your duty or obligation may be, there is one that is far greater and a lot of people fail to ever do anything about it! In fact, Jesus was asked point blank and responded without any hesitation.

“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.
(Matthew 22:36-38 (NIV))

I can hear it now. Some may say that these two passages contradict each other. One says to fear God and the other says to love God with all your heart. How can fear and love mean the same thing? To be honest with you, that is a concept that may be difficult for people to grasp, but the basic sentiment behind this is that you should desire to do what is right in God’s eyes. Perhaps a better way to refer to this potential contradiction is to look at it in terms of respect. When you respect God for who He is, you both love and fear Him at the same time. The fear comes from the simple fact that we are all sinners who deserve whatever judgment we have earned. The love comes from the fact that even though He is a just and righteous God and we are all guilty of our sins, He has freely offered grace and mercy in place of the judgment.

I find it interesting that the passage in which we are told to fear God is from the Old Testament and it was recorded long before grace was freely given. I love the fact that the passage in which Jesus told us to love God is in the New Testament. Jesus took the liberty to paraphrase the commandments and let it be known that we no longer had to fear God, but through Him, God reached out to us in love. Through God’s act of love for us, we can now approach God in love.

I don’t know about you, but I both fear God and love God. As a part of His creation, it is my duty to the Lord our God as Creator!

Are you fulfilling your duty?

Copyright 1998 – 2018 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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How strong are your desires for keeping this commandment?

June 7, 2017

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living

Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.”
(Matthew 22:37-38 (NIV))

I know that normally I tend to ask questions, but I want you to ask yourself a very serious question. I want you to ask yourself, “Do I love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind?”

What comes to mind when you ask yourself this question?

Do you answer quickly and enthusiastically with a resounding “Yes!”, or do you find yourself distracted easily and unable to answer? Are you afraid to answer? Do you brush off the question because you are afraid of what your answer may be? Are you afraid to admit that you don’t honestly love the Lord?

I realize that these are some very tough questions, but each of us need to be able to face them and answer them honestly. We don’t know what tomorrow may bring. We don’t know if our next breath will be our last. If something were to happen and you find yourself standing before the Lord our God, would you be afraid of what He would say to you or would you hear well done?

His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
(Matthew 25:21 (NIV))

Loving the Lord our God with all that we are is important. It is so important that Jesus referred to this as the first and greatest commandment, for if we earnestly seek to follow this commandment, all other commandments will fall into place. Don’t get me wrong and take this to mean that we will no longer sin, for we are human and have a fallen and sinful nature. What it does mean is that we will desire to follow God and we will repent when we do something that is against God’s Word.

Once again, I want you to ask yourself, “Do I love the Lord my God with all my heart and with all my soul and with all my mind?”

How strong are your desires for keeping this commandment?

Copyright 1998 – 2017 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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