“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 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.” “Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.” “All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them… Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.” Deuteronomy 6:4-9; Psalm 86:11; John 17:10-11
The LORD— Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, is one. His command that we love Him with all of our heart, mind, soul, and strength is a call for us to be undivided in heart to fear and love and live for a unified Him. One God, loved by all of me, is an unbreakable union made possible by Jesus. It is what He came to introduce, lived to display, and died to achieve. Jesus’s love for God brought unwavering commitment to God’s cause, and His love for His people compelled Him to span the bridge over the great divide between our sin and God’s holiness. His wide open arms that ‘love us that much’ bring God and man together in a unity that cannot be broken.
Our world is divided in many ways: geographically, ideologically, culturally. There are some areas where people will never agree, distinctions that will never disappear, differences that cannot be resolved, but in Christ, the Spirit brings an uncommon and beautiful unity that defies human invention and explanation. (Romans 8:14-16,38-39)
People long for that unity, and cannot help but notice a healthy, palpable oneness when it is present in the Body of Christ. It may attract, it may repel, but it will certainly identify us as Christ’s and affect those observing. The more we love God with all our being, and senses, and impulses, and thoughts, the more His love permeates what we do and say and how we relate to others. As God’s children love Him with their all, they are freer and fuller to love one another, differences notwithstanding. (2 Corinthians 2:15-16; John 13:35)
Are there affections I withhold from God? Do I reserve certain strength to play with the world, or areas of thought to indulge in dark imaginings? Would I surrender all my heart, mind, soul, and strength in adoration of my loving God? And are there strange and foreign names by which I label or dismiss others, or cordon off myself? What am I doing to keep in Jesus’s name, and love others through Him?
Lord, I immerse all I am in You. Unite Your people under Your banner of love, that the world would see and know You as the one true God. (Song of Solomon 2:4)