“The Ugly Quagmire of a Misplaced Treasure”
Passage: Deuteronomy 6:1–6:25
Key Passages: Deuteronomy 4, 6, 10, 30
“I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So choose life in order that you may live, you and your descendants, by loving the Lord your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life and the length of your days.” Deuteronomy 30:19–20 (ESV)
“O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.” Psalm 63:1–2 (ESV)
“If anyone has no love for the Lord, let him be accursed.” 1 Corinthians 16:22 (ESV)
“If you asked twenty good men today what they thought the highest of the virtues, nineteen of them would reply, Unselfishness. But if you had asked almost any of the great Christians of old, he would have replied, Love. You see what has happened? A negative term has been substituted for a positive, and this is of more than philological [the study of language] importance. The negative idea of Unselfishness carries with it the suggestion not primarily of securing good things for others, but of going without them ourselves, as if our abstinence and not their happiness was the important point. I do not think this is the Christian virtue of Love. The New Testament has lots to say about self-denial, but not about self-denial as an end in itself. We are told to deny ourselves and to take up our crosses in order that we may follow Christ; and nearly every description of what we shall ultimately find if we do so contains an appeal to desire. If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by an offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory.
1. Disobedience and prayerlessness are the result of a heart that does not love God, Deuteronomy 4:2, 6-9; 6:1-25.
2. Don’t forget to remember, Deuteronomy 6:12; Psalm 78; 106:6-15.
3. You can learn to love God, Deuteronomy 4:1; 5:1; 6:1, 20-25; Hebrews 13:7-17; 2 Timothy 4:1-8; 1 Timothy 1:5.
4. Loving God results in ecstatic obedience, Deuteronomy 10:12-22; 28:47; John 15:11; 17:13; Matthew 13:44.