Each January I ask the Lord for a new spiritual focus for the year. I pray this theme will increasingly permeate my life as the months go by. Here are recent themes...Keep in Step with the Spirit (2015), Better to Give Than to Get (2014), A Slave of Christ (2013). Here it is for 2016...
A Few Laps Around the Pentateuch
I've spent the last 16 months in the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Bible). This portion of Scripture is the foundation.
Yahweh yearns for a people who will live in a committed, not half-hearted relationship. This is the ancient idea of covenant.
He is the loving Father who wants his kids to live in a way that honors their relationship and is by a wide mile the best thing for them (Deut. 5:29).
He wants them to live in such a way that their lives are a witness to the nations so the nations might know the Author of their Story (Deut. 4:6)
He wants them to live as a witness laterally to the nations and vertically to succeeding generations (Deut. 6:7). If their offspring doesn't get it, the chain is broken and the pattern of increase and greater witness is halted (here are additional thoughts).
He wants his People to experience fullness and abundance. He promised it long before hand (Deut. 6:23).
And this leads to the crux of it. Will they listen and love?
"Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts." (Deut. 6:4-5)
We are to love back. Deeply. Fully. Actively. Our hearts should be tuned to his ways.
He wants us to remember where we came from (Deut. 5:15).
If we follow other pathways, He gives us the freedom to experience the consequences (Deut. 6:13-15).
So this is my theme for 2016.
Listen and Love. Love You back. Deeply. Fully. Actively.