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Saturday, September 22, 2012

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After God's heart-cry in the previous chapter it is no wonder that Moses said, “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” (vs. 4-5). “God is love” (1 John 4:8-16). He is not interested in a superficial acquaintance. He longs for a heart-relationship. Because He created humans, He wants them to know that they belong to Him because He gave them life and died so that they can live forever. Christ quoted this text in speaking about the most important commandment (Matt. 22:37-40). Every human leader of religion, whether it is Buddha or Mohammed, is no better than a man-made god, for they are not alive. There is only One God, the true and unique God, who lives from eternity to eternity. He comes to humans with an eternal and divine love that is incomparable.


That is why God wanted to give large and beautiful cities to Israel that they did not build, houses they did not construct, wells they did not dig, and vineyards they did not plant. These were physical gifts that came with the Giver. He longed to bless then spiritually. But God was concerned that these gifts would cause them to forget Him, become idols between them and Him who supplied all their blessings. The enriched Israel reminds us of Laodicea, God’s end-time Israel, rich with goods and feels no need, yet their greatest need is Christ and He is left outside (Rev. 3:14-20). What ingratitude!


Throughout history Christ is often left outside the door of his people’s hearts. But He still loves them. He promises Laodicea that if they will let Him come into their lives, then after the Second Advent He will have them sit on His throne with Him (Rev. 3:21). He is the greatest lover in the universe, and He longs to dwell with you today and give you more than just physical blessings. He wants you to invite Him in to reign within your heart as a foretaste of you reigning with Him forever.


Norman Gulley

Southern Adventist University