Sh’ma = Hebrew term for “hear,” often with a view to “accept” and “obey”. The first word of Israel’s declaration of faith (Deuteronomy 6:4), which Jesus affirms (Matthew 22:37; Mark 12:28-34). Today, when we want someone’s attention for an important announcement we may say something like “Listen up!” And so, I encourage you to “listen up!” and to read on.
When someone admits they are not “in the Word” as much as they would like to be and find their lives off course, broken, or in disrepair, I wonder who they have been listening to. This is not to say that being “in the Word” guarantees spiritual and moral progress, but I have to ask….
- Would not a regular, meditative time in God’s Word increase your chances that you would live according to His desires for your life and bring blessing rather than curse?
- Could not God’s Word, rightly understood and appropriately applied, ensure that your life aligns more closely to God’s will for your life?
- Don’t you know that living from your truth rather than from God’s truth; walking according to your frame of reference, rather than God’s frame of reference will always result in a fleshly, earthly antithesis to God’s superior plan for your life?
- C’mon!! Who exactly are you listening to? Don’t you realize that we all live from the inside out and that our thoughts are the rails upon which our lives run?
Consider (which means “take to heart”) the following samples on the importance of God’s Word:
“Be careful to follow every command I am giving you… Observe the commands of the LORD your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him…Be careful that you do not forget the LORD your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees.”
“People do not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.”
“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another”
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. Those who listen to the word but do not do what it says are like people who look at their faces in a mirror and, after looking at themselves, go away and immediately forget what they look like. But those who look intently into the perfect law that gives freedom and continue in it—not forgetting what they have heard but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.”
“If you love me, keep my commands… Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me….Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching.”
“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. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”