On a wall in our family room hangs a plaque with 1 Corinthians 15:58: “Your labour in the Lord is not in vain.” As my wife and I prepared to return to the U.S. from Vietnam, where we served for many years, a good friend of ours, a Vietnamese pastor and church planter, gave us this plaque as a farewell present. It holds a special place of honor in our home.
This plaque symbolizes our desire to put God’s Word at the center of family life. In Deuteronomy 6, we learn two significant truths. The first is that God is one (v. 4, called the “Shema”). As opposed to those in the ancient Near East who worshiped many gods, Christians worship only one true God. He alone is worthy of our worship.
The second truth is also known as the greatest commandment: We are to love God “with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength” (v. 5). Such love includes wholehearted faith and uncompromising obedience.
How can we live out these two truths? They should be on our hearts and thoughts. We should reflect or meditate on them in our inmost beings (v. 6). We should talk about them often, during all kinds of situations and activities, especially in our homes and with our children (v. 7). These truths and God’s commandments in general should be at the heart of our personal and family lives (vv. 8–9; see also Prov. 3:3).
Many Jews take the imagery of verses 8 and 9 literally. They tie phylacteries to their foreheads and left arms and attach mezuzot to the doorframes of their houses. Phylacteries and mezuzot are small boxes with specific Scripture passages inside—including today’s reading.
>> How do you keep God and His Word at the center of your life? Do you post Bible verses in places as reminders? Some people hang plaques, others use screen savers. Today there are many ways you can keep God and His Word at the forefront of your mind.
Lord God, as we study Scripture, memorize Your Word, and absorb sound teaching, cause Your truth to penetrate to our inmost being. As we encounter different people and scenarios, bring pertinent passages to our minds for guidance.