The Shema includes the first commandment God gave to Moses (see Deut. 6:4-9). For the Jew, the Shema was to be the first thought of the day, the last thought at night, the first thing taught to a child, and the last words on a person’s lips at death. It was memorized, recited and attached to clothing and worn as a constant reminder. There was nothing unclear about where God’s place was to be in life! He was to be first and only!

Scriptures
Deut. 6:4-9; Isaiah 45:5-6; Deut. 11:13; Judges 17:6; Job 28:12-13; Job 28:23-24; Matt. 22:37-40

Verses
“Israel, remember this! The Lord—and the Lord alone—is our God. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Teach them to your children. Repeat them when you are at home, and when you are away when you are resting and when you are working. Tie them on your arms and wear them on your foreheads as a reminder. Write the on your doorposts of your houses and on your gates.” (Deut. 6:4-9)

Thought
Have you ever watched TV when the feed is interrupted and the picture gets pixilated and out of focus? This is the way many people view God; there’s no clarity about His place or His purpose in their life. We all know that there are many paths, options and distractions in this world. It’s easy for other things (other gods) to become the center of our worship and for God’s will and place in our lives to become blurry and obscure. Only by keeping God in focus can we live with fulfillment and purpose. Jesus called us to love God and love others…then, all else falls into place.

Questions
What is your first thought in the morning? What is your last thought at night? What is the most important thing you are teaching your children? How well do you love God? Others?

Response
Begin to practice God first and God last…God all through the day! When you awaken be thankful for the new day of life God has given to you. Ask God to help you see and meet a need in someone’s life today! Keep that prayer on your heart through the day and be watchful for God’s leading. Lie down at night with a word of praise for God’s faithfulness and thank Him for His presence.

Prayer
Lord, Remind me daily to give you the love, honor and place you deserve in my life! I want you to be first in all that I do. Help me to keep you in focus and to plan my day and my life in a way that honors you. Help me to love others as you love me. Strengthen me to do your will. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.