January 27, 2024 Devotional by Rose-Marie Slosek
“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.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-5)
God is one within Himself. He is undivided within Himself. God calls us to love Him wholeheartedly, with all of who we are: our heart, soul, mind, and strength. Love is what unites the various aspects of my whole being. There will be discord within my personal being, if my mind is in unity with God, but my heart is not. I may not recognize the discord, but something will be incomplete within me.
As I love God and as I worship Him, there comes together within me a singularity of focus and function. I become one within myself, no warring parties within, and I become one with God. This is bliss! God is love (1 John 4:8). To be caught up in that love is to function as God intends for all of us. There is no striving in this place of oneness. All is content and at peace. God does not call us to love Him wholeheartedly for self-serving reasons. Our health and well-being are a benefit that comes to us when we love Him rightly. Who better than Love Himself could instruct us properly in how to love?
All disease comes from imbalance. In God there is perfect health. As we “unite our heart to fear His Name” (Psalm 86:11c), we come to a place where everything within us is pointing in one direction: toward God. How wonderful to be in such a place of peace, of surrender, of rest, and of health! To gaze upon God with a unified heart, soul, mind, and spirit is our life’s work! And so, the Shema, this same call to hear and to obey, is the heart of all that God intends for our good. Jesus reiterates this when He refers back to the Shema to sum up what is the greatest commandment, “Love the Lord with all your heart, soul, and mind and love your neighbor as yourself,” (Mark 12:30-31). This is the heart and soul of all that God requires. This is life to our souls and health to our bodies.