Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. (Deut. 6:5)

PRIORITY: something important or urgent; something that is even more important than something else. When we establish priorities, we believe those things are important. But life quickly reveals there are some things deserving our heightened attention.

The shema is God’s instructions through Moses about some essential beliefs, the first being God is the only Lord. In Egypt and the Promised Land, the Israelites encountered people who were polytheists. But God deserves our undivided loyalty. We must love Him with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength.

Jesus reiterated this part of the shema when asked what the greatest command was (Matt. 22:34–40). Any item or person that steals our focus from God becomes a god to us. Popularity, power, and money can easily take His place.

Supremely loving God automatically produces a love for other people and for His commands. God’s instructions weren’t solely for Old Testament believers. His moral laws apply just as strenuously today. His laws guide us into abundant Spirit-filled living and also lead to a healthy existence by encouraging us to make healthy choices.

When we love God and His commands, we’ll pass them along to our children and grandchildren. While we can’t give them our faith, we can teach them what God desires by our words and actions.

Pass the torch of loving and serving God to your children and grandchildren.

Martin W. Wiles is a preacher’s kid and author who understand believers’ struggles. He resides in Hodges, South Carolina.