As I retired to bed, I just felt like wanting to read the Bible. So, I took my physical Bible. And not knowing what to read, I asked a simple question, ‘God, what should I read?’ Immediately I heard an answer. A book which begins with an ‘E’. So, I thought, Ephesians? Then it doesn’t feel like that’s the one. Ecclesiastes? Could be!
I quickly thumbed through the introduction of that book. Eugene Peterson brilliantly wrote the intro. And I knew this is what God wants me to read.
As I hungrily complete the last chapter—I came to the final word of that book, which is:
Fear God. Obey His commands.
Or, in the Message version:
Fear God. Do what he tells you.
I like the AMP version, though.
It gives clarity to the phrase ‘fear God’. It removes the unhealthy connotation which may be attached to the word, ‘fear’.
Worship Him. Show profound adoring awed respect. Wow.
Knowing that He is Almighty God. Therefore WORTHY to be worshiped in this manner. Wow.
Next, keep His Commandments.
Now, I know of the Ten Commandments in the Old Testament of the Bible. But I also know of the Great Commandment, which to me, is the mother or rather father of all commandments. This is it.
To quote Matthew 22:35-40 AMP from the Bible:
One of them, a lawyer [an expert in Mosaic Law], asked Jesus a question, to test Him: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
And Jesus replied to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.
The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself [that is, unselfishly (adjective) seek (verb) the best or higher good for others].’
The whole Law and the [writings of the] Prophets depend on these two commandments.”
To fear God (out of reverence for who He is), to obey His commands to love Him with all my heart, soul, and mind, and to love others as myself…
BAM! I think I’ve found my life verse.
Further references on the Great Commandment from Wikipedia