Time in the Scriptures
Pray: Ask God for insight into your priorities.
Read: Deuteronomy 6: 1-15
Deuteronomy 6:4, the “Shema” (shema is Hebrew for “hear”) is a key verse in many Jewish worship services. Most cultures around ancient Israel worshiped many different gods; the Jews were to worship one God, Yahweh (written as “the Lord” in most English translations).
Look at where you invest your time, your money, and your thoughts. Keep in mind that the Hebrew word for “worship” also means “serve.” Who, or what, do you worship/serve with your time, money, and thoughts?
The Jews used the Commandments to focus on God. This focus wasn’t to occur once a week during Sunday School, or once a day during devotions, but constantly (verses 7-9). Moses seemed to fear that the Jews would forget to keep the Lord as the focus of their worship. What did he think might distract them? (verses 10-12)
Does God accept being just one among many priorities? (verse 15; see also Luke 16:13)
Moses warned the people against the gods of the people around them (verse 14). Yahweh does not accept being just one among many priorities (verse 15). What are some of the “gods” that are worshiped by the culture around us? (Again, most Americans don’t literally worship divine beings; but where does our culture invest its “first fruits,” where do we spend our best time, money, and brainpower?)
Do you need to adjust some priorities? Write down any insights.
Spend time in prayer for the following activities and people:
- People struggling with their priorities.
- Ash Wednesday services taking place around the globe today.
Caring through Action
Spend as much time today as you can being aware of God’s presence. Watch your behavior during the day – does being aware of God change how you treat others?