12 “And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all His ways and to love Him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul,
13 and to keep the commandments of the Lord and His statutes which I command you today for your good?
Notice first what the Lord is speaking to Israel.
Remember that we are grafted into God's family.
We are branches on the tree of Israel.
So, this applies to us.
Jesus said similarly, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind."
But notice what the God requires in Deuteronomy.
First, fear the Lord.
The word here does mean fear.
It also means to be in awe of.
To revere and respect (profound and deep).
To show honor and be amazed by.
We can easily understand all of these feelings in reference to being before an all-powerful God.
The One Who created the universe and could just as easily destroy it.
Also, the Lord will be our judge.
We should have some reverential fear in front of the Just and Holy One that can judge us.
Sending us to heaven or hell.
God requires we walk in all His ways.
What does that mean?
Well in this case "walk" means to live like God morally.
To act like would act, as best we can.
But to live a life guided by the Lord's moral teachings.
In other words, to follow the Lord's teachings in the Bible.
And realize He says, "all His ways."
Not just some.
Not just the ones we like.
But also, the hard ones, the ones we don't want to do.
God requires that we love Him.
In this case the word means love, exactly like we think.
We need to love God for all He has given us and does for us.
We should appreciate His love and reciprocate that.
He gives His love freely and loved us before we knew or loved Him.
This leads to God requiring that we serve Him with all our heart and soul.
How do we serve Him?
It means to work for His cause.
God wants as many saved souls as possible.
We are to be working and serving to that end.
It's not just worship as in singing, but worship by working and doing.
Often Paul referred to himself as a slave or bond servant to the Lord.
And so, we are.
Jesus bought us when He took on our punishment and our death.
We should have so much gratefulness and love for the salvation He gives us that we would not dream of doing less than all.
We should serve with all our heart and soul.
What is the heart in this case?
It is the inner man, the core of our being, our spirit.
Our will and desire should be to work for the Lord.
Then what is the soul?
In this case the soul is more about who we are in the flesh.
Using our fleshly being, our body in God's service.
Finally, God requires that we keep His commandments and statutes.
Jesus gave us this as the Law of Love (how we refer to it).
Loving God first, then loving others, both more than ourselves.
All of this is hard to do.
But notice what God says at the end of verse 13.
"I command you today for your good."
Do we understand why God requires this of us?
Because it is for our good.
Not the Lord's, but our benefit.
This is all to help us, to make us better.
To give us a better life and a wonderful eternal life.
Never forget, Gods requires that we do the things that are better for us.
The Lord always has our best interests in mind.