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Loving God #2—Careful Love

Be very careful to love Yahweh, your God. Do not turn back and cling to the tantalizing remnants of your old life, or else they shall be a snare and a trap for you, a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from this good land that Yahweh has given you. Joshua 23:11–13

When Yahweh revealed himself to Abraham and promised to be his deity, he required Abraham to leave behind all that he knew and loved. Not quite convinced, he took his nephew with him. Lot’s descendants have plagued the lives of Abraham’s children ever since. Despite Israel’s miraculous deliverance from slavery in Egypt, they had difficulty remaining loyal to Yahweh as he led them to their new home; and even more difficulty not bonding with the people God commanded them to expel from the land. Because God is holy, because he has infinite, unexcelled, and irreplaceable worth, he deserves and demands that we be careful with our love. When Jesus called his original subjects, they left everything to enter his kingdom. Offering them a chance to leave him, Peter answered, “To whom should we go. You have the words of life.” Indeed, as Jesus said, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” The apostle Paul, who considered his former way of life and his considerable accomplishments as rubbish declared, “I am single-minded: Forgetting the things that are behind and reaching out for the things that are ahead. I strive toward the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Lord, grant me a powerful love for you so I can rise above the miasma and clutter of my old life.


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