There are certain great passages from the Word of God that stand out in my memory. One of these we have read this morning:
Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach. It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask, "Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, "Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?" No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it.
See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. (Deuteronomy 30:11-16)
Without love the other things are impossible. I can preach all the commands and decrees until the cows come home but it will not make a difference if there is no love. I can convince the students of logic of following God's commands and decrees. They make sense. Some of them are very practical and it is easy to see their benefit. However, our sin nature often gets in the way of logic because of a very basic human instinct; "I want wha I want and I want it now". Only when we are convinced of Jesus' love and respond to that love will those bonds of our sin nature be loosed and allow us to walk in obedience.
It is my heartfelt desire to see each of my students succeed. I want to see them overcome the many obstacles in their life such as "fear of the future", "laziness", "lack of motivation", "disobedience". I want to see my students shine with the glory of God, prospering at everything they put their hand too. I want to see them living lives to the glory of Jesus Christ. But, without love it will not happen. God has promised us blessings with obedience, but it only happens with that decision to love.
It was set before the people: See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. It does not get any planner than that. What will you choose?