A few weekends ago, I had the coolest opportunity to teach in JHM on the verse Deuteronomy 6:4-9, specifically going into what it means to love God. And while I may have been the teacher that weekend, I learned and was reminded of some of God’s greatest qualities.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9 says:

4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.[a] 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”

Loving God with all of your strength means to love him with all that you are and it opened my eyes to ways I was hesitant to do so. I struggle with sharing my faith unapologetically and I thought it would be unfitting that I tell others how to do it. It's something that scares me a lot, but through piecing together this message I learned that inviting Jesus into more of my life doesn’t limit me, it actually does the exact opposite.

I don’t feel the anxious weight on my shoulders anymore, because letting God into every nook and cranny of your life doesn't close you off. It brings you freedom.

I feel more confident when sharing my faith because more of God means a stronger foundation.

I feel more excited about bringing God into conversations because sharing my faith doesn’t have to be something that puts walls between people, but can be an opportunity for them to experience His beauty.

It’s still not perfectly easy, but that weekend was a reminder that God isn’t here to make my life harder. He commands me to love Him with all of my strength- with everything that I am and in all that I do- not to punish me in any way but to calm my heart, open doors, and bring me closer to Him in new and wonderfully exciting ways.

-Izzy Murphy

Student Leader