Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)

How do you love God? How do you show God your love with all of your heart? Have you ever considered the question?

Many of you are starting back to school this week. With this new start is a great time to consider how God is asking you to love fully and to let go of anything that holds you back.

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In tight circumstances, I cried out to the Lord. The Lord answered me with wide-open spaces. The Lord is for me—I won’t be afraid. What can anyone do to me?

Psalm 118:5-6

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“When the night has come / And the land is dark / And the moon is the only light we’ll see / No I won’t be afraid / Oh, I won’t be afraid / Just as long as you stand, stand by me.”

The lyrics to the song “Stand By Me” (originally performed by Ben E. King) remind me of many of my friends who have stood by me in tight circumstances and kept me from being afraid. I am thankful to God for the gift of their life reminding me that God stands by me.

The Psalmist writes a song to sing that is similar to Ben E. King’s with the lyric “The Lord is for me — I won’t be afraid. What can anyone do to me?” The Psalmist reminds you that you don’t have to be afraid when the night comes, for God stands by you.

Do you have a friend, a family member, or someone special whom you can always depend on when you need them? Thank God for them today and for reminding you that God stands by you.

Josh Speight

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God, stand by me today, so I won’t be afraid. Thank you for faithfully loving me and caring for me. Amen.

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Go forth now in the power of the Spirit of God to be God’s helper in the world, letting go of any worry, loving God with all your heart along the way.

Joshua Speight

Josh Speight serves clergy and congregations on the Ministries Team of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in Atlanta, Ga. He has an incredible life with the three wisest women he knows: his wife Becky and their daughters Ainsley and Evelyn.

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