“LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD…” (Outline)
October 26, 2008 --
PENTECOST 24 --
INTRO: Whenever God tells us something “to do” he also tells us how and why. Today’s text talks about God’s law in loving the Lord above all things. This is what our loving Lord wants us “to do”. Speaking of God’s commands we always need to remember that God has done it all. Before we can love the Lord above all things we are reminded that the Lord God has already loved us above all things. On our own we cannot do anything pleasing in God’s sight. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Rather, knowing and believing and confessing in God’s love we can do all things through Christ. "If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him" (1 JOHN 4:15,16). When our text tells us to love the Lord we can do it, only as we rely on the love God has for us.
“LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD…”
I. Hear the word / Lord.
II. Share the Lord / word.
I. HEAR THE WORD / LORD
A. This section of Scripture is part of Moses’ farewell address to the children of Israel, verse 1.
1. They are ready to enter the Promised Land. They are to remember all of God’s words.
2. Israel would remember God’s word only one way, by hearing and listening - verse 4.
B. Moses wanted God’s people to remember the only true God brought them through the wilderness.
1. Verse 5. Hearing and believing God’s people would be motivated to love the Lord.
2. From the depth of their soul they would and could love the Lord. Israel knew the Lord’s love.
C. Verse 6. The word of God was to be in their hearts. God’s word would be a part of their daily living.
1. The Israelites heard, knew, believed, loved, and now would be moved to obey, verse 3.
2. Moses did not want God’s people to forget what they had heard and seen for the last 40 years.
D. We are reminded once again about the importance of hearing the word of God. The reality: Our sinful nature does not find God’s word, especially God’s law, very appealing. We do not want to hear that all our righteous acts are like filthy rags. We do not want to hear that our sins sweep us away. We chafe at the truth that even our thoughts are sinful. Today, even some churches do not want to hear or teach the very simple truths of God’s word. Some modern-day preachers have abandoned Jesus as the only way to heaven. Homosexuality and same-sex marriage is swept under the rug as “too controversial”.
"For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear"(2 TIMOTHY 4:13). How sad that even those who are leaders do not hear and therefore do not “teach”!
E. We would all readily agree that we live in the lap of luxury in America. We might even describe America as a land “flowing with milk and honey”. Just the loose change in our pockets put us in the top 10% of the world’s population according to wealth. 90% of the world has less than what we daily carry around as spare change. Sadly, success and prosperity can prove to be a curse rather than blessing, especially spiritually speaking. "They spend their years in prosperity and go down to the grave in peace. Yet they say to God, `Leave us alone! We have no desire to know your ways"(JOB 21:13,14). Sound familiar?
F. Scripture is clear. Faith is ours as God’s gracious gift to sinful people. To believer is very simple. God’s word reminds us it is vitally important to hear God’s word. It is vitally important to listen to the voice of the Lord. Scripture reminds us of the reason to listen. "’Lord, who has believed our message?’ Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ" (ROMANS 10:16a, 17). Our faith grows whenever we hear God’s word. Our faith grows when we read God’s word. Our faith grows when we study God’s word. Faith begins with the hearing.
“LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD…” We need to and now want to hear God’s word. Our faith finds comfort, encouragement, and divine strength in listening to the voice of the Lord. We grow in faith to:
II. SHARE THE LORD / WORD
A. Verse 1 reminded everyone that Moses was still God’s spokesman for his or her benefit.
1. Through Moses the Lord provided his word for all of God’s people, verse 2.
2. Out of an awesome respect for God’s word the next generation would enjoy divine blessings.
a. Fear – unbeliever = fear of punishment. b. Believer = fear of disappointing God.
B. The children of Israel were to hear God’s word and plant it in their hearts, verse 6.
1. God’s word was also for the children, verse 7. Impress = repeat again, again, and again.
2. Parents would teach their children at home, on the way, morning and night.
C. Verses 8, 9. Israel took these verses “to heart” more than putting God’s word into their hearts.
1. The boxes on hands and foreheads are connected to the phylacteries Jesus warned against.
2. Today God’s word is still posted on doorframes called “mezuzahs”. It is a silent sharing.
D. Probably each one of us has some religious picture or article posted or hanging in our house. This is really not a bad thing. It is a good thing to look at these articles and be reminded of God’s grace, love, and mercy which he shows us every day. God’s great love for us reminds each of us of the great hope that we possess. In a world of despair we have joy. In uncertain times we have the certainty of eternity. It is my prayer that others around us would note our daily contentment. "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect"(1 PETER 3:15). When people ask us about our hope we answer that God is our hope, God loves us and cares for them and us. God is in control.
E. We answer those who still sit in darkness with the truth of God’s word. We can and ought to “do this with gentleness and respect”. This does not mean that the truth of God’s word is powerless. In fact, the opposite is quite true. God’s word overcomes all falsehoods and lies. God’s truth destroys that which is false and untrue. "We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ"(2 CORINTHIANS 10:5). We can “take captive every thought” refers even to our own sinful thoughts. We admonish our sinful nature with its evil thoughts and desires to get behind us. We love the Lord as we are obedient to Christ. Note the progression: Hear, know, believe, love, and obey. The Lord’s love always comes first.
F. Once again, it is in the word of the Lord that we find God’s love for us. It is this word of God that we are privileged and blessed to share with the rest of the world. Yes, God’s word has law and gospel. The law does remind us of our sinfulness. Unless we see our sinfulness we will not see a need for the Savior to release us from the bonds of sin. "But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it--he will be blessed in what he does" (JAMES 1:25). We know, that we are always, always blessed in not only hearing God’s word but also and especially in “doing” God’s word. We heard God’s word and are blessed to share the Lord.
CONC.: Love the Lord your God is the clear, concise command of God. Sadly, some try to make God’s commands a burden. Some like to only use God’s word as a club as they try to beat people into submission by obedience. God’s word is much, much more than that! "This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith"(1 JOHN 5:3,4). Our faith, which is purely and freely a divine gift of God’s love, is able to overcome the world. Now we want to “LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD…”. We start when we hear God’s word and listen to the Lord’s voice. We continue to live our lives of love as we share the Lord through God’s word. Amen. Pastor Timm O. Meyer
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PENT. 24 readings:
1 THESS. 3:7-13;