Summary: The Word of God ought to be on display in your homes, in every area of your life. It ought to be hung up in your living room, your kitchen, your laundry room, and if you really expect your children to follow the Lord, the Word of God had better be hung u
Note to readers: Although I have re-written this text extenstively, most of the main points, illustrations, and quotes of this sermon are from a sermon originally preached by Dr. James Merritt at the Pastor’s Conference of the Southern Baptist Convention held at Orlando Florida in June of 2000.
Read Deut. Chapter Six (the whole chapter!)
God’s people were about to enter the promised land. They were less than one month away from the death of Moses, and the leadership of Joshua where, in a few more weeks, he would lead them to cross the Jordan river. There were giants in the land. There were over 40 other people groups inhabiting the place where God had promised His people a land flowing with milk and honey. There would be many battles and much anxiety.
What was God’s plan? What was the first and foremost item on the agenda to prepare for this most difficult time?
Did He say increase defense spending? Or stockpile weapons? Did He tell them to roll over their 401K plan, or take out a savings account or a CD to prepare for a possible depression?
No, He says you should diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and teach them diligently to your children. Why? That it may be well with you in order that you may go in and possess the good land which the LORD swore to give your fathers, by driving out all your enemies from before you, as the LORD has spoken.
This promise is for a nation, and it is a conditional promise. It is predicated on parents diligently instructing their children in the Word of God. Seeing to it that EVERY day, God’s Word stays in their hearts.
It doesn’t matter what they teach in school. It doesn’t matter how corrupt the government, or the Judges, or the City council gets, if you aren’t fortifying your family with God’s Word and Godly living, you are just putting a different label on the same bottle of poison.
The greatest problem we have in this nation will not be fixed by who is in the White House, it must be fixed by the parents in our house.
Four lessons on building the family in this text.
I. Teach your children to have a personal relationship with the Lord (v. 4).
This is the heart of God’s plan for you and your family, and there are four specific points concerning this personal relationship that you must teach your children from the time they are born until the time they leave home:
1. There is a God
2. There is only one God
3. That God is “The Lord.”
4. That The Lord is to be “our” God.
The number one responsibility that we have as parents is to teach our children that we must have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. There is no other option. If your children leave home without a personal relationship and a lifetime commitment to Jesus Christ their only other option is a man made religion. That means man gets to make the rules. That means whoever has the most influence gets your kids. Think about that. Guess who is in charge right now? Are you sure?
One person has said, “Why is it that in this nation we spend so much more time with our homes, our cars, our entertainment, and our finances than we do with our children; to whom one day we will relinquish it all?”
Question: What good does it do to raise a child in the finest home, in the finest schools, with the finest education, and in the greatest nation, to give him the greatest job in order to get the nicest things; only for him to end up in the grave, in the most beautiful casket standing before the Judgment of a God that he does not even know?
We must teach our children to have a personal relationship with God. It is the primary relationship for which we were originally created.
If we can’t influence our own children for Jesus Christ, then we will have failed in our primary mission as parents.
There is not a more important job for a parent on planet earth than to show your children this basic training step of life – to have a personal relationship with God.
II. Teach your children to love the Lord (v. 5).
And I’m not talking about the run of the mill attitude that is seems most folks have for God. It is one thing to acknowledge God. It is completely another to love God.
There is a special kind of love that God is seeking. There is a special kind of devotion that God deserves, God desires, and God demands – just as you rightfully seek from your own family.