Summary: We can reach our spiritual potential if we align ourselves with the Word of God.
Be A Sh’ma, Not A Schmo
1. When I was a student at Moody, a student played a tape recorder trick. He gave his girlfriend a package just before her class. Unknown to her, there was a tape recorder turned on inside the box. The tape was blank for 15 minutes, then it had loud rock music on it...midway into the class, it started playing that music and everyone was started. She tore open the box and turned off the recorder...quite a trick...
2. Despite all our lightheartedness, we really learned the Word at Moody....
3. But you know, fewer and fewer churches preach/teach the Word...
Shallow Magazines (touchy-feely/w/out content), etc.
4. We elders want our church to be different. "A Christianity Worth Reproducing." We want Biblical literacy....doctrinal integrity...
5. God wanted a quality people in OT times, too; look at Deut. 4:6-8
Like Israel, people should look at us and be able to see 4 qualities: (1) wisdom(2)understanding, (3) spiritual depth, and (4) righteousness/ justice.
God not only gives us a destination, He gives us directions how to get there.
MAIN IDEA: We can reach our spiritual potential if we align ourselves with the Word of God. In today’s text, three areas are noted as especially important to so align.
I. Our View of GOD (6:4)
1. He is to be feared (2) --the negative (accountability)
2. He is to be loved/esteemed with all we have (5)--the positive
---different terms make it emphatic, taken to the extreme---not kidding
3. He is sovereign (regal, in control/charge/command), faithful (dependable, true, truthworthy, constant, reliable) , and vengeful (7:6-10)
4. God wants to bless people, but He must do right (5:29); This is the beauty of the Gospel...
II. The Goal/Purpose of LIFE (6:5)
1. Jesus declares this the greatest commandment (Mtt.22:36-7)
2. Not a di-section of human nature, but emphatic...
3. Our love for God/glorifying Him is the HUB of a wheel, from which the spokes emerge.....kicking off shoes....mowing lawn....everything we do is to be viewed and flow from our love for God
------our love for Him is to integrate/harmonize all of life...our personal mission statement
III. Our Devotional Routine/Regiment(6-8)
1. The Jews: Sh’ma (read)
(1) twice a day
(2) the 613 commandments of the Law (glad we’re free?)
2. How literally do you take this? Must we wear phylacteries? I think not. Literal or figurative, it makes a point!
3. Many parents are concerned that their children receive good spiritual instruction; God is also concerned about WHERE it comes from: parents!
(1) when kids read Bible at church, it’s expected
(2) when mom and dad read Bible, it’s part of real life!
4. Setting up a regiment that works:
The secret is (1)being realistic and (2)making a point (follow thru)
1. Regular attendance: church (consider Sunday School)
2. Bible reading at home during the week (QT/Leap2000)
3. Christian media: books, radio, tapes, etc..
1. There are many details in the Christian life: we cannot keep track of them all....
2. But there are some so important that they overwhelm the less important...
#1--A saving relationship to Jesus Christ
#2--A steady walk of growth with the Lord, dependent upon getting into the Word of God....deeply....earnestly...seriously....with effort....
It won’t happen by itself. You’ve got to make it happen! It needs to become who we are........learn from ancient Israel.....HEAR....study... teach it to your kids...start now!
*Sh’ma. or Shema, Comes from the Hebrew for "Hear" from Deuteronomy 6:4 "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one."