Summary: another sermon in the series of vision regarding our commitment to strengthen families
Text: Deut 6:1-25, Title: Your Best Life Now, Date/Place: NRBC, 1/24/10, AM
A. Opening illustration: One writer says that Moses indicates our land and our churches will be as our homes are.” Samuel and Susannah Wesley, see below,
B. Background to passage: Reminder of the presuppositions that I am operating on; see below. At the end of chapter five, God expresses His longing for the people to fear and love Him. And this text we look at today is the first of the great centerpieces in Deut, and it continues the theme from chapter five. In the first couple of verses of the chapter, God lays out His desire for a multi-generational commitment to the faith. And He speaks of the blessings that will follow such a commitment: that your days may be prolonged (doesn’t mean simply individuals, but also family lines), that it will be well with you, and that you will multiply greatly (again another sign of divine favor in the eyes of God and the culture of the time). This is why I am titling the message, “Your Best Life Now,” b/c God gives us instructions as to how we are to have that. Osteen.
C. Main thought: the way to have it is to get our homes in sync with God!
A. The Realm of Sync (v. 4-5)
1. Moses gives us two realms in which we begin to get our homes in sync with God: theological and emotional. First, theological; Moses gives us the summary statement of all Hebrew theology: Yahweh alone is God! This describes the One True God as the only Sovereign Ruler of the universe. All Jews were called to engage in knowing God and knowing about it. Secondly, emotional. Jonathon Edwards wrote a book called Religious Affections. He, and Moses and Jesus believed that the best mark of genuine religion and faith is that one loves God. The principle is that believers should desire Christ above all. We should have an emotional attachment to Jesus Christ, not only to the traditions surrounding Him.
2. Isa 42:8, 44:6, Jer 10:10, Deut 10:12,
3. Illustration: the negative behavior patterns are passed down to succeeding generations…A person’s spirit carries uncounted numbers of scars that exist because of their family’s self-destructive habits. Yet they repeat those exact self-destructive patterns believing they’ll reap a different harvest. Of course they never do and so the pain continues unabated.
4. Make it your aim to know everything that you can about God! Just about every other part of your life spiritually will flow from what you know about God. And the popular diversion is that the church has a person who has the theological knowledge, so we don’t have to. WRONG! Theology leads to practice; knowledge leads to trust and adoration. Plumb the depths of God’s being. This is why the hymns are so important. You must all strive to be theological giants with great depth. We have turned religion into lists of do’s and don’t’s, into routines and rituals, into buildings and budgets, into numbers and t-shirts, into social clubs and places of entertainment; when at the very core it is all about being passionately in love with Jesus! Is Christ your most-valued Treasure, your most satisfying pleasure, your most passionate pursuit? Do you have a love affair with Jesus or a routine to ease the conscience? Religious ritual, legalism, routine in the home kills the transmission of faith. It is so important that your home be a place of theological and emotional commitment to Jesus. Our churches will never be strong without strong families. And everything in our culture fights against a strong family. Just ask the previous too generations, nominal faith is not enough to pass on the faith.
B. The Relatives in Sync (v. 6-9)
1. Moses speaks now to the parents/adults in the crowd. He said that the parental role must be fulfilled, and that it was two-fold. Assuming the role is filled, the first thing that the parents must do is be sold out for Jesus themselves. These commandments, this Word, must be in your heart. The problems in most homes begin with the parents. For next Moses (God) instructs parents to “engrave with a sharp instrument” or “sharpen” (literal translation of ‘teach diligently’) these truths that they have committed to their hearts upon their children. Then he gives seven ways; but the point is not a checklist (although it would probably be helpful if this is not your pattern), but the principle that parents (and grandparents, uncles, aunts, teachers, nursery workers, neighbors) should always be inserting the word of God into conversation and into life. The church is a team in the rearing of its children.
2. Ps 37:31, 40:8, 2 Cor 3:3, Jer 31:33, Pro 3:1-3, Col 3:16, Eph 6:4,