JUNE 19 FATHERS DAY DEUT 6: 4-9 FATHERS WHO WALK WITH GOD LIGHT THE WAY
The story is told about the father of a vacationing family who came across a large sign that read, “Road Closed. Do Not Enter.” The man proceeded around the sign because he was confident it would save them time. His wife was resistant to the adventure, but there was no turning back for this persistent road warrior. After a few miles of successful navigation, he began to boast about his gift of discernment. His proud smile was quickly replaced with humble sweat when the road led to a washed-out bridge. He turned the car around and retraced his tracks to the main road. When they arrived at the original warning sign he was greeted by large letters on the back of the sign “Welcome back, 😊!”
- MORAL OF THIS STORY>>>Too Often…We can have Utmost Confidence in Ourselves to figure out issues or fix problems…However…Confidence is Only as Good as the Object in Which it is Placed
- When Going through Life, the Wise Person places their Confidence in an Unchanging…All-Powerful God.
ME: And as I Think About Father’s Day…I Realize that Where, And In Whom, We Place Our Confidence Could Never Be More Important than it is Today! Here’s Why…
- Never before in history has there been such a concerted, world-wide, all-out assault upon the home and Family…And this should be of grave concern to every father.
The family is the oldest institution known to man…And in the minds of biblical observers of the present-day…There seems to be No Question that the Devil has launched an all-out campaign to Destroy the Family Life…To Break Down of the Family Unit…
- Individualism often takes the lead over consistent Family Prayer and Bible Study in many Christian homes…Time Spent Together is Lower than Ever!
- A March 2018 Survey showed that American adults spend up to 3 Hours a day on social media…But Average just 37 Minutes of “Quality Time” as a Family on Weekdays.
If This Family Trend is to Change…It will Require An Intentional Counter-Attack!
- Fathers and Grand Fathers Cannot Just Sit By…As Leaders in Our Homes, It Will Be Up to Us to Turn this Trend Around.
- However…The Weapons We Employ Can Not be the Weapons of the World.
In 2 Corinthians 10, The Apostle Paul writes in Verse 4…“The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world”…Then he follows with verses 4b-5 saying, “On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 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.”
The methods of the World…Psychiatric Counseling, Police Supervision, New Legislation have their place but they are NOT the weapons that will win the battle for the Home…This Battle Will Require a Return to the Wisdom of God and an Understanding of HIS Principles for the Home.
And When We Do…We Will Discover Weapons of Mighty Power that can Counteract the Strong Forces that are at Work to Undermine Our Homes and…Our Families.
In Deuteronomy Chapter 6 God Provides Us His Perfect Solution for Fathers and Parents to Build Strong Families that Will Want to Serve the Lord!
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord
your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates”.
This Passage Falls Into Two Simple Divisions.
- In Verse 4…We were given the greatest Truth and Principle that man can ever discover in life—The Centrality of God…In the Bible, We See the Centrality of God in Creation…In Humanity…In Our Salvation…In the Church and At the End of the Universe…and Secondly…In Verse 5…Were Given What Man’s Relationship is to be to Him…The Process is To Love God with All Our Hearts, Soul and Strength.
From this Text We See that The Great Principle is God at the Center of Our Lives and the Process is Loving God Above All Things.
Here is Christianity in a Nutshell… All the Teaching of Scripture Grows From this statement of the Nature of God and our Necessary Relationship to Him…That is the Revelation of the One True God: “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord.”
And then the Necessary Relationship between Us and God: “Love the Lord your God With All Your Heart and With All Your Soul and With All Your Strength.
This declaration is confirmed by Jesus in Matt 22 “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.” He said, “This is the first and the great commandment, and the second is like it…In fact it grows out of it. ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two hang all the law and the prophets,”.
If you were of Jewish background you would be familiar with the first statement as the Shema. Jews repeat this frequently as the Central Truth of the Jewish Faith.
- It is called the Shema because it begins with the Hebrew word, shemawhich means “hear.” “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is ONE Lord.”
- Hear is KEY…We Need to Hear God…Before We Can Love and Obey Him!
- The word “ONE,” marking the great statement of monotheism, “our Jehovah is One God,” is a word which indicates a compound Unity…The Trinity
- So here we have the Revelation of the Trinity, the One True God.
- This is the Great Secret Behind ALL Things…The Centrality of The One True God In Our Lives!
And…Unless You start here…Putting God at the Center of Your Life…You will run in Endless Circles of thought and eventually lose yourself in the swamps of relativity…Never knowing the beginning from the end.
Our Only Proper Response to a God like this is to Love Him with All OUR Being. “You shall love the Lord your God.” Not serve him, or Slavishly obey him…But LOVE Him.
- Listen…If you love God everything else in life will fall into place. Jesus said so in Matthew 6:33. “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.“
- The Key to Life is to Love God So That You Put Him First in All Things.
God Provided a Way for Us to Truly Love Him…This is the whole story of Christianity: God’s Redemptive Love: the Cross, the Resurrection, the Coming of the Holy Spirit, the Preaching of the Gospel…Then Believing it and Receiving the Lord into our own hearts… God Did All this to Make it Possible to Obey His Word and Love Him.
God Created man to Love. There is Never a Man Created who Does Not Love Something.
- Man will Choose to Love either a Person, a Place, or a Thing.
- The tragedy of humanity is that without Jesus Christ the fallen heart of man loves something less than God, and what fallen man loves in place of God becomes a god…Small “g” in his life.
- You See…Man must have a god and it is always what he Loves Supremely. It might be a sports car, it might be another person, it might be an idea, it might be fame. it might be wealth, it might be power, anything that is less than God.
- But in God’s Word we learn that it is possible for man to love God.
- This is the central reason for living, the answer to why human beings are on earth…To Learn to Love God.
So…If this is True…It follows that the Man or Woman who Knows how to Love God. NOT JUST KNOW ABOUT HIM…will Never Go Astray in Life….And the Child who Learns to Love God will be Kept through Every Testing, Every Trial and Every Danger.
Beginning with Verse 6 of our text, we have 4 Steps clearly outlined that must occur in a home if children are to learn this mightiest of all secrets: How to Love God.
Note that Step One Begins with YOU…Vs 6 These commandments that I give YOU today are to be on YOUR Hearts.
- Step One is About Parental Priority…It Begins with YOU. God must be All-Important to You or He can Never be Important to Your Children.
- Your Heart Must Be Right. The Heart, here, is a Metaphor for the Will…Your Will Must Be Right.
- I am Not talking about Perfect Performance…I am talking about Perfect Desire.
- You may be very conscious of failure in your life, as I am in mine, but the note on which this begins is: “Do You Want to Love God With All Your Heart?
The First Step for Each Person…”Is this the Supreme Thing in Life to You? “Do You want to Love God and do You Want Your Children to Love God?” This is Where You Must Begin.
The Second Step is in the first part of Verse 7: Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Now…Let Me Say This…Imparting Information About God to Your Children introduces them to a whole Range of Scripture…Teaching and informing them ABOUT God…Our Text declares the Responsibility of Parents to instruct their Children in the Revelation that God has given to Us about Himself…That He Is Love and We Are To Love Him!
This is KEY… We Can Never Love Someone We Do Not Know…So the First Step as a Christian Parent in Teaching How to Love God is to TEACH OUR CHILDREN TO KNOW GOD.
Think about it…We Can Teach our Children about Church…Learn Verses…But Until they Come to a Place that They ABIDE with CHRIST…That they Enjoy a Personal Relationship with Christ and Get to Know Him in Every Aspect of their Lives…It Will Be Done Out of Duty…NOT LOVE!
- I Believe this is the Reason Many Kids Walk Away from God when they’re Older
Notice the Pronoun. “YOU” Shall Teach Your Children,” Not They, YOU! This is not the job of the Sunday School, this is not the church’s responsibility, this is YOUR Task!
- The Sunday School, Church and Christian Schools Will Never be A Substitute for Parents in this Realm…At Best they are a Supplement.
The Responsibility of Teaching Your Children to Love God is “Non-Transferable” to Any Other Person or Group…The Responsibility Lies Totally With the Parent.
The Third Step is Perhaps the Most Neglected. Most of us parents have answered, “Yes” to these first Two Steps. We want God. We have recognized, at least to some degree, Our Responsibility to Teach Our Children…
But Verse 7b gives Us Our 3rd Step…Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
- These words, “talk about them when you sit, when you lie down, when you rise up,” Does not mean that parents are to moralize or preach at their children.
When Scripture says, “talk about these things when you stand up and sit down and walk by the way and through the day,” it does not mean you are to take the occasion to preach a moral sermon about everything that happens.
- It means, of course, that the Truth of God Relates to Everything in Life.
- The Challenge to Parents is to Use Every Aspect of Life to illustrate God’s Principles.
- You See…We are Not to do All Our Teaching about God from the Bible…We Are to Teach Our Child About God From Our Lives…Kids are “Visual Learners”!
- How We Live is More Important than What We Preach…Life itself is a Tremendous Illustration Resource…A Living Visual Aid for Teaching.
Over the Years God Gave Sally and Me so Many Opportunities to Teach Our Children Gods Principles Through Things He Allowed in Our Families Life!
Kids Young…Praying before a meal at a restaurant…People would so often say “It is So Nice to See a Family Praying together. I would say to them…People are Always Watching.
One time we took our family into a higher end restaurant for a special occasion. They were very young and the entire wait staff was fearful of the 7 of us…However at the end they came up to us and said…How thankful they were for the way our family prayed and acted throughout the meal…Again I Turned to the kids and said…See…The World is Always Watching.
During the Years that Followed…as they grew to manhood and womanhood when Issues or Problems came up…We Discussed Gods Principles and Shared Our Experiences… Teaching the Centrality of God and that We Can Trust His Plan and Love Him in All Things.
Jesus Himself Exemplified this Point…We see how He drew his illustrations from life around him — the birds, the trees, the flowers, the process of sowing and reaping, the animals around and of course all the examples good and bad of human life.
You See…If You seek to teach this way you will find yourself Seeing the Centrality of God in Every Situation of Life and this is the Greatest and Most Believable Teaching you can give to Your Children.
Let Me Add This…Such Teaching Will Also include Humor…There are Christian homes in which religion is grim and repelling. To look at some Christians you might think they had been soaked in embalming fluid!
- Never a moment of laughter in their lives, everything is so serious, so solemn.
- Living and Loving God is Filled with JOY…FUN and Great Family Memories!
Another Point…The Main Failure in Christian Homes…Are Homes that intend to do the best by God…But Make a Club out of a Scripture Verse and Beat their Children over the head with it until they Give In…or Rebel.
But it should Not be that way…There must be an Unforced, Natural Application of God’s Truth to Life, and Life to God’s Truth.
This is Only Accomplished as You the Parent Demonstrate Your Love for God in All You Do…and Use Every Part of Your Life as an Illustration to Help Your Children Understand How Much God Loves Them and His Desire that They Love Him Back!
May I say something else without being misunderstood on this? The greatest enemy to real faith in your home might well be family worship!
- Now, I Believe that family worship is absolutely Vital for every family…Reading Scripture, Discussing the Day and Prayer together…
- But it can be the worst enemy to real faith…If it is the Only time You Focus on Christ with them, and the rest of the time life goes on without this constant teaching from life.
- Family Worship Must Grow From a Centrality of God in Scripture and all of life. Seeing Christ at the Center of All Things and Teaching Your Children with each
Now, to pass on quickly to the last important thing. The last principle set before us in this great process is a description of the “Ground of Authority” in the home.
Verses 8-9: “Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates”.
Do not take that literally, as the Jews did. They actually made little boxes in which they put the Scriptures and then bound them around their hands and put them on their forehead between their eyes and bound them on their gates and on their doorposts.
- 2 Corinthians 3:6b says, “For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
- It is the spirit of this passage which is the important thing.
The writer says this shall be a sign, and A sign is something visible which compels belief…Jesus performed Sign’s he did so to compel belief in him as the Messiah.
A Sign, then, is that which Establishes Authority…For Parents to Establish Godly Authority in Our Homes We Must Bear these Signs…
These Signs are Visible Evidence that You, Yourself, Practice what You Preach!
- It is to be “a sign upon your hand,” i.e., what you do, for the hands are the organs of activity. Your Deeds are to Reflect the Fact that You Love God.
- It is to be “a sign between your eyes,” i.e., your thought-life. Your Attitudes are to display the fact that you love God.
- Your thoughts and attitudes are to be controlled by love for God.
- It is to be “upon the doorposts and the gates,” i.e., the avenues of contact with the world around you, your neighbors, your friends, and others.
KEY: Your Children, Watching You, are to See that Your Love for God is Reflected in Your Attitudes towards Your Neighbors and Your Friends. This is the Sign of Authority that Makes Strong Families.
If this is Not Your Authority…You Will Have A Problem…Failure here Makes You try to Shore up Your Sagging Authority by Rigid Controls and Dire Threats… Instead…Your Visible Obedience Will Be the Basis of Your Godly Authority.
This is the basis of authority which Jesus Christ claimed for himself? In John 10:37, 38 “Do not believe me unless I do the works of my Father…Then he continues in verse 38…But if I do them, even though you do not believe me, believe the works, that you may know and understand that the Father is in me, and I in the Father.”
Question…Are You Willing to Say in Your Home “Believe My Works”? This the Basis of Real Authority; the Authority of Obedience to the Principles You are Declaring…If You have this, You do Not Need any Other kind of Authority.
If you have Godly Works…That is if God is at the Center of Your Life in ALL Things…As Your children grow…You can relax the rules so that as they come into early manhood and womanhood, you can trust them and treat them like adults.
They will be what you hope they will be, because they Cannot Deny the Authority they have Seen in Your Life.
POINT: FATHERS WHO WALK WITH GOD LIGHT THE WAY AND THEIR CHILDREN FOLLOW
YOU: Now, You May Find this Kind of a Message is Either Very Encouraging or Somewhat Discouraging…My Hearts Prayer is that You Will Be Encouraged!
- You See…We are Not Suggesting that Fathers and Parents are to be Perfect! Because We Cannot Be Perfect!
- However, God is Saying that Even in Our Imperfectness…Our Hearts Can Commit to Having Our Children See Our Love for God and Love Others In Everything We Do!
- However…This Will Demand You Spend Time Walking and Talking with Your Children…Letting them See the Centrality of God in Your Plans…In Your Purpose… And In Every One of Your Life’s Goals!
Let’s Commit together to Put these Principles into Practice in Our Homes…And ask God to make this passage become a living, glorious reality in Our lives.