READ | SERMON NOTES
The entire book of Deuteronomy is a series of public addresses from Moses to prepare Israel’s next lap into the Promised Land. None left from Egypt except Caleb and Joshua (Numbers 32:11-12). Deuteronomy 6 consists of Moses’ parting instructions/words – who God is, what He has done in Egypt, and what Israel needs to do, vis-a-vis His commandments.
Here is the key to Family Discipleship involving 2 steps according to Deuteronomy 6:
1. Love God as your first and primary love in all aspects of our lives. (Deut 6:4-5)
This is a covenantal love that seals both commitment and community. The concept of covenantal love is expressed in many biblical narratives such as God and humanity, God and Creation and marriage between male and female. This covenantal love works both ways (you belong to Him & He belongs to you) and breaking the commitment will provoke the other to jealousy and break the covenant. God is steadfast and faithful in His covenantal love to us and knows our tendencies to drift away (v14 & 15) so He instructs us to – Love God above anything else!
How to love God as first love? (v13)
- 1. Fear Him
- Study and understand (Seek to understand His character, His righteousness, His ways according to God’s standard)
- Know & love what He Loves, hate what He hates
It is in fearing God that we are guided by His righteousness and godly wisdom in times of uncertainties.
- 2. Serve Him
- Get involved in Ministry as it allows for personal transformation
Christian service allow us to experience God’s grace and transform our hearts as we draw near to Him.
- 3. Reflect Him well in all our dealings
We are to reflect godly virtues in all our dealings and represent God well. They ought to praise God for us through our good deeds (Matt 5:16). When God grants us favours, do not forget Him. And when we are tempted, do not stray away. Do what is right and good in the sight of God (V18).
2. Love God by discipling our next generation to observe Godly statutes. (Deut 6:7)
A covenantal love involves a covenant community. The covenant would also include instructing our children and their children in God’s way. It is everyone’s responsibility as part of this covenant community.
How does discipling our next generation work as a self-locking system to fulfil this covenant?
- You become aware of your own conduct and hypocrisy and it leads you to repentance
- You grow in spiritual maturity and experience transformation
- You get to know their struggles and help them make wise decisions
- You become their public hero when you become a role model for them to their friends.
- You will experience God with them
A hallmark of biblical parenting – It is not raising successful affluent kids; rather, it is when a child grows up and becomes a faithful disciple of God, and when God becomes their personal eternal Father.
God knows the present generation’s need to impart to the next generation and next, else they will drift away from the faith. Dr Daniel Block, an OT scholar wrote/observed that within a generation or two of Moses’ death (Judges 2: 1-23), Israel have turned from the way of Yahweh to a course that persisted until finally in 586BC, the fire of divine fury engulfed the nation. Then how do we prevent all this from happening? All of us are to prioritize God as first love and instruct our next generation in God’s way all the days of our lives.
Family discipleship (loving God and next generation discipleship) is our call and duty to respond as God’s people. It is considered as ONE commandment for us as the church to fulfill and – “if we diligently observe this entire commandment before the Lord our God as He has commanded us, we will be in the right” (v25).
(Sermon notes by Caesiapeah Lim)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS
- Share about someone significant that has helped you grow in your faith (taught you Scriptures!). How did he/she help you know the Bible better?
- Reflect back upon your life, how different would your life be if you had become spiritually stronger at a much younger age?
Reflect upon Deuteronomy 6
- While we may not bind a sign on our hand or fix an emblem on our head, what do you think God was trying to get Israel to do?
- How important is it for our younger ones (children, tweens, youths) to know the Lord? Why?
- What can we do to help our younger generations know God? What can you inspire and role-model for them?
- In what ways can you serve in our nextGen ministries to encourage them in their faith journey?