READ | SERMON NOTES
Summary l Knowing God’s unconditional overflowing love and power to rescue and sustain, enables us to teach young persons the same.
Role modelling is the first and best way to raise a new generation to know God – they ‘see us louder’ than what we say. But before we can influence them, we ourselves need to know who God is. Deuteronomy 11:18-20 teaches us to commit to God with all our mind and will. It is when we put God’s commands and promises in our “heart and soul” (v18) that we become spiritually aware to live out our faith and impact others accordingly.
1. KNOW THE LOVE AND AWE OF GOD FOR YOURSELF
There are two aspects about God that we must ourselves know in order to raise the generation after us in God’s way.
a) God’s love is unconditional – In Exodus 13, God commanded the Hebrews through Moses to always and forever remember His marvellous love and power that rescued them from Egyptian slavery. By His miraculous deeds and parting of the Red Sea, God freed His people to worship and obey Him. Israel needed to remember that He, the LORD their God, loved and chose them among all the people in the world despite their sinful imperfections. (Deuteronomy 10:15) Likewise, God says to us today who believe in His Son, Jesus Christ, “I love you.” Unconditionally, God’s love redeemed us on the cross “even while we were yet sinners”. (Romans 5:8)
b) God is awesome in power and majesty – We need to know that the LORD God whom we worship is the “God of gods, LORD of lords, the great God, the mighty and the awesome One”. (Deuteronomy 10:17) This is especially necessary when we are caught in a crisis, and are overwhelmed by negativity and complexities. We can see beyond our circumstances only when we focus on our supreme, majestic God and know that He is in control. This makes us confident to seek God’s will as the outcome we ultimately want. We are assured that in life or death, Almighty God is with us.
2. TEACH THE LOVE AND AWE OF GOD TO OUR CHILDREN
Writing God’s Word “on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates” (v20) refer to teaching God’s way within one’s home where family matters are concerned, and in the marketplace where public issues – even contentious ones such as sex and gender – are discussed and debated. If we fail to engage our children, the world rushes in to teach them. Whether at home or away, when lying down or getting up (v19), God commanded all of Israel to teach their children to faithfully worship the LORD God – every day, everywhere, all the time. Not confined to parents, this work of teaching applies to every adult Christian today who cares about what happens to the next generation.
It means recognising teachable moments in ALL places, at ALL times, about ALL issues – in order to show that God’s love is unconditional, and He is awesome in power and majesty. Bullied children can see how God rescues them in their trouble – when observing how their parents pray for their protection, while seeking God’s infinite help to discipline the bullies, meet their needs, and transform them. When children are nurtured to give their best to the LORD, and not have to be the best, they learn unconditional love. Singing “Jesus loves me this I know” when they’re afraid of the dark, can grow a child’s faith to know that God protects them through the night, and prepares the day ahead.
With freedom and ability to decide, young persons can rebel despite our best efforts. Though helpless in such dark situations, our ceaseless praying can make them want to change their lives around and turn back to God – who died loving us unconditionally, and whose awesome power which raised Him from the dead can deliver us from the depths of despair. God calls us to experience His love and majesty first hand, so that we can pray for the next generation and raise them up in His way.
(Sermon notes by Marjorie Tan)
PONDER | REFLECTION QUESTIONS
- How has the Holy Spirit spoken to you through the preaching of God’s word?
- How would you summarise the message of this section or story?
- What are the implications for us through this message?
- What are the personal implications (for you)?
- What are the communal implications (for our gospel community)?
- What are the missional implications (for those we want to reach for Christ)?