The Constant Lord Deuteronomy 6 mother's day
THE CONSTANT LORD
Mother's Day is a day to celebrate everything that is a constant with mothers-a mother's love and apple pie.
It is a day to be thankful for Christian homes and for the mothers whose work and prayers have made them.
John Killinger illustrates the constant love of a mother in his book Lost in Wonder, Love and Praise:
"I believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God, who was born of the promise to a virgin named Mary I believe in the love Mary gave her Son, that caused her to follow Him in His ministry and stand by His Cross as He died.
"And I believe that one of the most beautiful sights in the world is a mother who lets this greater love flow through her to her child, blessing the world with the tenderness of her touch and the tears of her joy."1
As I look at the mothers in today's service, I am reminded that, although there are some things that are constant, things do change. What has changed about you? Some of you have become grandmothers and great grandmothers. Change is not always bad. I'm sure you feel you can do without some change.
In today's text, life is about to change for Israel….They were getting ready to enter the Promised Land…… Israel's years of wandering in the desert were finally over. Things were going to be different and full of new possibilities (6:3b). Events were changing.
Those whom Moses led to the Promised Land were different too.
They were a different generation from those whom God made to walk the desert. And I imagine Moses was different. He was a little older and a little grayer.
Through change, Israel is reminded of the things that remain constant.
Israel's constants are our constants today.
No matter what change you or I experience, three things will not change.
God Is One Lord
One thing that never changes is the sovereignty of God (v.4)>>>”Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one!”
In the Scripture lesson, Moses is reciting the Shema, a Jewish confession of faith regarding the oneness of God.
Moses knows that as Israel enters
the Promise Land, they will encounter many gods and that they will have many opportunities to worship them.
This creed is a reminder that God- above them all.
· The verse is not refuting the possibility of other's gods, it is a declaration that God is the sole object of devotion and reverence.
Another thing that sadly never changes is the influence of other gods in our lives.
It is a reality that Jesus warns us of in Matthew 6:24. You cannot serve God and money, for example. But there are other gods besides money that vie for your devotion.
· Good times and financial security are the gods of others.
· There are vast numbers of gods with whom you and I come into contact
The question is whether you will make God the Lord of your life, trusting Him with every aspect of that life.
Another thing that does not change is the need for your personal commitment (v.5).
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might.”
To Israel, God is not only a Sovereign, but the Lord whose affection inspires devotion and commitment.
It is a relationship not unlike a family.
The intimacy expressed in Moses' use of "love" shows a relationship of mutual love and respect.
In the New Testament, John expresses the same idea, "We love Him because He first loved us" (1 John. 4: 19).
Where is our commitment?
"A business man and a minister were traveling by plane in a terrible storm. The minister overheard the businessman pray, 'Lord, if you will get me safely through this, I will give You half of everything I own.'
"When the plane landed safely, the minister encouraged the businessman to fulfill his promise to God. The man replied, 'Preacher, I made the Lord an even better deal. I told Him that if He ever caught me on a plane again, I'd give Him everything I own."'
How often do your commitments to God resemble "Let's Make a Deal"?
Your devotion and commitment to God are not something to be taken lightly or bartered for.
Godly Parents and Christian Homes
Another constant is the need for godly parents and Christian homes.
Þ Preparing Israel for the coming changes, Moses talks about the family.
Parents are to know God, his instruction(s) and his laws (v.6). “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.”
That is part of their responsibility. Many parents, however, are functionally illiterate with respect to the Bible.
Is it any wonder that our children are growing up without any moral direction or conscience?
Þ The biggest threat for youth today is not sexual promiscuity, or drug addiction, or peer pressure.
Þ The biggest threat for youth today is their lack of knowledge of the Bible, the result of parents at home who do not themselves know God.
Parents Are Responsible
Parents not only are responsible for being godly people, they also are responsible for teaching their children what they know about God(v.7). : “you shall teach them diligently to your children, and you shall talk of them when you sit in your house…”
Þ It is not the church's responsibility to indoctrinate children.
Þ The church supports the family.
Þ Parents who drop off their children for their weekly dose of religion are irresponsible.
Þ Godly parents participate in their children's religious instruction.
In verse 7, your example starts in the home and follows you wherever you go.
("And you shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way.")
Þ Your witness for Christ should be the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning.
Þ lt should be the last thing you think of before you go to sleep.
("And when you lie down, and when you rise up.")
On Mother's Day, you and I celebrate everything that is constant with mothers-a mother's love and apple pie.
But we also celebrate three other things that never change:
1. The sovereignty of God,
2. our commitment to him,
3. the need for Godly parents and Christian homes.
A study once disclosed that if both Mom and Dad attend church regularly, 72 percent of their children remain faithful in attendance. If only Dad attends regularly, 55 percent remain faithful. If only Mom attends regularly, 15 percent remain faithful. If neither attend regularly, only 6 percent remain faithful.
· He says that in American culture today most young adults following Jesus Christ either come from non-Christian homes where they were converted to Christ in their teenage years through a dynamic youth ministry, or they come from homes where they grew up in love with Jesus because mom and dad were so in love with Jesus that love permeated their lives. It passed through their pores.
· Very few believers come from homes where there was a kind of indifferent, apathetic commitment to Christ.
This is not my idea. This is the result of this study. It is sobering and thought provoking to suggest that, in American culture, the chances are better for a child growing up in a non-Christian home to become a Christian than for a child growing up in a home that has an indifferent, apathetic commitment to Jesus Christ.
See: Deuteronomy 6 suggests that a love for God must permeate the parent.
* Children have more need of models than of critics
A.W. Tozer: “Approach our Bible with the idea that it is not only a book which was once spoken, but a book which is now speaking…God’s speaking is in the continuous present…a word of God once spoken continues to be spoken, as a child once born continues to be alive, or a world once created continues to exist. And those are imperfect illustrations, for children die and worlds burn out, but the word of our God endureth forever!”
WHAT MY MOTHER TAUGHT ME
My mother taught me RELIGION: When I spilled grape juice on the carpet, she instructed, "You better pray the stain will come out of the carpet."
My mother taught me LOGIC: From her decisive words, "Because I said so, that’s why."
My mother taught me FORESIGHT: "Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you’re in an accident."
My mother taught me IRONY: "Keep laughing, and I’ll give you something to cry about."
My mother taught me about STAMINA: "You’ll sit there ’til all that spinach is finished."
My mother taught me about WEATHER: "It looks as if a tornado swept through your room."
My mother taught me THE CIRCLE OF LIFE: "I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."
My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION: "Stop acting like your father!"
My mother taught me about ENVY: "There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don’t have a wonderful Mom like you do!"