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An Issue of the Heart

Deuteronomy  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Before we seek to serve, we need to learn to obey.

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Deuteronomy 32:46 NKJV
46 and he said to them: “Set your hearts on all the words which I testify among you today, which you shall command your children to be careful to observe—all the words of this law.

Philippians 2:5–13 NKJV
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; 13 for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure.
Notice verse 5
Philippians 2:5 NKJV
5 Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
Which mind?
Of a humble servant.
Philippians 2:8 NKJV
And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.
and verse 12
Philippians 2:12 NKJV
12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;

Take to heart

NKJV says “set your heart.”
The word “set” here means to “fix conclusively” or “authoritatively.”
He had just finished a song to God’s people reminding them of their commitment to Him-their covenant.
Look at
Deuteronomy 31:21 NKJV
Then it shall be, when many evils and troubles have come upon them, that this song will testify against them as a witness; for it will not be forgotten in the mouths of their descendants, for I know the inclination of their behavior today, even before I have brought them to the land of which I swore to give them.”
The song that they would learn and share with their children would be a testimony against them.
They were to “set their hearts” on the things of God.
Notice verse 45 of chapter 32
Deuteronomy 32:45 NKJV
Moses finished speaking all these words to all Israel,
When Moses finished reminding them of the law and the consequences of not following, he said, “set your hearts.”
Why do you suppose that came first?
You see, when there is a heart change, there can be real and lasting change. (first a couple verses to back this up here)

All the Words

They were to adhere to ALL THE WORDS that the Lord gave them.
He knew they would be soon headed into the Promised Land and challenged with all sorts of false gods and worship practices.
Philippians 2:5 NKJV
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus,
Friends, the Lord knew of the temptations that would be facing us on a daily basis.
Part of the problem begins within the church body when we pick and chose which passages of God’s Word to believe and live out.
We teach Bible “stories” instead of Biblical truths.
We esteem the wisdom of non-believing secular educators over the authority of the Bible.
“All the words” means that we ourselves have to believe what scripture teaches over what we might what it to teach.
You see, when we talk about total obedience prior to true service, we must take into consideration that He gave us His Word for a reason.
Look at how incredibly righteous, holy, and loving God is in relation to us.
His righteousness is motivated by His holiness.
He is completely holy, therefore is compelled to be completely righteous.
If He is completely righteous, then we are in trouble because we are not.
But He is loving. He sent His Son to pay the penalty we so deserve.
The theological term for this is: “Substitutionary atonement.”
With or without Christ, God demands we keep all the words of His law.
With Christ, we have a desire to love and obey Him.

Command Your Children

We have dysfunctional families and marriages because one or more family members esteem themselves more than others, negating scriptural commands.
We have disobedient pastors and members who would rather push an agenda over the message of the gospel.
Ken Ham’s illustration of the two castles firing at one another captures this argument very well.
The Christian castle is firing it’s cannons at

Command Your Children

Moses tells them to “command your children.”
Take a look at what will happen when we don’t obey the words of the Lord or share the gospel as a church.
Judges 2:10 NKJV
When all that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel.
Judges
This command to tell the children wasn’t simply another rule to add to the pile.
Commanding our children is an imperative.
Notice it says “command,” and not suggest, or give an option.
Friends, when we suggest or give it as an option to our kids, they will go the way of the world.
Not because everyone should be able to chose their own path, but because we are sinners by nature and simply do not chose God.
Jeremiah 17:9 NKJV
“The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?
Jer
Friends the Bible says that no one can come to the Father unless he is drawn.
John 6:44 NKJV
No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.
A major part of obedience begins at home.
Our families are first to recognize a false Christianity.
Since we are sinners by nature, we need strength, especially at home to relate gospel truths for a victorious life in Christ.

Careful to Observe

Moses closes out with a reminder--”all the words of this law.”
When I think about being careful, I think the way we take care of our appearances.
We are very careful.
We get a haircut and shave.
We made sure (most of the time) that our clothes match.
We iron our shirts and give the pants away when they become high-waters.
All day long we make sure our shirt is tucked in, there is no toilet paper on our shoes, and that we’ve wiped the crumbs off our clothes after lunch.
Just imagine a life that is constantly “careful to observe” the things of the Lord.
This is why obedience prior to service is important.
If the Israelites were careful to observe, they would not have found themselves in the shape they were in during the time of the Judges.
For some of us, we have a hard time living a victorious and holy life before the Lord because we aren’t “careful to observe” the things He’s told us.
Some people have little to no desire to observe the things of the Lord. This may be true because so many people have had a false conversion.
2 Peter 1:10 NKJV
Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble;
Friend
Friends, do you spend time making sure your call and election are sure?
We believe in eternal security, but only for those who have been born again.
Have you forsaken the world and given up all to follow Christ?
Maybe you feel like you made a profession of faith out of pressure or maybe you didn’t really know what you were doing at the time,
but now you know Christ is calling you to Himself.
Mark 1:15 NKJV
and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.”
The gospel is the Good News that Christ came to forgive sinners like you and I.
In order to receive forgiveness, you need to understand that you have sinned and are an enemy of God.
Is the Spirit convicting you today?
During our time of invitation, you come and I’ll pray with you, or right now in your pew, you cry out in prayer as you repent of your sin and believe the gospel.
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