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Deut 11_1-21 Guard the doors of your house 2

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Guard the doors to your family-life

Protect your loved ones with the gospel

 

Announcements

The word of God in our midst

Call to worship

Give thanks to the Lord, call on his name; make known among the nations what he has done, and proclaim that his name is exalted. (Isaiah 12:4)

Blessing

Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways.  The Lord bless you from Zion, all the days of your life. (Psalm 128:1, 5)

Doxology Hymn no 5:              “Let us sing to the God of salvation”

Hymns/Songs

Hymn 503:                           “I waited patiently”

Mission Praise 803:           “As water to the thirsty”

Mission Praise 435:           “Lord Jesus Christ”

Prayer of Confession of sin

Forgiveness

We do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence. (Hebrews 4:15-16)

Hymn no 155:                              “One there is above all others”

Prayer of Adoration, Thanksgiving and the Lord’s Prayer

Scripture Reading                     Ephesians 6:1-4

Tithes, offering and dedication

All, remaining seated, sing

Hymn no 611                               “Come you thankful people” (verses 2, 4)

Prayer for others

Scripture Reading                     Deuteronomy 11:8-21

Sermon                                          Guard the doors to your family:

protect your loved ones with the Gospel

Introduction

Dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ, some two weeks ago we heard the Word of God from the same passages from the Bible.  The framework of the chapter in Deuteronomy is Moses instructing the people of God to live as redeemed people.  They had wandered through the wilderness for forty years.  ; Now they are gathered on the eastern side of the Jordan, ready to cross, defeating the nations on command of the Lord.

As God’s covenant people, they were bound by the stipulations of the Law of the Covenant.  Deuteronomy serves as both a summary of the God’s acts of salvation and the stipulations for their daily living.  One of the important aspects of covenant-living is family life. 

The devil of course knows this fact.  He is aware of the fact that if family life can eroded, the door to everything aimed at the disobedience of God is opened.  This our adversary does in several ways:  His best line of offence lies in the fact that we are told that all of us are individuals and masters of our own destinies.  It is therefore not the right or duty of parents to instruct their children in the ways of the Lord.

The United Nations adopted a document called “The Convention of the rights of the child” and states in its preamble:

Recognizing that the child, for the full and harmonious development of his or her personality, should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding,

Considering that the child should be fully prepared to live an individual life in society, and brought up in the spirit of the ideals proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations, and in particular in the spirit of peace, dignity, tolerance, freedom, equality and solidarity,

Flowing from this there are a few others stipulations that make you wonder where all of this is coming from:

The child shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of the child's choice. (Article 13)

No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honour and reputation. (Article 16)

Although mention is made regarding the rights and responsibilities of parents, practice tells us that parents practically have very little to say about the upbringing of their children.  You cannot mete out discipline; under-aged children in some cases can get the support from state agencies to “divorce” their parents.  Parents have precious little input in the curriculum of children in state schools. 

But the saddest aspect of the issue of education and instruction is the fact that parents, in general, could not care less about the education and well-being of their children.  We know the tragic consequence in our own city.  Most of all the cases of vandalism and disrespect for life and property sprout from the fact that children do not have the discipline they need at home.

Today the Bible teaches us that parents are there to guard the doors to the hearts of their families.  The best way do to that is to protect their children by teaching them the message of the Bible.

Now, I know that the audience tonight might say, we are either too old to be addresses tonight, or I am not in the group with children, yet!  Wrong.  The Biblical understanding of family is, in the first instance, family as defined by two parents who have children.  But there is another dimension:  all members of the church are part of the family of God; that’s why we always include the congregation to answer a question about example of Christian living to a baptised child.  The Bible is very clear about the role of older women and men in the life of younger member of the church. Besides, most of those present tonight who not married will get married some time in future.  You need to hear the Word of God on this subject.  Further, most of the older folk present tonight are grandparents.  You have the precious privilege to introduce your grandchild to the Lord Jesus Christ.

There are a few aspects of the teaching we need to look at today as we find it in Deuteronomy 11:1-21.

n  ; Parents have knowledge about God they have to share with their children.  That’s what we learned from God Word last time.

n  ; The Bible’s teaching about who God is and what He does is like a shield for children to protect them so they may have a future.

n  ; The consequences of parents neglecting this task are very serious:  children will have no future.

; Parents have knowledge about God they have to share with their children

1. ;  Who is God?

a. He is the majestic King

b. God is all-powerful (or omnipotent)

2.  ; His power to save

3.  ; His power to sustain

4.  ; His punishment on sin

; The Bible’s teaching about God is the shield of protection to children

When as parents we are faithful in teaching and instructing our children in the faith and admonition of the Lord, it becomes like a shield of protection around them.  Verse 18-21 says:

Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the Lord swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth. (Deuteronomy 11:18-21)

; Being obedient and faithful to God is to live under the blessing of the Lord.  And he who lives under the blessing of the Lord, enjoys the protection of the Lord.  The land will give rain in season, there will be a harvest, working will not be in vain, because if God is the builder of the God the workers do not build in vain.

Verse 16 uses the expression “Be careful”.  The tense and mood of this verb have something in it to say “Be mindful to remember”, and takes us back to the sermon of some Sundays ago on “Don’t forget to remember”.

There are two main thoughts in this verse, and the two are flipsides of one another.  One though is positive and the other extremely negative.

To be “enticed” is to be left wide open.  In other contexts the word has a connection with the word for the hinge of a door. Connected with reference to heart in the original, and connected with the word “be careful” one can perhaps have in mind:  ; guard the door to your heart; don’t leave the door of your heart open. A paraphrase of verse 16 goes like this:  “Be mindful to remember [God] and guard the door of your heart so that it will not be wide open”.

What a message to our children.  What a message to the young people of the congregation.  What a message to families:  don’t leave the door of your heart, of your family, of your church unguarded.  Or put positively:  guard the door to your heart, family and church and expect the blessing and protection of the Lord! Don’t be enticed to give an inch to the devil; he has the nature to destroy.

; The consequences of parents neglecting this task are very serious:  children will have no future.

Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. (Deuteronomy 11:16)

; Verse 16:  Turn away:  a defection, or abandoning of allegiance to God, which leads to corruption.

There’s a word in verse 16 which is mainly used to describe the act of worship.  This word is further connected a word meaning “to become a servant, to serve, to give devotion, including the ceremonies”.

Let’s try to paraphrase:  “Leave the door of your heart unguarded and you will in the end fall prostrate as a slave to something else; you will find yourself worshipping in subservience to another god; to him you will appeal, before him you will be like a beggar.”  We all know who that god is.  And he does not reward righteousness.  Him you serve all your life and he rewards you with death – eternal death, because he has nothing else to offer. We see exactly this happened in the history of Israel:

But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their fathers, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways. (Judges 2:19)

; The anger of the Lord will burn against us as a result.  There is only one choice:  obey and love God and do what He commands and expect his blessing; or turn away from God, reject his grace in Jesus Christ, and become a slave to sin and satan – God becomes our enemy.

Conclusion

O, my dear brother and sister, if we fail to guard the doors to our house, to our family and to our loved ones, and if we fail to teach them to do the same, we will see the devastating effects.

No, instead, let us heed the command of the Lord God by protecting them under the mantle of safety of the Gospel.  “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”  Keep telling them about God, his grace in Jesus Christ, the new life of obedience in the Lord, instruct them in the fear of the Lord.  This is the best you can ever do for your children; this is the best we can do for our young people in the church.  AMEN.

Prayer

Hymn No 620:                            “Happy the home”

Benediction

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.”’ (Numbers 6:24-26)

Threefold “Amen”

Hymn:                            “May God’s blessings surround you” (MP 460)

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