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Deut 11_1-21 Guard the doors of your house

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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

Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his footstool; He is holy. Exalt the Lord our God and worship at his holy mountain, for the Lord our God is holy. (Psalm 99:5,9)

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 321:         “Bring to the Lord a glad new song”

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:                                            “Lord of the cross of shame” (MP 443)

Prayer of Adoration, Thanksgiving and the Lord’s Prayer

Hymn:                                            “Christ is surely coming” (MP 75)

Scripture Reading                     Ephesians 6:1-4

Tithes, offering and dedication

Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine. (Proverbs 3:9-10)

Prayer for others

Scripture Reading                     Deuteronomy 11:1-21

Sermon                                          Guard the doors to your family:

protect your loved ones with the Gospel

Introduction

My dear brothers and sisters and young friends in the Lord, there’s one word children don’t want to hear from their parents. Can the children help me with this word?  It is only a very short word. What is it?  ; NO!  This little word brought many tantrums and cries and crisis in many households. ; Do you know this scene?  Mon or dad says “No!” and the children start screaming.  Why can parent be so cruel?  Why can they spoil the day of a child with such a small word?  Just say “Yes!” and everything will be all right!

Just look at the screen and tell me: What do you think this picture is? ;  Well, that’s a close-up of a bundle of nerves.  They are very small electrical line running through our bodies.  They have a lot of functions.  Let’s look at a drawing of one ;.  It sits in the muscles and it acts like little messengers.  Let’s say you take your finger too close to an open flame, what happens?  The little nerves in your finger feel the heat first. It sends a message to your brain.  The brain interprets that and works out that you are going be hurt.  So it sends another message through the nerves back to your arm to very quickly remove your finger, or you will get burned.  The finger wanted to touch the flame, but the brain said; “No!”.

; That “No!” means protection, it means it is good for you, it means listen, other you will get hurt.

That’s what parents do when they sometimes say “No!” It is for the protection of their children.  And they protect them because they love them.  They want to see only the best for their children.  Remember that. 

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.

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

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

There is a strong link between verse 1 and 2 of Deuteronomy.  Verse 1 says:

; Love the Lord your God and keep his requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands always. (Deuteronomy 11:1)

Verse 2 follows with the how of verse 1.  How do we keep the Lord’s requirements, his decrees, his laws and his commands?

; Remember today that your children were not the ones who saw and experienced the discipline of the Lord your God: (Deuteronomy 11:2)

The point is this, to remember that children need to be told and instructed of the ways of the Lord is fulfilling the command of the Lord to keep his laws, commands, decrees and requirements.

Moses was teaching the Israelites this truth as they were preparing themselves to occupy the Promised Land.  The parents were the ones who saw and experienced the mighty deeds of God. God would not repeat his miraculous wonders in each generation as He did in the past.  It is the task of the parents to now instruct the children so that the mighty deeds of God come alive to them.  They need to be able to take the principles of the teaching and apply it to their generation so that they can remain loving God and also keep his laws, decrees, commandments and requirements.

Moses mentions a long list of the deeds of God in the past as He rescued a nation for Himself as He had promised to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  Indeed the list is that long, that the translators of the NIV helped us somewhere halfway through the list by once again throwing in the phrase “it was not your children”.  This phrase is not in the original, but it surely helps us to tie together a long sentence to the truth that children are not born with knowledge of the saving grace of God – they need to be taught and instructed.  And that is the job of the parents.

There are some categories in the list of the mighty deeds of God that parents need to tell their children.

1. ;  Who is God?

a. He is the majestic King

Verse 2 refers to the majesty of God, His power and might, and his outstretched arm.  This verse tells us something about who God is. In Deut 3:24 Moses spoke to God:

“O Sovereign Lord, you have begun to show to your servant your greatness and your strong hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do the deeds and mighty works you do? (Deuteronomy 3:24)

This fact is important for parents to remember; it is important for children to know.  When we talk about God, we talk about the only God; there is no other.  It needs to be imprinted in the minds of children.  Our world offers a plethora of gods to children. But before the God of the heavens and the earth, and to Him only, all of us must bow.  To Him we pay homage, to Him belong our hearts, and to Him we give all our love, Him we serve with all our heart, mind, power and might. Children need to understand that they are not masters of their own desires and destinies; they need to understand that they will only find meaning and fulfilment in loving and serving God.  Remember to tell your children and grand-children this very important truth from the Word if God.

b. ; God is all-powerful (or omnipotent)

The terms “mighty hand” and “outstretched arm” tell us about what God does:  He is not like idols of clay or wood that cannot even lift a finger.  God is mighty, and powerful. With his mighty hand He makes, He does, and with his mighty arm He protects. In the following verses we will see a lot of things God makes and does.  Our children need to understand that God is a living God who is always involved in the world He created out of nothing.  He spoke a word and what is created sprang into existence.  He still speaks and He sustains what He created so that we lack nothing.  Further down the chapter we learn that He gives rain or withholds rain.  He gives blessing, or withholds blessing.

2.  ; His power to save

Verse 4 tells in more details about what God did in the past. When we come across the word perform or do in the Old Testament and when it is used of God, the word frequently emphasizes God’s acts in the sphere of history. These contexts stress one of the most basic concepts of Old Testament theology, i.e. that God is not only independent of the world, but He is also existing in all parts of the universe right through history, carrying out his sovereign purpose. Moses could recall God’s great acts in Egypt, reminding the people of all that God “did”. 

Verse 4 takes us through the miraculous deed of God in saving is people:  He controlled natural events and used it to his glory. He overwhelmed the enemy: engulfed them – the actual waters that swallowed up the Egyptians in the Red Sea. But the greatest wonder of it all when it comes to the saving of God’s people was achieved on the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ and the empty tomb of the risen Lord.  These are the things we need to tell our children.  The effect of a parent who not only tells it to his children, but also lives it as an example to his children is enormously powerful.  If a child needs to be led to the Saviour, the parents should be the one in the first place. It is the parent who should be able to say:  “My son, my daughter, I have experience of the saving grace of God.  I want to tell you about Him who saves by grace.”

3.  ; His power to sustain

Our chapter also takes us through the experience of the Israelites in the wilderness, and once again we find the word “do” or “did” as an powerful act of God’s mercy. He gave then enough to eat by giving them manna and quails.  He also provided water, protection, victory and direction when they needed it.

And He not only did it then, He has done it through history.  He sustains his church.  As a church we need to understand this, but as parents we need to tell it to our children.  He who trust the Lord with a complete heart , is fed and nurtured by the Lord like Elijah in the time of the big drought in Israel.  Our young leaders of tomorrow need to understand that they have to out their trust in God when it comes to thinking about the future of the work of the Gospel.  As God provided for Abraham in the darkest hour of his life, so God still provides for his church in all its needs to do her work of evangelism, care and mission in this world till Jesus comes again.

4.  His punishment on sin

But we also need to teach our children the holiness of God and his punishment upon sin.  Reference is made here to Dathan and Abiram with their families who rebelled against God and the authority of Moses.  They like Annanias and Saphira in the New Testament are the examples of the righteousness of God.  Too much are children taught about the love of God only, and far too less about his holy discipline.

; 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 “Allow yourself 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.  It 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:  “Allow yourself 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!

; 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 316:                            “A mighty fortress is our God”

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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