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Dr. Allen Mabra. Sunday May 14th, 2017

Parenting Is Heart Work

“Now this is the commandment, and these are the statutes and judgments which the LORD your God has commanded to teach you, that you may observe them in the land which you are crossing over to possess,
Deu 6:2 “that you may fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your son and your grandson, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged.

Deu 6:3 “Therefore hear, O Israel, and be careful to observe it, that it may be well with you, and that you may multiply greatly as the LORD God of your fathers has promised you—‘a land flowing with milk and honey.’ Deu 6:4
“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one! Deu 6:5 “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
Deu 6:6 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.
Deu 6:7 “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.
Deu 6:8 “You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
Deu 6:9 “You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Deu 6:10 “So it shall be, when the LORD your God brings you into the land of which He swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give you large and beautiful cities which you did not build,
Deu 6:11 “houses full of all good things, which you did not fill, hewn-out wells which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant—when you have eaten and are full—
Deu 6:12 “then beware, lest you forget the LORD who brought you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage.
Learn It

The first thing we need to do is learn God’s Word for ourselves. We see this in verses 1-2:

Live It

The second section of our parental job description is to live it. We see this in verse 3: “Hear, O Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your fathers promised you.”

Verse 4 is the Jewish Shema, which literally means, “Hear.” It is the defining relationship that God’s people are to have with Him:

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.”
God is the only God, there is no other. He is totally unique. Notice that He is “our” God – He is personal and relational and His people can enjoy intimacy with Him.

Verse 5 continues with a challenge to love God with everything we’ve got: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” Jesus quotes this verse in Mark 12:30.

Our love is to be wholehearted and is to pervade every aspect of our life. As we determine to love God, we will want to obey Him as Jesus said in John 14:23: “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching.”

Verse 6 reminds us that God’s Word is not to just be in our heads, but to also be in our hearts. The Bible is to be lived out, it’s not just something we give mental assent to:

“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.”

We can’t pass along what we don’t possess. We must be vigilant to make sure we are not slipping spiritually.
Deuteronomy 4:9: “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.”
Drop down to verse 15: “…Therefore watch yourselves very carefully…”

Do you see the word “heart” in both verse 5 and verse 6? The heart is very important to God. In 1 Samuel 16:7 we read: “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

Proverbs 4:23 teaches that a person’s life is a reflection of his heart: “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” The heart is a well from which all the issues of life gush forth.

Jesus said it this way in Mark 7:21-22: “…from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.”

Luke 6:45 corroborates this point: “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”

2Co 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come:The old has gone, the new is here!
2Co 5:18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:

Eph 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
Eph 2:9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
Eph 2:10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Leave It

After learning it and living it, we have the responsibility to leave our faith to the next generation. It’s part of God’s job description for parents. Check out these verses from the Psalms.

Psalm 71:18: “Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.”

Psalm 78:4, 6: “We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the LORD, his power, and the wonders he has done…so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children.”

Psalm 145:4: “One generation will commend your works to another; they will tell of your mighty acts.”

For this to happen we must become intentional in our parenting as we look for ways to leave our faith to the next generation. Let’s look at Deuteronomy

6:7: “Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

The word “impress” literally means to “be sharp, precise, and to the point.” It was used of sharpening a knife so that it was razor sharp. If want our kids to be sharp spiritually, we’ll have to go over God’s truth again and again and come at it from every angle. We are not to just throw our faith out as an option for our kids. Rather, we are to take it so seriously that we look for ways to precisely pass along what we are learning and what we are living.

Launch It

In verses 10-11, God looks ahead to the time when His people will finally arrive in the Promised Land. They will have things like flourishing cities, furnished houses, and an abundance of food and refreshments. God knows that these “things” may sap their spiritual vitality and that they will lose their sense of trust as a people. The hand-off must be smooth for the relay to be won.

verse 12: “Be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” God wants us to be “careful” to not forget. We need to be vigilant or the “things” of life will crowd out the Giver of our things.

At the end of the book Moses gives this message in Deuteronomy 32:46-47: “Take to heart all the words I have solemnly declared to you this day, so that you may command your children to obey carefully all the words of this law. They are not just idle words for you — they are your life. By them you will live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to possess.”

One day Jesus was told that his family was looking for him. His answer redefined the family relationship in Mark 3:31-35: “Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. Standing outside, they sent someone in to call him. A crowd was sitting around him, and they told him, ‘Your mother and brothers are outside looking for you.’ ‘Who are my mother and my brothers?’ he asked. Then he looked at those seated in a circle around him and said, ‘Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.’”