Choosing Obedience

February 25, 2006 Deuteronomy 6:1-25

Introduction:
1.  Review our Theme for 2006: Gearing Up for Greater Effectiveness
2.  Explain how we are in a series on Deut --
- describe the setting for Deut – getting ready to enter the Promised Land – a new generation
- tie this into our theme: Gearing Up for Greater Effectiveness
* Key Verse:  Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
[READ Deut. 6:1-25 – comments as we read through the text]
Theme of Deuteronomy 6: Choosing Obedience


I.  Our Knowledge of the Law Should Be Followed by Our Obedience to the Law.


- God, through His prophet Moses has gone to great lengths to make sure that . . .
A. We need to understand God’s Law – what God has said!
- history (and the bible) would reveal to us a problem: 
> Mankind, along with Israel, seems to have a problem of not ‘getting it’
> i.e. we don’t seem to “connect the dots” of God as our Creator establishing His commandment(s) and His expectations of our keeping those commands!
Example: This pattern goes all the way back to Gen. 2:16-17
 Genesis 2:16 The LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; 17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die."
- God gave only ONE command, and what did Adam do? – rebelled!
 Romans 5:12 Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned --
 1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive.
- Moses has laid out the Law of God for Israel (chp. 5 – Steve’s sermon last week)
> he summarizes all that teaching with the words: commandment, statutes, and judgments – ‘which the LORD your God has commanded me to teach you’
Point: Nothing more, nothing less – he was doing what God has clearly instructed him to do
[Note: There is a lesson on leadership here that we will get to in a moment – but the short version is this:  * You better be doing what you expect your disciples to be doing! ]
- Moses understood God’s law and communicated that to the people of Israel . . . AND he was willing to be obedient to God and ‘teach’ it to them as God had instructed him to do
- Jesus actually gave us a similar commandment in Matt. 28:19-20
 Matthew 28:19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
- we don’t ADD to it and we don’t TAKE AWAY from it – in fact, there is a warning in Revelation 22 about that very thing:
- as it was Moses’ responsibility to do the teaching to Israel, it is the church’s responsibility to take the commandments of Christ to the ‘all the nations’
- that’s why we want to be known, in part, as a church that teaches the Scriptures
> it’s not the opinions of man – it’s the Word of God
> it’s not just the parts we like, it’s the WHOLE COUNSEL of God
- as a church, we want to have the heart of the Psalmist who wrote these words:
 Psalm 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word. 10 With all my heart I have sought You; Do not let me wander from Your commandments. 11 Your word I have treasured in my heart, That I may not sin against You.
 Psalm 119:16 I shall delight in Your statutes; I shall not forget Your word. 17 Deal bountifully with Your servant, That I may live and keep Your word.
 Jeremiah 6:10 To whom shall I speak and give warning that they may hear? Behold, their ears are closed and they cannot listen. Behold, the word of the LORD has become a reproach to them; They have no delight in it.
- that might explain to you why we are so fired up about:
 FBI Classes beginning this Wednesday [hold up the insert]
 ABF – Adult BIBLE Fellowship – study: The Disciple Making Church – topic: HOLINESS!
 Point Man Groups / Ladies Bible Studies
 WNKOF / Children’s Sunday School / Children’s Church / Youth Group
- we want to know the Word corporately, but we want each person to know the Word personally
Example: Today in the Word – sample copy available at Welcome Center
 2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
- now you have to ask the question: So what?  or Now what?
- we’ve got the teaching – we know what God expects – what’s NEXT?
- 6:1 gives us a SHIFT in emphasis:  just like there is in a number of other places in the Word of God, and in life, there is time for a transition!
> the Teacher is doing the job of TEACHING . . . now the student has a responsibility: to LISTEN and OBEY
B.  We need to obey what we’ve learned!
- 3 ‘x – Moses emphasizes the idea (repetition is for emphasis!)
 6: 1 ‘that you might do them’
 6:2 ’to keep all His statutes . . . ‘
 6:3 ‘listen and be careful to do it’
- knowing God and knowing His Law is not enough – you have to DO something with that knowledge
- other passages WARN us about this:
 1 Corinthians 8:1 Now concerning things sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes arrogant, but love edifies.
 James 1:22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.
- if you want to know HOW to ‘Gear Up for Greater Effectiveness’ – look for ways to OBEY the Word of God!
> we can never MERIT God’s blessing (deserve them), but His Word makes it clear that we can be in a position of God’s blessing!
 Deut. 6:2 ‘. . . that your days may be prolonged. 3 . . . that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly. . . ‘
Point: It’s not just about LEARNING, it’s about CHOOSING OBEDIENCE!
Apply to the following:
 Intro to Faith – we communicate that we expect people to SERVE
 Example: Kathy Williams – wanting to serve in Children’s ministry
 Example: Choir – people with music skills, gifts – smile and SING to the glory of God
 Example: Nursery – helping take care of infants/small children
 Example: Ushers/Greeter – who’s going to serve there next?
Point: Christianity is a religion of ACTION
 Luke 9:23 "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me.”
- many passages in the NT refer to this as our ‘walk’ – manner of life, our habits, our faith being fleshed out in a way of ACTION!
Q: What is the ‘walk’ based on?  What do we consider as the foundation to our obedience


II.  Our Obedience to the Law Is Summarized by Our Love for the LORD – 6:4-9


- this part of the scripture is known to the Jew as the ‘Shema’ (taken from the 1st word in v. 4 – ‘hear’
Hear = listen, to hear with attention or interest
- what is about to be said is very important and foundational to what we’ve been considering
A.  The initial description (v. 4):  “The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!”
- this is a call to acknowledge the impact of the fact that there is only one LORD/God
- He is unique and reliable
“This is not in opposition to the later Christian doctrine of the Trinity but rather functions here as a witness to the self-consistency of the Lord, who is not ambivalent and who has a single purpose or objective for creation and history. The ideas clearly overlap to provide an unmistakable basis for monotheistic faith. The Lord is indeed a unity, but beyond that He is the only God.”
- the word one is the same word used to describe the husband/wife relationship in Gen. 2 – ‘and the two shall become one flesh’
- Isaiah wrote similar words in Isaiah 45:6:
 Isaiah 45:6 That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other.
- Moses wrote it, Isaiah wrote it, how many times does it have to be written?
Q: What are the implications of this?
A:  You don’t have to obey any other gods – there are none besides Him!
> so our obedience / fear / service is directed to Yahweh (the LORD of Heaven)
Point: We love God because of Who He is – He is the only true and living God!
B.  The increasing devotion (v. 5):  “Love the LORD your God . . . “
- this very command is at the heart of soul of the entire Law:  To love God!
- this is not the kind of love we think of that is shallow and temporal: this is love that is devoted at all cost, sacrificial, committed for the benefit of the other!
- Jesus uses the Shema in all three of the Synoptic Gospel:  Matthew 22:37-38; Mark 12:29-30; Luke 10:27
 Matthew 22:37 And He said to him, "'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.'
- here, Moses gives a progression of the love we should have:
‘with all your heart’ = inner man
‘with all your soul’ = whole being (everything you are!)
‘with all your might’ =  exceedingly, much substance, force, abundance, greatly (showing magnitude or degree)
- it was this very command that Jesus referred to as the GREATEST commandment – and the 2nd is like unto it:  “You shall love your neighbor as yourself”
* Lesson:  Love for God is foundational to our love for others! [Following Illustration]
We would like to thank each of you in our ABF for the awesome care and love you have shown our family over this last month with Jocelyn's bed rest and back surgery.  We have felt so loved by all of the people who have come to our house to help, those who visited and sent cards to Jocelyn in the hospital , those who helped take care of the girls, those who are helping fill in for Jocelyn's March service commitments with the early 2's Sunday School, and by those who brought us meals.  We have gotten such a great opportunity to get to know lots of new ABF friends.
Our class's servanthood to our family has also been a wonderful testimony to our friends, family, and co-workers.  Brian's co-workers were amazed to know that we had meals delivered to our house and that we had so much physical help for such a long period of time.  Every time he went to work his buddies would ask what he had for dinner the previous night, and then they would joke about how they should hurt their backs so our church would bring them such great food.  Thank you for being an example to us and everyone around us about the way a Godly church takes care of its members and shows the love of Christ in a sacrificial way.  Thank you for living out I Thess 5:14 to us with the awesome way you "helped the weak." -- Love in Christ,  Brian, Jocelyn, Hailey, and Shelby Wallace
- if we are going to ‘Gear Up for Greater Effectiveness’ – we need to keep growing in our love for the Lord and our love for each other!
- if you walk away from this saying, “When is somebody going to do that for ME?” – you have completely missed the point
- you need to walk away saying, “When can I do that for somebody else?”
Q: What’s motivating all this?  LOVE FOR GOD – a demonstration of the commitment to Him!
Illustration: June 21, 1986 was a significant day in my life – I got married; we took our vows for each other and ‘officially’ began our relationship – but it is not simply our ‘vows’ that have developed the relationship . . . it more than a formal commitment!
Although the book of Deuteronomy focuses on a formal renewal of the relationship between the LORD and the Israelites, considerable attention is given to the fact that the formal act of renewal by itself does not constitute the relationship. Rather the relationship between the LORD and His people is to be based on the twin pillars of love and loyalty.
The making of the treaty between God and Israel resembles a marriage ceremony. While both parties promise allegiance to each other, the strength of the relationship between them depends not on the covenant ceremony itself but on the love and loyalty which each has for the other. – From Paradise to the Promised Land, T. Desmond Alexander, Baker Books, Grand Rapids, p. 166
- there are times to focus on the promises/covenant you made the day you got married –that has to do with integrity
- but for the relationship to GROW and THRIVE – you’ll have to learn to grow in love for God and love for each other!
> some people don’t love others very much because they don’t love God very much!
> some spouses don’t love their spouse very much because they don’t love God very much!
> some Christians don’t love their bro/sis very much because they don’t love God very much!
> some Christians don’t love unbelievers very much because they don’t love God very much
C.  The importance of dedication (v. 6, 8-9): ‘on your heart / hand / forehead / house / gates’
1.  Take it personally – heart, hand – this shows you’re really serious about this – you’re passionate about, it’s not going to go away, it’s part of you!
2.  Display it publicly – forehead, house, gates
- let everywhere you go and everyplace around you have written this command: LOVE GOD with all you heart, soul, and might!
D.  The instruction to our children (v. 7): “Teach them diligently when . . .”
1.  By verbally teaching them [that’s part of it – which means you have to know the Word yourself, and be a learner and always growing . . .
- but there is another way God has been describing this ‘teaching process’ –
2.  By example
- that’s exactly what Moses was referring to in v. 1 – he was modeling obedience
- obedience to what? God’s commands!
- Apply this to Gearing Up for Greater Effectiveness
 Faithfulness to the body – attendance, giving, serving, praying!
Point: Teach your kids something by attendance – it communicates priorities!
- if we develop the attitude of ‘The church can get along fine without me’ – we’re in big trouble!


III. Our Obedience Must Be Carefully Guarded – v. 10-25


- v. 10 is a ‘result of everything else that has been said’ – when God does all the things for you that He said He would do, and blesses you because of His grace (giving what you don’t deserve)
- remember v. 12 “watch yourself’
watch – to keep, guard, give heed, to preserve, protect
- in other words, keep your guard up and don’t think you’re arrived
A.  Remember: You don’t deserve the blessings – that’s the point of v. 10-11
- apply this to our church, new people, resources, giving, etc.
B.  Remember: Focus on the Provider, not the provisions- v. 12-14
- it’s the Lord who accomplished all these things
Apply that to our Community Center – it’s not the building, it’s the God of the building!
C.  Remember: Don’t make the same mistakes of the past! – v. 15-16
- this was a reference
D.  Remember: Give God the glory – v. 17-24
- do what is right in the sight of the LORD – seek to do right/good – to please Him!
- the comes down to specifically answering your child’s question based on God’s Word and what He has done!
E.  Remember:  Choices have consequences – v. 25
 Deuteronomy 6:25 It will be righteousness for us if we are careful to observe all this commandment before the LORD our God, just as He commanded us.
Point: Blessings follow obedience – those blessings may not be what we think should happen, but as God does what He pleases to do on our behalf!
Conclusion:
 Jesus said, “John 14:15 "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
Evaluation Questions:
1) What am I doing to grow in my understanding of His Word? (worship, ABF, FBI, personal study)
2) What am I doing to grow in my love for God?
3) What would my children say about me as model for what God expects of us?

Gearing Up for Greater Effectiveness
Deuteronomy 6
Introduction:
* Key Verse:  Romans 15:4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

Theme of Deuteronomy 6: _____________ _________________
1.  Our Knowledge of the Law Should Be Followed by Our Obedience to the Law.
A. We need to ________________ God’s Law – what God has ________!


* You better be doing what you expect your disciples to be doing!

 

B.  We need to ________ what we’ve ________________!
 6: 1 ‘that you might do them’
 6:2 ’to keep all His statutes . . . ‘
 6:3 ‘listen and be careful to do it’

* Christianity is a religion of ______________!

II.  Our Obedience to the Law Is Summarized by Our Love for the LORD – 6:4-9
Hear = listen, to hear with attention or interest
A.  The initial _________________ (v. 4):  “The LORD is our God, the LORD is one!”

“This is not in opposition to the later Christian doctrine of the Trinity but rather functions here as a witness to the self-consistency of the Lord, who is not ambivalent and who has a single purpose or objective for creation and history. The ideas clearly overlap to provide an unmistakable basis for monotheistic faith. The Lord is indeed a unity, but beyond that He is the only God.”

B.  The increasing ______________ (v. 5):  “Love the LORD your God . . . “
‘with all your heart’ = inner man
‘with all your soul’ = whole being
‘with all your might’ =  exceedingly, much substance, force, abundance, greatly (showing magnitude or degree)
* Lesson:  Love for _____ is foundational to our love for _____________!
Although the book of Deuteronomy focuses on a formal renewal of the relationship between the LORD and the Israelites, considerable attention is given to the fact that the formal act of renewal by itself does not constitute the relationship. Rather the relationship between the LORD and His people is to be based on the twin pillars of love and loyalty.
The making of the treaty between God and Israel resembles a marriage ceremony. While both parties promise allegiance to each other, the strength of the relationship between them depends not on the covenant ceremony itself but on the love and loyalty which each has for the other. – From Paradise to the Promised Land, T. Desmond Alexander, Baker Books, Grand Rapids, p. 166
C.  The importance of _____________ (v. 6, 8-9): ‘on your heart/hand/forehead/house/gates’
1.  Take it _____________ – heart, hand

2.  Display it _____________ – forehead, house, gates

D.  The instruction to our children (v. 7): “Teach them diligently when . . .”
1.  By ___________ _____________ them


2.  By ______________


III. Our Obedience Must Be Carefully Guarded – v. 10-25
watch – to keep, guard, give heed, to preserve, protect
A.  Remember: You don’t deserve the ______________ – v. 10-11
B.  Remember: Focus on the ___________, not the provisions- v. 12-14
C.  Remember: Don’t make the same ___________ of the past! – v. 15-16
D.  Remember: Give God the _____________ – v. 17-24
E.  Remember:  ______________ have ________________ – v. 25

Conclusion:
Evaluation Questions:
1)
2)
3)