Discipleship Starts at Home

Inheriting a Promise

Today's message is coming from Deuteronomy 6:4-9. Take a second to read that:

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 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. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

See, you remember the children of Israel were released from Egypt, and they were sent out, and they wandered in the desert for 40 years. Well, part of the reason for their wandering in the desert for 40 years is God said, the people that I released from there will not enter the promised land because of their disobedience, and he caused them to wander for 40 years.

Literally, the trip should have only taken a matter of weeks or maybe a month at the most, but it ended up taking 40 years. An entire generation of people were wiped off the planet, and now their children and their grandchildren and their great-grandchildren were about to inherit the promise that they had been given.

Here's the setup for this. In Deuteronomy Chapter 6, you find Moses, and he's literally pleading with this new generation. He's pleading with them to not repeat the mistakes of their parents in the previous generation.

He's saying, I want you to experience the full blessing that is there for you in the promised land, but to do so you have to learn to listen and to love God above everything else because somewhere in your family line, your parents got turned aside.

This message from Moses would come to the children of Israel as both an admonishment, like a direction, and also a fresh breath of air to say, you do not have to pay for the sins of your parents. You can walk in newness of life, and you can see something different because God has a promise and a plan for you.

We learn from our families

Now let's just understand this. We have things that we learn from our families, the both good and bad. I don't want to minimize any of those things. I don't want to minimize pain, or minimize the great joy and celebration that comes from the gifts that we've been given, but I do want to say that God has something that he wants from us today for his purpose and for his glory.

Here's something interesting that I found just over my time as a pastor and studying sociology, psychology and everything else-ology.

What you'll understand and what you'll see is that every individual and every household in the world share these three things in common. You ready for what they are?

1. Principle

The first one is this. When the scripture opens up, he says, "Listen, O Israel. The Lord is our God, the Lord alone." That's it. This would be my first note for you. You want to know what the principle is in this text? The principle is there can only be one.

There's one principle that we carry, and for some homes, it's this: You will love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. The Lord our God is one, the Lord alone.

For many, that's what it looks like, but for others, it takes on all kinds of different things. The principle in many homes is the pursuit of comfort. Comfort is our goal. Comfort is where we want to live. For others, and nobody wants to say it out loud, but we all kind of know when it happens, finances and financial security. How about just looking good to the rest of the world?

This is what Moses was saying. Your passions can have nothing else when your principal guiding point of your life is God is the one true God. He says, "And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I'm giving you today."

See, the big picture is that loving God with all your heart is the greatest, the greatest and highest honor and priority. The depth of our relationship with God is extremely important, and it happens on a day-to-day basis, not just a big moment-by-big moment basis.

The idea of having a family that's rooted around one common thing, and that is a love for God at everything that we do, is probably one of the greatest gifts you could give your family.

To measure everything you do to say by: does that show your love for the Lord?

Does this show your love for the Lord? Or does this show greed? Or does this show your pain? Or does this show your need for self-promotion? Or is this love for God?

Additionally, it says, "commit yourselves wholeheartedly to God, not just hearing it, but doing everything that he has declared for you, taking it to heart."

See, it's easy to sit and listen to it. I love it when people say, "Pastor, that was so good," but I even love it more when people come back and say, "This is how it affected my life from here on out."

See, God's commandments shape our families' values. His very beginning was God can only-- there's only place for one, and it's got to be him.

In John 14:21, Jesus is recorded saying this, "Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each one of them."

He's saying, hey, remember that original thing, like love God and him alone? Let's go all in on that. I need you to if you want me to know your name at the end of the day.

2. Practice

Discipleship in everyday moments. That's what was declared. Practice is the everyday little decisions along the way. He said it like this, "Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road and when you are going to bed and when you are getting up."

For some of us, the re-centering of our lives around the presence of God needs to take place because we get busy.

Anybody have a busy life?

Now here's the idea. We're all busy. The number of times that I ask people, "How are you doing?" "Oh, just so busy."

Oh, here's your badge. Have a great day, busy person.

But really, you don't get a prize for being busy, and yet we seem to want to be more and more busy.

This is what God says, I have to be the number one. In addition, every little thing in your life needs to circle around what I have told you and what this is all about. In fact, when you're talking to your kids, conversation should be flavored with my word. When you're having these things, you should be teaching them the stories of their faith, you should be pouring into their lives.

I know for some of us, we're like, "I'm just trying to make it through and hope my kids get a more nutritious meal than macaroni and cheese out of the box."

But for real, He says, when you wake up and when you go to bed, you should be talking about me, you should be thinking about me because it's impressing it on our kids, it's discipling them in the everyday moments. It's the little things every day that take place. Teaching them from the greatest values to the smallest of things matter to God. That's where it all begins.

Do you know the number of people that drive with the fish on the back of their car and still flip people off on the freeway?  The idea is, what do you do in the littlest moments, in the moments where you're like, "Oh, I shouldn't have gone there"? Then how do you repent?

See, it's when you do something or say something to your kids, or you act out to somebody at work, and then you come back and you say, "I'm sorry, because I've got a leading principle in my life that God is the one true God of my life, and I reacted in a way that did not reflect that, and my practice didn't match what I am principled on, and so I'm going to tell you, I'm sorry. Will you please forgive me?"

The number of people that actually do that in culture is like 0.00001%. How much more could we change the world if we were actually the church we claim to be? 

3. Pursuit

 Pursuit, a determined action that leads to an intended goal. That's what we're talking about. I want to set my actions in a way that lead to a very, very directly intended goal. I want to say, "Okay, God, this is what you want from me, this is what I want to do."

This is what it said in this scripture, "Tie them to your hands, wear them on your forehead as reminders," a Post Malone status, right? "Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates." This is all about the action, the pursuit of an intended goal.

 It's the picture of every time you're leaving your home, you are covered under the banner of knowing whose you are and what you're here to do.

This is his glory revealed in us. This is what he wants from us. The symbols are so significant. The symbols of our life dedicated to him. Not only am I in a place where I'm looking to the Lord saying, "You are my principle, you are the one," but also saying, "You are going to be my practice, my everyday little tiny moments, but then you're going to be my pursuit."

To be people of pursuit, we need to carry through with some symbolic things to remind us of who we are and what we are.
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