Grow: Discovering Love (Week 1)

Discovering how Love is our ‘Miracle Grow’.

Deuteronomy 6:1-9

Introduction: 
The New Testament quotes Deuteronomy more often than almost any other Old Testament book. Twenty-one of the 27 New Testament books allude to Deuteronomy; some scholars count 90 different citations.  Jesus himself drew from it during his temptation.

 

As we delve into these words from Moses, it is vital that we realize he was taking to heart the importance of what he was about to teach them. There is a sense of urgency that can be seen even in the previous chapters. He was speaking to the group that had wandered around in the desert for 40 years, many of whom had never really had encounters with other nations or the enticements that those civilizations would have to tempt them to abandon all they had known and just join in to the culture.

 

He was telling them that THEY had to set the tone, following after God in all areas of their lives…heart, soul, mind and strength (Might). They had to determine in their hearts Who they would follow and what guidelines would lead their lives. They had to prepare their hearts (the soil) and keep focused (proper feeding of their hearts) in order for God to bless them and help them grow as His children.

 

The same is true today. We have to be reminded that we must keep God first in all that we do. If we truly love someone, we desire to listen and obey, to cherish and serve and to demonstrate our love in all that we do.

 

Illustration:  Planting a garden.

  • Prepare the soil (remove grass, weeds, rocks)
  • Plant the seed
  • Continue to feed and water (Miracle Grow)
  • Continue to remove grass & weeds
  • Then you will see the fruit (not overnight)

 

Just like the garden, we have to prepare our hearts…we have to choose to obey…we have to maintain the soil of our hearts in order to grow. All this happens when we open up our ears to hear the truths of God’s Word. And all of these truths are based on what is known as the GREATEST COMMANDMENT.

                       

The Greatest Commandment:  Deuteronomy 6:1-9

 “Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the decrees —that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.

 

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

 

Moses broke it down into these three areas:

  • I have to teach them to you;
  • You have to hear and apply to your life; and then
  • You have to teach them to the next generation.

 

I. I have to teach them to you. (vs 1-3)

 

  • This command sets the tone for all rules and statutes.
  • God told me I had to teach you!
  • Everything hinges on what I am about to tell you.

 

A. Fear the Lord

 

As defined by Easton’s Bible Dictionary:

 “Fear of God – a designation of true piety*. It is a fear conjoined with love and hope, and is therefore not a slavish dread, but rather a filial** reverence.”

  *piety:           Reverence or dutiful respect

**filial:          of, relating to, or befitting a son or daughter

 

This is what God, your Father is commanding/asking you to do – You and generations to come

 

“…you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I commanded you,…”                                                                                                                                          Deut. 6:2

 

Keeping ALL! This means not just knowing them, but doing them.

 

For how long?

 

            “…all the days of your life,…”                                         Deut. 6:2

 

 B. God will bless and prosper you.

 

“and that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.”                            Deut 6:2-3

 

…multiply you greatly 

  • This promise is not just for the people of Israel
  • From the beginning of creation, it has been God’s desire for us to be fruitful and multiply. He loves to bless His children. But we have to follow Him and His commands.

 

 “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.”                                

Matthew 6:33

 

“And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.”                                               

Acts 2:46-47

 

 

 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.  So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.”

1 Corinthians 3:6-7

Illustration:  Mission & Vision Statements (Show slides)

 

…the land will be blessed and thrive. 

Same promise for us today!

 

 “ And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

Philippians 4:19

 

II. Hear what I teach you. (vs 4-6)

 

A.  Lord God is our Lord, and Him alone.
  • He is Number 1!!!
  • nothing comes before Him

 

Rhetorical question in Miriam’s Song:

 “Who is like you, O Lord, among the gods? Who is like you, majestic in holiness, awesome in glorious deeds, doing wonders?

 Exodus 15:11

 You are the one who places Him there, no one can do it for you.

 

B. Love with everything you have

  •  not the first time they heard this charge.
 
But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.”

Deut. 4:29

  • heart, soul, might (mind & strength) – with every fiber of our being.
  •  keep these words in your heart

 

 “I have hidden your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”

 Psalms 119:11

  • It has to become our native language.

 

VIDEO SONG:        Love Is Our Native Tongue.

 

 

III. Now that you have heard, it is YOUR responsibility to teach

 

“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

Deuteronomy 6:7-9

 

A.  To your children – DILIGENTLY
  •  Memorizing scripture
  • Surround them with music, stories, & videos that have strong Christian values

 

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Philippians 4:8

 B. Carry them with you

 “My son, keep my words and treasure up my commandments with you; keep my commandments and live; keep my teaching as the apple of your eye; bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.”

Proverbs 7:1-3

  • Our values bracelets are a form of this
  • Christian jewelry is another form

 

C) Mark your home*

 

Show Slide:            Deuteronomy 11:18

 

*Moses started his talk with this and shared it again because it was so important.

 

Illustration:          Will & Christy Ragle’s Home.

  •  Intended to encourage family members
  • Became a witness to Comcast guy

 

Conclusion:

As I told you two weeks ago, people are watching everything you do and say. This is especially true at home with our children. And like it or not, once you have heard the truth of God’s Word, you can no longer say, “I didn’t know.”

 

That is why Moses emphasized “HEAR WHAT I AM SAYING…” Maybe I should have started this message out the same way. So here is a reminder of the things I just told you…

 

  1. I just taught you the greatest commandment;
  2. You were told to hear what I was teaching you, to love God with all you got and the benefits of doing so; and
  3. It is your responsibility to teach your children.

 

We are here to help you, but you spend a lot more time with them than we can. You create the atmosphere in your home and car in which your child and those who are with you or visit you will either flourish or wither away.

 

We are here to help you with tools to help keep the soil healthy. And the first priority is follow the greatest commandment.

For loving God with all you have…

He will fill you with His love so that…

you can in turn love others as He first loved you!

 
Listen to the message here:

 


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