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5.14.2008

It's My Privilege!

At our last look of 1 Samuel we saw that Hophni and Phinehas, son’s of Eli the priest, had been labeled as “corrupt sons of Belial”. These two boys grew up in a home that was busy about doing the “things” of God, but had quite possibly been too busy doing God’s work outside the home that those inside the home had been overlooked. I ended that time with this statement, “Now, I as a parent, I am not solely responsible for my children’s relationship with the Lord- but Scripture clearly teaches what role I do play in the spiritual rearing of my children.” Let me clarify that a little better: my children will one day stand before the Lord, as will I, and answer directly to Him about how they have lived their lives, under His leading or according to their own selfish desires. It is my responsibility and privilege as their parent to bring them up in home that has allowed God to be its foundation. It is my responsibility and privilege to teach them the ways of God, to love them with the love of the Lord, and to discipline them according to God’s Word. Ultimately, I cannot make them follow the Lord, but it is my responsibility to do all that I can to aid them in traveling down the straight and narrow.

Today we are going to begin looking at what Scriptures teaches us as parents about our role in the Spiritual rearing of our children. Let’s begin in Deuteronomy 6:4-9, a familiar passage to most in regards to teaching our children the ways of God. This passage is known as the Shema, which in Hebrew means “hear”. It has become the Jewish confession of faith and is recited, along with Deuteronomy 11:13-21 and Numbers 15:37-41, twice a day by the devout Jew.

My prayer it that as we dig into these verses we will all walk away with some new nuggets of truth. Let’s get started.

4) “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.
5) You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.
6) And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart.
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.
8) You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
9) You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”
Deuteronomy 6:4-9, NKJV


I have read this passage numerous times and have even taught on it before, but this time the Lord has made it come alive to me. Don’t you just love it when that happens? “For the word of God is living and powerful…” Hebrews 4:12a

The Lord specifically showed me this: twenty times in five verses the words “You” or “Your” are used. This tells me that God isn’t talking/ commanding my pastor, my child’s Sunday School teacher, or mission Friends teacher to be the one to teaches my children about Him. Now, don’t get me wrong, God does call these people to these roles and they do play a huge part in the spiritual lives of my children, but I AM THE ONE WHO IS SOLELY RESPONSIBLE TO GIVE MY CHILDREN A SOLID BIBLICAL FOUNDATION AND INSTILL WITHIN THEM A LOVE FOR JESUS- verse 5 says “YOU SHALL…”

Verse 4a, the first command.
This passage starts out with a command, a verb, an action word. HEAR. “Hear, O Israel”; “Hear, God’s people.” Hear in the original Hebrew language is the word shama. It is a word that means to obey. God, first and foremost, is instructing His people, the elder, the adult, the parent, to hear Him and obey Him. He is saying to His people, “Listen up. Open up your ears, minds, and hearts to Me. I've got some things to tell you that are of utter importance.” What does God have to say?

Verse 4b- In this verse we find out what it is God is wanting us to hear: “The LORD our God, the LORD is one!”
This can also be translated from the original language to read, “the LORD is our God, the LORD alone (the only one). Here’s what I believe God to be saying, “Hey guys, I AM the One and only true and living God. There is no other besides Me. Baal won’t do it for you and Ashera want cut it. I, alone, am God. Period. The end. That’s all she wrote.”

Verse 5, the second command. “You shall love the LORD your God with ALL your heart, with ALL your soul, and with ALL your strength.” (emphasis added)
This is an intimate kind of love; a kind of love that has no boundaries and no limits. It is an unconditional, wholehearted, totally devoted kind of live. We are to love God will all that is within us. It’s not a half-hearted kind of love; an if I feel like it today kind of love; an if it works/ fits into my plans today kind of love. This kind of intimate love cannot be expressed in any material way, but is demonstrated in how we live our daily lives. This command is ours first. As a parent, I am to love God with every ounce of my being and be seeking to please Him in all that I do BEFORE I can lead my children in that way. All that is within me is to be completely filled up to overflowing with the Almighty God so that it spills forth from my life onto and into the lives of those closest to me. If my life isn’t filled up to overflowing, what am I going to give to my family? My dad used to say, “You can’t get blood from a turnip.” You and I can’t give or show Jesus to our families if we ourselves have no Jesus to give.

Let’s stop here for today. Take some time to examine your heart. Be honest. Allow God to speak to you. Be ready to listen and obey.
*Are you making the most of the responsibility God has called you to in being the primary person in the life of your children to teach them about the Lord or have you left that up to someone else?

*Are you listening to God speak? Are you obeying what He is telling you to do?

*Is God the only God in your life or have you allowed other things or people to become your god?

*Do you love God with every ounce of your being? Does your lifestyle reflect that love?

*Are you spending time with the Lord, daily filling yourself up, so that you have something to give to your family?

I have to tell you that the Lord has been speaking to me loud and clear about this very thing the past few months. He has called me to do some drastic things that, to be honest, my flesh didn’t want to do. But, my heart’s desire is to please the Lord completely. I have done what He asked me to do and am just waiting with excitement to see what comes next. Sometimes obeying God requires that we give up something in order to gain more. We got to trust Him totally believing that He knows best.

1 Lovely Thoughts Shared:

Sandra Wood Peoples said...

Thanks for your words today! A good challenge to take responsibility for ourselves and what we teach our children!