Lessons From The Toy Box

Luis Socarras

Sermon Summary:
This message speaks to the parents, as well as to the children, concerning the importance of following God's principles for their lives. God intended these principles to be taught by the parents through word and example! God intended children to honor and obey their parents by listening and then following the principles they've been taught. Luis spoke of how children are drawn to a toy box because of the wonderful toys and adventures which are contained therein. By analogy, God's Word is a treasure box of principles and truths which should excite the child of God as they live life's adventures!
 
Community Group Questions:

(Even if you are not a parent these questions are incredibly important for you to consider especially as a child of God)

1) Deut 6:10 God was reminding the Israelites to focus on him because when they got into the promised land
it would be easy to forget the things that he did for them. Do you think we are in a similar situation in our country?
If so, what can we do to make sure we stay focussed on what's important?

2) As God's children, why is it important for us to put God's commands "upon our hearts"? Do you think meditating on and memorizing scripture is a good way to do this?

Psa 119:11  I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.
Psa 119:12  Praise be to you, O LORD; teach me your decrees.
Psa 119:13  With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.



3) Luis said, "Whether you know it or not, you’re being watched. And the things you model by design or by accident powerfully communicate your convictions about right and wrong, about morality and immorality." Do you agree with his statement?
If so, how do you think this adds to our responsibility as parents?

Titus 2:7  In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness
Titus 2:8a  and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned...


4) If we want to pass on biblical values to our children, we must model those values in our own lives.

Read Deuteronomy 6:4-7

"4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul
and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 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."

This is the model God gave to Israel for teaching truth to children.

• What can we do now to pass on our values to our kids?
• What can we do to instill biblical concepts of truth and morality within our children and teens?
• What can we do so desperation is not the descriptive term of our family of children?



SERMON
Lessons From The Toy Box

This has been an amazing series so far and we have covered so much in the last couple of weeks…
Over the past few weeks we have been focusing our teaching on marriage and family.
Pastor Larry started the series teaching us about God’s design for marriage, which is a union between a man and
a woman for life, and how Satan is using every weapon in his arsenal to distort and destroy what God has
ordained as good.

Then, on Mother’s Day Dr, Nave taught us about the role of the mother and how her special characteristics
benefit our families, churches, and communities.
Then, Andrew shared God’s Word for wisdom and teaching on the role of the unmarried, the singles.
And last week in addition to honoring those who have given their lives in service to our country; Pastor Larry
picked up in the book of Nehemiah and brought the heat when he spoke about the personal sacrifice of fighting
for and dying for our families…

So this week I get to speak to you on the topic of Children.

The title for my message is Lessons from the toy box

The reason I called it that is bc when I was little the toy box was where it all happened.

Those of you with small children know that when you visit another families house the kids naturally pull away
from the boring adults who just like to talk and eat and they go to the kids rooms and tear everything out of the
toy box and they begin their adventure for the evening…
I love our community group bc Scott and Alicia are so gracious to allow us to bring our minions and while we
meet for our study; all of the children play upstairs.

But then right at 8pm the babysitters come down with the kids and the kids immediately descend on the boys
rooms and pull everything out of the toy boxes and it becomes a war zone of super heroes and swords…

It’s awesome!

Especially since I’m bigger than the rest of the kids so I get the best swords and helmets for the battles :)

But the toy box is the go to place for kids…

And as I was researching my topic and studying the scripture I came across a lot of really good stuff but I came
across the go to place for God’s children.

The toy box if you will… the place where it all starts… Deut 6 starting in verse 4.

As you’re turning there in your bibles I’ll share with you some context of the scripture we are about to read…

According to its own testimony, Deuteronomy originated as farewell messages from Moses to a new generation
of Israelites.

He pleaded passionately for them to keep God at the center of their national life once they settled in the land.

The book is essentially a covenant-renewal document.

A lot of this text is a repetition of laws found earlier in the Pentateuch.

Through Moses’ great speeches near the end of his life, God reminded Israel on the verge of entering the
promised land about His mighty acts, His covenant, and His many commands.

The Book of Deuteronomy was so important to early Christians that the New Testament writers cited it more
than fifty times.

This passage is referred to as the SHEMA
Shema (shuh-mah?; Heb., ‘Hear you…’), This is the Jewish declaration of faith

It is through this declaration of faith that Jews testify to the oneness and uniqueness of their God—a difference in
both quantity and quality from the polytheistic people that surrounded them at the time.

One God that is supreme above all else! He is our God!

According to rabbinic law the Shema was to be recited every morning and every night! (based upon Deut. 6:7)
   
Jesus identified the Shema as the first commandment in the law (Mark 12:29)

Jesus is asked of all the commandments, which is the most important?
29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love
the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

So with all that being said… let’s dive in to the toybox and begin our adventure this morning…
Deut 6:4-9
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all
your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 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. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9
Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

Why on earth would God tell them to do this?

     10 When the LORD your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob,
to give you—a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, 11 houses filled with all kinds of good things
you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant—then when you eat
and are satisfied,
     12 be careful that you do not forget the LORD, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
     13 Fear the LORD your God, serve him only and take your oaths in his name. 14 Do not follow other gods, the
gods of the peoples around you…
This is why it is so important!

Because God’s children were about to receive the promise He swore to them decades ago and they would no
longer be a migrant people

Desperately dependent on God to supply their every need!

They are no longer slaves in Egypt but are now free men and women!
They will no longer have to hide their children because they will be forced to kill them in order to keep the
population down in order to appease the conscience of a paranoid pharaoh.

They would now be living in wonderful communities they did not have to build.

Drinking water they did not have to dig for.

Eating food they did not have to sweat and toil over.

They would be set!

They would be surrounded by people that did not know the one true God.
So there would be temptation to ease up on their devotion to the God they relied on for so long!

Given the significance of what we have been talking about this morning already…

It might be tempting to jump right into verse 7 since we are focusing on children this morning…
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.

But Parents! This is for us first!

5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These
commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts.
 
We will never be able to impress them on the hearts of our children unless we have first taken the time to
impress them on our own hearts!

And if we make the incredible mistake of trying to force these commands on our children without letting them
soak into the very DNA of our souls…

…we can do immeasurable damage to these priceless gifts that God has entrusted to us!

So parents, make sure that you let these verses sink into your hearts so, that by your words and your actions; you
can impress God’s Word into the minds of your children!

Whether you know it or not, you’re being watched.

And the things you model - by design or by accident -- powerfully communicate your convictions about right
and wrong, about morality and immorality.

If we want to pass on biblical values to our children, we must model those values in our own lives.

His words must be on our hearts before we can impress them upon the hearts and minds of our children.

If we wish for our sons and daughters to accept the idea that there are absolute standards of right and wrong, we
must let them see that we believe it ourselves.

I am not saying that we must live perfect lives before our children -- merely consistent lives, lives that model
biblical standards!

• Do you want your kids to:
      Pray- Then pray with them

      To read the Bible- Let them see you read the Bible and read it with them

      Sons to treat their wives with love and respect, then gentlemen treat your wife with love and respect.

Daughters to love their husbands by trusting God through submitting to their husbands according to
scripture- Then ladies, model this for your daughters

Flee sexual immorality, I ought to be sure my television viewing reflects that value.
      
      Talk kind to other people I must talk kind to other people.

I was driving luis to school the other morning and a lady pulled out in front of me and I muttered, “ idiot”
And from the back seat I heard, “idiot lady.” From Asher. I then had to apologize and explain to him that daddy
was wrong. And that God loves that lady and Daddy wasn’t showing God’s love for her when he said those
words…

Your children watch you.

Now Children…
Raise your hand if you spontaneously appeared on earth and did not have a father or mother…

Ok if that’s you then tune in b/c we’re covering something you need to hear

Now, children.

Eph 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is
the first commandment with a promise— 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the
earth.”

What I love about Ephesians 6 is how Paul addresses children directly.

Children would likely be present in the church as a letter like the letter to the Ephesians would be read.

The Bible says all things are made by Him and for Him, you are made by God…,

Which means you exist by Him and for Him, Colossians 1:16.

What that means is, children, you are responsible to God.

“Obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right,” (Ephesians 6:1).

Don’t miss what the Word is saying here.

Children, you live in a self-absorbed culture where you are the prime object of your worship, and life revolves
around you in your mind, and Scripture says very clearly that is not true; you are under authority.

God has made you, and He is Lord over you,

and He has authority in your life,

and you will be held accountable to the way that you respond to mom and dad.

So, what does God command you to do as a child?

Two primary commands:

Honor your parents with your attitude.

Honor your father and your mother: Ascribe worth, literally, to your parents; value your parents.

God takes this seriously.

You look in the Old Testament, God says, “Whoever strikes his father or mother shall be put to death,”
(Exodus 21:15).
“Whoever curses his father or mother shall be put to death,” (Exodus 21:17).
“Every one of you shall revere his mother and father, and you shall keep my Sabbaths: I am the Lord your God,”
(Leviticus 19:3).

This is pretty important to God.

You say, “Well, how do I honor my parents?”

In Ephesians 6:1, it says obey your parents with your actions.

“Children obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.”

That word “obey” is a great compound word; it, literally, means to hear in a way that you put it into practice.

In other words, you obey your parents first by hearing what they say, listening to them, to their advice, their
instruction, their commands and doing what they say; even though it’s not always easy.

Obviously, children will find themselves doing things that they don’t want to do, but God says, “Do this, even
when you don’t understand why.”

Colossians 3:20, “Obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.”

This is pleasing to God, and not to obey is offensive to God.

So, this is a caution in Ephesians 6, and it is serious.

One primary caution for children: to dishonor or disobey your parents is to rebel against God.

The only exception to that would be if your parents are telling you to do something that is clearly against God’s
will in His Word.

Obviously, you don’t follow a parent into rebellion against God, but that one exception aside, all over Scripture...

Exodus 21, Leviticus 19-20, Deuteronomy 21...God says that, “If you disobey mom or dad, you disobey me. To
rebel against mom or dad is to rebel against me.”

If you are a 16-year-old, and you decide that you are going to go against what your mom or dad has said, you are
not just setting yourself up against them, you are setting up yourself against God.

So, don’t be the kind of student, teenagers, who talks about how much you love God and want to grow in God
and do great things for God and go home and disobey your parents.

Your spiritual life is not expressed, primarily, by what happens in the youth group; your spiritual life is primarily
expressed in what happens in your home.

 
God says all of this for a reason because there is a promise here, a gospel promise.

“Honor your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you,”
Exodus 20:12, Deuteronomy 5:15.

So, as the gospel transforms our relationships as children and parents, God says, “Hear this promise: I will
satisfy your lives, it will go well with you, and not only will it go well with you, but you will enjoy long life on
earth.”
Now, obviously, that is open to misinterpretation if we individualize it, if we think, “Well, if I obey my parents,
then I will live till I’m 80 or 90 years old.”
That is not what the Bible is saying; it would break down on so many different levels,

but this promise was given in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5...given to a people...to the people of Israel, and
then, here in Ephesians 6, to the body of Christ,

and God was saying to His people, “You live, parents, to pass the Word onto the next generation, and, children,
you live to receive that Word and pass it on, and you, the people of God, will enjoy a long life on earth. I will
satisfy your lives, and I will multiply your legacy.”

 Students, parents, adults, children everyone please hear this last part…

Saint Augustine declared: “God wants to give us something, but cannot, because our hands are full—there’s
nowhere for Him to put it.”

Some of us in this room have our hands full with the wrong stuff and we are unable to receive what God wants to
give us!

Some may be dealing with a sin that hinders our ability to love God with our whole heart mind and strength
But for others it may be that we just need to turn our attention away from some of our activities and redirect our
focus and attention on Him!

Most importantly, as a father, I want my children to understand the truth that God is the source of all truth.

"He is the Rock, " Moses said, "His work is perfect. . . a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He"
(Deuteronomy 32:4).

You see, it is God’s nature and character that defines truth.

He defines what is right for all people, for all times, and for all places.

I also seek to impress upon my children the concept that truth is not something God decides; it is something He
is.

I don’t want my children to make the mistake of trying to measure right and wrong by their own ideas; I want
them to understand that the basis of everything we call moral, the source of every good thing, is the eternal God
who is outside us, above us, and beyond us.

The reason we think that there are such things as "fair" and "unfair" is because our Maker is a just God.

The reason love is a virtue and hatred a vice is because the God who formed us is a God of love.

The reason honesty is right and deceit is wrong is because God is true.

The reason chastity is moral and promiscuity is immoral is because God is pure.

Deut 6 4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and
with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your
hearts. 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.

Are “these things” on your heart?

Is your heart right toward God this morning?

It is time for us who say the Lord is our God, (adults-students) -- to act like He is our God.

That means
we must not only say we believe in truth,
we must not only say we believe in right & wrong,
we must act like people who believe in truth,
we must behave like people who believe in right and wrong,
we must walk as children of the light!

Let’s pray…
I will be up here along with several other pastors if you would like to pray with one of us…