Sermon Series: Family Matters
Sermon Title: Words Matter
Text: Deuteronomy 6:6-9

 

Sermon Outline:

How Can Our Words Matter?
   1. Internalize His Word
   2. Teach His Word
       a. Meal Time (when you sit)
       b. Drive Time (when you walk)
       c. Bed Time (when you lie down)
       d. Morning Time (when you get up)
   3. Remember His Word

 

Sermon Summary

When it comes to our families, our words matter.  In our Scripture, we learned that God commanded his people that his transformational command to love him should be on their hearts.  In other words, we should internalize God's Word.  God then commands his people to teach his commands to their children throughout the daily routines of life (meal time, drive time, bed time, and morning time). As we do this, we are giving our children the best chance possible to grow into spiritually healthy adults. Ultimately it is their choice whether they will choose God, but if we are faithful to speak His truth into their lives, then we are leaving a Godly legacy that will continue from generation to generation.

 

Community Group Discussion Questions

1. Learning God's word is not simply about the pursuit of knowledge.  God doesn't want us to simply get into his word, but let his word get into us.  How has your pursuit of God's word changed your character?

2. What do you think are some of the greatest challenges that this generation of children will face as they grow up in our world?  What can parents do to help children face these challenges?

3. As we internalize God's Word, we must then teach our children the Word of God.  What are some creative ways that you have taught or seen others teach the next generation?  (Ex. Think about the four examples of teaching within the daily routines: Meal Time, Drive Time, Bed Time, Morning Time) 

4. How can someone pray for you regarding your parenting?  If you are not a parent, what parent(s) will you be praying for as they raise their children?  Why?

 

Sermon Notes

It’s great to be with each of you today. It is also great to have Pastor Larry and our team back home from Haiti. They did such an incredible work there and I know that he is going to be sharing a little bit of that later on at the end of the sermon.

Today, we continue in our series Family Matters. We are learning from the book of Deuteronomy, specifically, Deuteronomy 6. Last week we learned that Moses is author of most of Deuteronomy besides some editor contributors. He was writing to God’s chosen people, the Israelites.

In this specific chapter, Deuteronomy 6, he is speaking to all of Israel. In verse 4 he said, “Hear, O Israel, the Lord Your God, the Lord is one. He is speaking to all of the tribes, clans, families, and leaders of Israel. And, he gives them a transformational command that if followed would lead to the best life possible.

The command was simply this: Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. Summed up, this means love God with everything and at all times. So, last week we learned that when it comes to family, our time matters.

I know some of you may feel like this series does't apply to you. However, I believe this is a challenge for all of us. Some of you may not have a family of your own yet, but some day God may bless you with one. And, I pray that this series will prepare you in some ways to raise your family God's way.

Some of you may have already raised your family and they are on their own now. But, what an incredible blessing grandparents are and you will have a voice with your children when they come to you for advice on how to raise their children. Remember some of these truths so that you can be prepared to share wisdom from the Lord.

Yet there are still some who don't have a family, and don't plan on it. As your friends and family members see you living your life for the Lord, they may come to you and ask for spiritual advice because of your example. At that time, don't be afraid to share truths from God's word about how family matters even if you're not speaking from experience.

Perhaps God will use you to be his voice to speak truth during that time. So, everyone pay attention what God's Word says today, because the hope is that one day a door will open and you have the opportunity to repeat it to someone else.

Last week, this jar or marbles represented the amount of weeks we have with a child from birth until graduation from high school. 936 weeks. So every single moment counts so we should spend our time not only declaring our love for God but demonstrating in all that we do. Time matters.

This week, the jar of marbles represents the words that we share with a child. Our Words matters, and as the video said,

Words over time can impact someone’s direction in life

And our Scripture today is going to give us insight into how our words shared with children over the course of time can help shape who they become as men and women of God. As we love God with all that is within us, we are then to model our relationship with God through actions, but also share the ways of God through our words. So lets read,

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.

So, the command to the Israelites is to love God with everything, making our time count. But our words have to count also as we lead our families. So how do we make our words matter? Verse 6 says again,

These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.

So how do make our words matter? The scripture makes it clear that we must first internalize the word. It is to be on our hearts.

How Can Our Words Matter?
1. Internalize His Word

Something the Israelites were very good at was making religion a major part of their lives. The reason for their success was that religious education was life-oriented. Their primary focus was not on the accumulation of knowledge and information. That is where we get lost sometimes in our world today.

Our world is very much about the pursuit of knowledge. I enjoy reading the news online, but there is something on the message boards of the articles that always puzzles me. If someone posts a response to an article giving an opinion, or especially anything in regard Christian beliefs, then that person is usually criticized as being uneducated.

It doesn’t matter what is said in response. That person’s comment is written off as uneducated. The reason I share this is because many of the Hebrew people were uneducated. Many of them couldn’t read or write. Yet, the God of the universe is giving a relatively uneducated people what Jesus later called the The Great Commandment. Pastor Andy Stanley once said,

Spirituality is determined by how well one loves, not how much one knows.

I believes this quote captures the context and intent of verse 6 that “these commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.” God is saying, you can hear my words all you want but unless they proceed to your heart and cause you to demonstrate my love, then you are not internalizing the word, but just pursuing more knowledge.

So, religious education for the Hebrew people was not something limited to a classroom or a library. Instead, it permeated their every day lives. It affected everything. For us today, getting into God’s word is vital. I urge to read God’s word, and you will begin to hunger for it more. But what God is saying here is

Don’t just get into the Word, let the Word get into You

Don’t just read it as something to check off your list. Let the Holy Spirit use the word of God to begin or continue to transform who you are. If we want our words to matter to our children, then the Word of God has to matter to us first. His commands are to be on our hearts. How can our words matter? We must first internalize the Word. Secondly,

How Can Our Words Matter?
1. Internalize His Word
2. Teach His Word

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.

These commands that God has given, impress them on your children. The word impress means to teach. But the Hebrew verb here was written in a certain tense. It is in a present consecutive tense. So knowing that, this word impress, can be translated, “Teach repetitively.” Repeat these commands to your children over and over and over again.

I don’t know how you learn, but most people learn best with repetition unless you are incredibly gifted and can remember everything after one time of learning it. If you had to use a puzzle to learn your ABCs, or if you have to use flash cards, or study your notes, then you know what I’m talking about.

Spiritually, we are no different. Just as we need God’s Word continually flowing through us, so do our children. And, Moses advocated to the Israelites that this is not just something to be done in a classroom, but in all areas of life. We are to teach our children over and over again how God is a part of everything we do. So, how do we do this? verse 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.

Reggie Joiner is the founder of the Rethink Group, which produces the children’s ministry curriculum called Orange. This is the curriculum that we use to teach our children on Sunday mornings. And I loved his application of this Scripture in the daily routine of our lives. How do we teach our children? We can teach them at Meal Time.

How Can Our Words Matter?
1. Internalize His Word
2. Teach His Word
a. Meal Time (when you sit)

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.

For the Israelites, there probably weren't as many things competing for their time as we have now. They couldn’t quickly prepare a meal in the microwave. There was no stopping by McDonald’s on the way home. It would take hours to prepare meals, and then the family would sit and eat.

In the New Testament, meals prove to be a very good environment for discussions and teaching. In fact, there are seven stories In the Gospel of Luke alone where Jesus uses a meal as a time to teach. So we too should take advantage of that environment for our families as well. It will produce very good opportunities to build relationships and share truth.

It also can have long lasting effects on our children. In 2010, an interesting study was conducted by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. The study revealed the impact that participation in family dinners can have on a teenager in regard to future substance abuse.

First of all, the study showed that 72% of teens think that eating frequently with their parents is important. Compared to teens who have frequent family dinners (5-7 per week), those who have infrequent family dinners (fewer than 3 per week) are more than twice as likely to say they expect to try drugs in the future.

Teens who have less frequent family dinners are twice as likely to have used tobacco, almost twice as likely to have used alcohol, and 1 1/2 times likelier to have used marijuana. They are more than 1 1/2 times likelier to have friends who drink regularly, use marijuana, or abuse prescriptions drugs.

The director of the study said, “The magic that happens over family dinners isn’t the food on the table, but the communication and conversations around it. Of course there is no iron-clad guarantee that your kids will grow up drug free, …but the odds are better that you will raise a healthy kid if you do.”

I remember growing up that we had family dinners often. My dad was pastor of one of the largest Baptist churches in the town. We lived next to a pretty busy road, and people driving by could see in our dining room windows. So, I remember us getting honked at all of the time while we were eating.

I also remember the day my mom got so fed up that she went and got a jar and put it in the middle of the table. From then on we would have to put a $1.00 in the jar if we belched or pass gas or used bad manners at the table.

The most vivid memory I have at the table though is when we asked my dad, “why can’t you be something other than a preacher.” We would get picked on a lot because we were preachers kids. And I remember him using that moment as a teaching opportunity on how to persevere and continue moving forward through adversity.

In our fast paced world, it gets harder to have these moments around the dinner table. Its tough at my house too. But it is the perfect place to have a discussion. It gives parents a specific time to assume the role of a facilitator or teacher to target a specific truth about God in an interactive or relational context.

Do you set aside time to have meals together? Do you use meals as an opportunity to discuss things about God? If not, give it a try. Share a verse and ask your kids what they think about it. Bring up a topic about God and talk about it. Teach the Word. You can do this at meal time. Secondly, a great place to teach the Word is drive time.

How Can Our Words Matter?
1. Internalize His Word
2. Teach His Word
a. Meal Time (when you sit)
b. Drive Time (when you walk)

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.

There obviously weren’t cars in 15th century BC. But, there is not too much walking going on in 21st Century AD. For the Israelites, walking on the roads was the perfect time for families to engage in discussion. And, we have the perfect opportunity when we are driving.

Now, this one convicted me when I was writing this message. One of the main reasons we bought our last vehicle was to help silence our children. We bought a vehicle that spread our children out so they couldn’t fight with each other anymore.

The new vehicle also has a television in the back so that they would stop yelling and screaming which caused us to lose our sanity. But now, if we want to have conversations in the car, we have to turn the TV off so that we can have their attention.

Drive time is a great place to have some informal conversation. It’s the place where kids can create their own discussion about the things that they see or experience while traveling. It’s the perfect place to ask, “What was the best thing about your day today?”

It is also the place where you can show them what the mission of God is all about. When you help that homeless person, you are teaching them. When you are courteous instead of having road rage, you are teaching them.

Countless opportunities arise during drive time to have meaningful interactions with your family. So make your words count in those situations. So, we can teach the word at meal time, drive time, and the third place is at bed time.

How Can Our Words Matter?
1. Internalize His Word
2. Teach His Word
a. Meal Time (when you sit)
b. Drive Time (when you walk)
c. Bed Time (when you lie down)

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 time that I cherish most with my kids. There is something about a kids room that gives parents a chance to have an open door to a child’s heart. This is the time that I read the Bible story, pray together, or talk about things while looking at some glow in the dark stars.

It is when I have been tucking my little girl in bed where I have been asked some of the most intense theological questions. And she is only 5. “Daddy, if Jesus is God, then who did he pray to in our Bible Story?” “Daddy, what happens to someone if they die without believing in Jesus?”

Perfect opportunities. So, don’t miss the potential of this time by sending your kids to bed. Take them to their bed. Open their Bible. If you don’t have one, we have some great kids Bibles in our Harbor Shop. Read them a Bible story.

Ask them what they want to pray for. I usually ask my little girls to name one thing they are thankful for and someone in their class who they want to pray for. And then we take turns praying. One night I’ll pray and the next night they have their turn. There are so many things that can be done, but don’t miss those opportunities.

Great times to teach the word are at meal time, drive time, bed time, and at morning time.

How Can Our Words Matter?
1. Internalize His Word
2. Teach His Word
a. Meal Time (when you sit)
b. Drive Time (when you walk)
c. Bed Time (when you lie down)
d. Morning Time (when you get up)

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.

So, use the morning time as an opportunity to tell your children about the Lord. The mornings are a blank page. A new day has begun. And for most children, their day begins by heading to school. And school is tough these days. The things children are exposed to at school and the relationships that they have to navigate can prove challenging.

But, whether you eat breakfast together or just interact for a few moments, morning has the potential to set the tone for the entire day for children. Some encouragement through a prayer, a note, or a spoken word can give children a sense of purpose and be something they lean on when things get tough during the day.

So something you could ask yourself in the morning is this: “What can I say or do that will help my child face this day with courage?” “What can I say or do that will help instill purpose for their day and keep them focused in the right direction?”

If we want our words to matter we must first internalize the word ourselves, then use our daily routines as opportunities to teach God’s Word to our families. Finally, must remember the word. How can our words matter? Remember His Word. Listen to verses 8-9,

How Can Our Words Matter?
1. Internalize His Word
2. Teach His Word
a. Meal Time (when you sit)
b. Drive Time (when you walk)
c. Bed Time (when you lie down)
d. Morning Time (when you get up)
3. Remember His Word

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.

When I say the word remember, I mean that in some ways we need to memorialize his word. The Jews took and still take this Scripture literally. They tie scriptures to their hands and bind them on their foreheads. They would write them on their door frames of their houses.

Now I know that some of you might think this is crazy, but doing certain things to remember God’s Word can serve as a reminder of the covenant relationship we have with God through Christ Jesus.

We wear wedding rings to remind us of the covenant that we have made with our spouse. We partake in communion, the Lord’s supper, to remind us of the sacrifice that Jesus paid for us on the cross. I know that some people celebrate their spiritual birthday, the day they became a Christian.

Here is what I want us to know today. God never wants for those things that we remember him by to become the point. They should never detract from our relationship with him. Instead, they should enhance our relationship with him. We never want to allow religious symbols to take the place of our actual living faith in God.

But, they are great reminders. Teach your family to remember the things of God. Be creative with it. Some people put scripture on their mirrors that remind them of their identity in Christ instead of what other people think of them.

Another great way is to set reminders in our phone that will display God’s Word. Put Scripture on your screen saver. Put it in a picture on your wall. Anything that reminds our family that God’s Word matters would be a good reminder to have.

When you have God's Word present in your home, it will help your family remember when he answers prayers, when he provides for you, when he gives opportunities to share his love with others. "Yeah, God said he would do that." "Yeah, it wasn't just a coincidence that happened. God is working in this." We remember his Word.

When it comes to family, our words matter. And, the very Word of God should matter most to us, so much so, that we internalize it. We don’t just get into the Word, but we allow it to get into us.

As his word then transforms our lives, we teach it to our children. We take advantage of every opportunity that we have. We make his word a part of the rhythm of our lives. Our routines, our meal time, our mornings, our nights.

[holding the jar of marbles] When we speak the very words of God, we are speaking His love into their hearts. We are speaking wisdom in their decision making. We speak strength in their weakness. We speak joy in their sorrow. We speak faith in their doubt. We speak hope for their tomorrow. We speak Christ as their identity.

And their lives are filled with God’s word. In doing so, we give our families the best chance possible to overcome the pressures of this world. For their lives are fragile, and the words that this world throws at them will might hurt for a moment, but will be overwhelmed by the truth that we have spoken into their lives. Our words matter. So, let’s make them count.