Archive for May, 2017

THEY SPAKE WITH BOLDNESS

Acts 4:31 – “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness!”

 INTRODUCTION:  Acts 3:1-8 – “Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour. And a certain man lame from his mother’s womb was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of them that entered into the temple; Who seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple asked an alms. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them. Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God”. Peter and John went into the temple. Peter, by the name of Jesus, had just healed this man that had been lame from His birth. Then Peter starting preaching in the temple. We pick up this story in chapter 4 at the conclusion of Peter’s message and the reaction of the priests and the Sadducees.

We need to boldly proclaim the word of God in our community. We should not be afraid to witness for our Lord – He gave us access to “All power” we therefore have no reason to be scared about “Go Ye” (Mathew 28:18-20 – And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.)

We are going to look at several questions and we are going to get our answers out of God’s word.

WHAT DID THEY GET IN TROUBLE FOR?  (Acts 4:1-3And as they spake unto the people, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees, came upon them, Being grieved that they taught the people, and preached through Jesus the resurrection from the dead.  And they laid hands on them, and put them in hold unto the next day: for it was now eventide.) – THEY GOT IN TROUBLE FOR TEACHING AND PREACHING THE WORD OF GOD!

A time is coming when we may get into trouble for preaching, teaching, and living by what the Word of God says. In fact, it is already beginning to happen in this country. I read, not long ago, about a baker in Colorado and another one in Oregon. Two homosexual men in one case and two lesbian women in the other case came into the bakery wanting to order a cake to celebrate their wedding ceremony. The bakers, who believe what the Bible says about the sin of homosexuality, refused to make a cake for them. They would bake a cake for other events for them and had, but they just could not bake a cake for a homosexual wedding. They are now facing criminal and civil prosecutions and verdicts, all because they did not bake a cake, all because they acted on what they believed.

Are you willing to act on what you believe come what may?

  • Would you still be willing to preach God’s Word, teach God’s Word, be a witness of God’s Word, believe and act upon God’s word if it meant a prison sentence?
  • Acts 4:31 AND THEY SPAKE THE WORD OF GOD WITH BOLDNESS”
  • Notice in Acts 4:4 the prison bars did not stop the power of God’s word and His message. They laid hands on them, put Peter and John in prison, but that could not stop God. I love verse 4 Howbeit many of them which heard the word believed; and the number of the men was about five thousand.”
  • What are you willing to sacrifice for God?Your plans, your dreams, your freedom?How about your pride? Your comfort zone? Are you willing to sacrifice your Saturday to get His Word out to our community?

WHAT AUTHORITY DID THEY HAVE TO PREACH GOD’S WORD? (Acts 4:7And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, By what power, or by what name, have ye done this? ) – Notice the question that was asked of Peter and John.

Now notice Peter’s response, look at Acts 4:8-12 – “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”

So what authority or by what power did Peter and John preach and teach and witness? – The same authority and the same power we preach and teach and witness by. By the power of God through Jesus Christ His son, enabled by the Holy Spirit himself who lives in all of us that are Christians. Go Ye into all your community preaching and teaching Jesus Christ and compelling them to come in!

Don’t hesitate to proclaim the word of God, and to be a witness for Him. We have all the authority we need. God will bless your efforts. I know I am nervous every time I knock on a door. I just trust God and pray as I am knocking on the door for Him to give me the words to say, and you know what? Sometimes I stumble over my words, but the Lord blesses our efforts. We are commanded to go. The Lord will take care of the increase. (I Corinthians 3:7 – So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.)

WHAT DID THE PRIESTS AND THE SADDUCEES SEE?Acts 4:13Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled;“ – They saw boldness. Peter and John had boldness. They boldly proclaimed the word of God.

Do you have boldness? Do you need boldness? Well just ask God for it and, if you are of a sincere heart, He will give it to you. (Mathew 7:7-8 – Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.) We get our boldness to share God’s word through Jesus Christ His Son. (Ephesians 3:11-12 – According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord: In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.)

WHERE HAD PETER AND JOHN BEEN?Notice verse 13 againNow when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”)

  • They had been with Jesus. Have you been with Jesus today?
  • Can people around you tell you have been with Jesus?
  • Can people tell you are a Christian?
  • If we are saved, we should have testimony of our Savior. It should be obvious to those around us that we are a Christian. It should be obvious that we have “been with Jesus”.
  • Is it obvious to those around you that you are Christian and that you have a relationship with Christ? If not, you need to ask your Lord for forgiveness and work at being a better witness for Him.

WHAT WAS THE RESPONSE OF PETER AND JOHN? Acts 4:16-18 – “Saying, What shall we do to these men? for that indeed a notable miracle hath been done by them is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem; and we cannot deny it. But that it spread no further among the people, let us straitly threaten them, that they speak henceforth to no man in this name. And they called them, and commanded them not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.”

  • They threatened Peter and John, and told them not to teach or preach in the name of Jesus again.
  • The day is coming, if it has not already, that you will be told to keep your faith to yourself. You will be treated rudely by someone. You will have a door slammed in your face for witnessing for your Lord. You may be cussed at or ridiculed for being a Christian, or as the case of the bakers in Colorado and Oregon, you may face prison time and enormous fines for your beliefs.
  • Acts 4:31- “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness!”
  • Are you willing to speak the word of God with boldness come what may?

WHAT WAS PETER AND JOHNS RESPONSE? Acts 4:19 -20 – “But Peter and John answered and said unto them, Whether it be right in the sight of God to hearken unto you more than unto God, judge ye. For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”I love their response: “For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.” They were not going to intimidate Peter or John. Want to know why? Verse 13 tells us – because “they had been with Jesus”

  • They were saved by the blood of the Lamb of God. They had been with Jesus. They were obeying His command of “Go ye”. They had boldness from God.
  • They could not help themselves, they had to speak and teach and preach about Jesus, just like they had to breathe air to live, and they had to teach Jesus!
  • Is this the way you feel about your Lord?

WHAT WAS THE CHURCHES RESPONSE?  – Acts 4:23-29 – “And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them. And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is: Who by the mouth of thy servant David hast said, Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine vain things? The kings of the earth stood up, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord, and against his Christ. For of a truth against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod, and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles, and the people of Israel, were gathered together, For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,”

  • Peter and John gave a testimony of what had happened to their church.
  • The churches immediate reaction was to turn to God in prayer.
  • They quoted scripture in their prayer to God.
  • They praised God in their prayer.
  • The last thing they did in their prayer was to ask for something.
  • It wasn’t for some material need or possession; there was nothing selfish about their request.
  • They prayed for more boldness so they could do a better job of spreading Gods word to their community and the world.(Acts 4:29 – And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness they may speak thy word,)

CONCLUSION: What was the end result of all of this? – The end result of their boldness? The end result of their going and sharing the gospel of Christ? They were blessed twofold. (Acts 4:32 And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.)

  • A multitude believed.
  • How did a multitude believe? By power of God’s word and by the early church obeying Jesus command to “Go ye”
  • How did they obey that command? The Bible tells us how Paul obeyed that command in Acts 20:20 – “And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have showed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house,” – Paul went house to house.
  • Acts 5:42 – “And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.” – Not just in the Temple or the Church but in every house, they went house to house.
  • Unity in the Church – God blessed their church for going and witnessing to those around them with unity. “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul” – Do you want unity in your church? – Start a vigorous soul-winning and witnessing ministry.

The Lord will give us the boldness we need to share His Word with those around us. He will bless our efforts. He will bring the increase. He will bless our church with multitudes saved. He will bless our church with unity. And all we have to do is just obey His command in Mathew 28 and “Go”!

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“WHAT MOTHERS DESERVE”

Proverbs 1:8-9 “My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother: For they shall be an ornament of grace unto thy head, and chains about thy neck.”

This is a general exhortation to receive the instructions, and submit to the authority of your parents. And not only hearken to thy father when he teaches you; but these verses are telling us to let our mother’s commands be a law unto us. One of the great steps to wisdom is to give great reverence to your parents, both natural and spiritual; especially reverence to your mother. God gives us special direction to observe and do what our mothers tell us to do as if it is a law we must follow. God, in His Word, takes special care to promote a just reverence to mothers and what they have to tell us about life and living in general.

Verse nine is telling us, if we heed to the good things our mothers teach us and observe them as if it is the law, that it will metaphorically be “an ornament of grace” on display for the world to see. Those around you can tell if you are respectful and obedient to your mother or if you are not. It will show in your countenance, in your conduct or in some other way in your life negatively, if you are forsaking the instruction of your mother.

INTRODUCTION: The modern holiday of Mother’s Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis held a memorial for her mother at St Andrew’s Methodist Church in Grafton, West Virginia.  Her campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Ann Jarvis had been a peace activist who cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the American Civil War. Anna Jarvis wanted to honor her mother by continuing the work she started and to set aside a day to honor all mothers because she believed that they were “the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world”.

In 1908, the US Congress rejected a proposal to make Mother’s Day an official holiday, but by 1911 all US states observed the holiday, the first being West Virginia, Jarvis’ home state, in 1910. In 1914, Woodrow Wilson signed a proclamation designating Mother’s Day, held on the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honor mothers.

On May 8, 1914, the United States Senate and House of Representatives passed a joint resolution establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. The next day, May 9, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation, an excerpt of which is below:

Now, Therefore, I, Woodrow Wilson, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the said Joint Resolution, do hereby direct the government officials to display the United States flag on all government buildings and do invite the people of the United States to display the flag at their homes or other suitable places on the second Sunday in May as a public expression of our love and reverence for the mothers of our country.”

Billy Sunday speaking on the love mothers have for their children said this “A Mothers love is unselfish, and has no limits this side of heaven.

ON MOTHERS DAY WE SHOULD REFLECT ON WHAT OUR MOTHERS DESERVE:

OUR MOTHERS DESERVE OUR OBEDIENCE (Ephesians 6:1 – Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. & Colossians 3:20 – Children, obey your parents in all things: for this is well pleasing unto the Lord.)

  • Children, obey your parents” – the duty of children to their parents is obedience.
  • In the Lord” – we are to obey our parents “in the Lord”, we are to obey them because God has told us to, because authority was established by God.
  • For this is right” – we are to obey our mothers and fathers simply because it is the right thing for us to do.
  • Even Jesus obeyed His mother growing up. (Luke 2:51 – And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.)
  • Are we giving our mothers the obedience they deserve? The obedience we are commanded to give them by the Lord? The obedience we are told in God’s Word that is just the right thing to do?

OUR MOTHERS DESERVE OUR RESPECT (Ephesians 6:2-3 – Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise; That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth. & Exodus 20:12 – Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.)

  • Solomon warned of dire consequences to those who disrespected their parents in Proverbs 20:20 “Whoso curseth his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in obscure darkness.”
  • In the Old Testament times, children that disrespected their parents were put to death under the law. (Leviticus 20:9 – For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.)
  • In Proverbs 20:20 it says their “lamp shall be put out” in other words they will have no prosperity, they will live an unblessed, by God, life.

An old Chinese proverb says “Respect for one’s parents is the highest duty of civil life.

  • The Bible, God, and common decency, demands that we respect our parents, especially our mothers. Are you respecting your mother like you should? Do you need to apologize to her for any disrespect you have showed her?

OUR MOTHERS DESERVE OUR AFFECTION (I Kings 19:20 – And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee?) – Elisha here in this verse demonstrates the kind of affection that is due our parents.

  • Why not be affectionate to our mothers? They have given so much for us, they have sacrificed so much for us, and can we at least in return demonstrate our thankfulness to them by showing outward affection to them?
  • Such affection can be an “I love you Mom!”, or hugs, or gifts.
  • Do we give our mothers the affection they deserve? Have you given your mom the affection she deserves recently and consistently?
  • Elisha here was a grown man going to be a mighty prophet for God; and we see he is begging for the opportunity to run back and hug and kiss his father and his mother. Do we have this kind of love and respect that Elisha demonstrated for our parents? Do we cherish our father and mother like Elisha did? If we do not, we need to get that right with God, and with them.

OUR MOTHERS DESERVE TO HAVE CHILDREN WHO ARE INCREASING IN WISDOM (Proverbs 10:1 – A wise son maketh a glad father: but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother. & Proverbs 17:25 – A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her that bare him.) – We have an obligation to our parents to strive to increase in wisdom throughout our lives and in our decisions we make.

  • Jesus increased in wisdom as He grew from childhood to adulthood, we are to be conforming to His image as we go through our life, this is a key area we need to conform to, and our mothers need us to conform to Christ in this area of wisdom too. (Luke 2:52 – And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.)
  • Mothers worry enough about their children; we should not be giving them any unnecessary grief by our foolish actions or direction.
  • Much of our wisdom, if we will really listen, accept, and apply it, can come from our mothers and what they tell us, teach us, and show us.
  • Are you growing in wisdom in your life? Or are you heading down the path of foolishness? For your mothers sake you should strive to be as wise as you can be in the Lord.

OUR MOTHERS DESERVE RIGHTEOUSNESS DEMONSTRATED IN OUR LIFE (Proverbs 23:24-25 – The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice: and he that begetteth a wise child shall have joy of him. Thy father and thy mother shall be glad, and she that bare thee shall rejoice.) – More important than any other achievement we could do in our life for our mothers is the achievement of a righteous character in our life.

“There is no greater joy a parent can have than to see his son take virtuous courses.–Let not thy father and mother then want this singular pleasure; but by thy well-doing fill the heart of her that bare thee with joy and triumph, who, for all the pains and care that she hath had in thy birth, and about thy education, desires no other requital but only this.” – Bishop Simon Patrick (1626 – 1727)

  • Nothing makes a mother happier or prouder than to have a good (righteous) son or daughter.
  • We can get true righteousness in our life by our faithful following of Jesus. (Romans 3:21-22 – But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:)
  • Everyone has a need for the gospel in their life. Your salvation, by faith in Jesus Christ, through whom God manifests His combined righteousness and mercy, will be a great source of joy for a Christian mother. Knowing their children are on their way to heaven is the best knowledge a mother can have. We need to make sure of our salvation and of our mothers salvation too.
  • Any righteousness we have in our life is of God; and how we live in accordance with His Word. We are, according to His Word, justified by our faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God. The benefits of whose obedience and death are obtained not by human works or merit, but by receiving Him as our Savior, and trusting in Him for our salvation. (Romans 5:8-11 – But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.)
  • Jesus Christ is to whom God commands us to commit our souls, with all humble and obedient regard. This way of obtaining righteousness and life is now made available to all, and is put upon all them that believe, for there is no respect of persons with God. “Whosoever will”, have the chance to get save, will have the ability to have His righteousness imputed onto them. And no greater joy will our mother have then to see us walking after God and serving Him with our life. (Romans 4:22-25 – And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness. Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.)

OUR MOTHERS DESERVE OUR CARE AND CONCERN FOR THEM (I Timothy 5:4,8 & 16 – But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.) – Our parents, especially widows, deserve our care and concern.

  • It was God’s original intent that children were to be their parents “social security”. Our parents, as they get older, deserve the best care we can afford to give them.
  • Some as they age may require professional medical care, but we should not simply drop them off at the nursing home for just convenience, our parents are ultimately our personal responsibility and we should honor and care for them as in a way to thank them for all they did for us.
  • Ways you can care for your mother while you and her are still young, is by doing the dishes, helping with the laundry, taking out the trash, helping with the cleaning of the house and you should show your respect to your mother, that she deserves from you, and do all of these chores without prompting and seek to do them all to the best of your ability.
  • Are you caring for your mother like you should? Will you make the decision to start caring for your mother like you should today if you are not? Will you make the commitment to God now to care for your mother as she ages?

IN CONCLUSION: God gives us special direction to observe and do what our mothers tell us to do as if it is a law we must follow. God in His Word takes special care to promote a just reverence to mothers and what they have to tell us about life and living in general. We are to obey our parents “in the Lord”; we are to obey them because God has told us to, because authority was established by the Lord. Why not be affectionate to our mothers? They have given so much for us, they have sacrificed so much for us, and can we at least in return demonstrate our thankfulness to them by showing outward affection to them? Everyone has a need for the gospel in their life. Your salvation, by faith in Jesus Christ, will be a great source of joy for a Christian mother. Knowing their children are on their way to heaven is the best knowledge a mother can have. We need to make sure of our salvation and of our mothers salvation too. (III John 1:4 – I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.)

We may choose to give our mothers flowers, cards or gifts on Mother’s Day; but we need to keep in mind that all the other days throughout the year she deserves something from us to, our mothers, year round, deserve our:

  • Obedience
  • Respect
  • Affection
  • Wisdom
  • Righteousness
  • Care

Are we practicing all these things that our mothers deserve from us all the days throughout the year or do we just act a little extra nice to her on Mother’s Day?

Hearken… TO DO Them – part 2

(Deuteronomy 4:1-14)

Deuteronomy 4:1 “Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you.”

WE SERVE A MIGHTY AND LOVING GOD THAT CANNOT BE COMPARED TO ANYTHING. (4:7-8, verse 7For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon him for?)- Rightly so, as verses 7-8 point out that what the Lord is doing with Israel is no small thing. What nation has ever had a god so close to his people as the Lord is to Israel? The Lord handpicked Israel in His graciousness. The Lord answers when they call. The Lord was so concerned about His peoples’ success that He came down on Mount Sinai to give them a law more perfect and righteous than any man-made system of morality and justice. Other nations create and choose their gods. Other gods don’t answer. Other gods have to be appeased with great sacrifices to prevent great wrath. What the Lord does with Israel is different and marvelous.

  • Moses now shows them the great opportunity they have been given by the Lord through obedience to His ways. If Israel will continue to keep His statutes while they live in the Promised Land, they will have exceedingly more wisdom and understanding than the nations around them. The world often looks at rules as something we keep to appease a higher authority. This limited view is especially foolish when it comes to God’s rules and statutes. Aligning our lives by His standards is the path to wisdom and keeps us from harmful decisions. This is no different than a parent who tells a child to not touch a hot iron. The rule isn’t there to appease Mom and Dad; it is meant to keep the child safe! It is the same with the law of the Lord.
  • Not only was this something great for Israel to appreciate, this is something for Christians to appreciate as well. The Lord’s treatment of Israel is mirrored in our relationship with Christ. We are also a chosen and holy nation (Ephesians 1:4; I Peter 2:9). The Lord has continued His theme of closeness to His people by sending his Son. Think about that. The Son of God came to Earth. The Son of God took His time to notice us and teach us how we ought to live. He gave His life for us. He listens when we pray. Nothing makes us deserving of such an intimate and loving treatment. As Moses says here, what people has ever existed that has a god this close? What nation has a god that cares so much about them as to give them such a righteous law and actually care about their wellbeing? The gods of the ancient times didn’t come close. The various things man worships today do not come close. Our Lord sustains us. The gods of today have to be sustained by us. Money runs out. Technology breaks. Television shows get cancelled. Our Lord pursues us and seeks our life. The things we worship today do not care about us. They suck our resources, time, and energy dry until we are completely empty. Our Lord answers prayer. What a magnificent Lord we have who desires to be so close to us and give us life! His rules and statutes are not cumbersome – life is found in them.
  • When the Lord’s closeness and righteous law better our lives, others that see this in our life will seek out the Lord as well. How else can the world know about the Lord’s great wisdom and understanding except by seeing it exhibited through his people? I Kings 10 tells us how the Queen of Sheba came to hear the wisdom Solomon had through the Lord. The text tells that she was so awestruck with his wisdom that she was breathless and overwhelmed. Notice I Kings 10:6–9, “And she said to the king, It was a true report that I heard in mine own land of thy acts and of thy wisdom. Howbeit I believed not the words, until I came, and mine eyes had seen it: and, behold, the half was not told me: thy wisdom and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard. Happy are thy men, happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before thee, and that hear thy wisdom. Blessed be the LORD thy God, which delighted in thee, to set thee on the throne of Israel: because the LORD loved Israel for ever, therefore made he thee king, to do judgment and justice.”
  • This passage is truly exciting. The fact that a woman who had never known the Lord came to know such a great testimony of Him because of the wisdom He gave Solomon should inspire us. We can cause the same reaction today. We can cause others who do not truly know the Lord to glorify the Lord because of the great wisdom He gives us, if we let Him by how we live out our life.
  • If we truly see that people are full of foolishness, one of the best ways we can instigate change is by passionately pursuing the Lord’s law and wisdom in our own hearts and the decisions we make. What a great opportunity we would have; but we must seek out to diligently live out and do the Word of God in our life in order to be that influence on others.

WE NEED TO BE DILIGENT STUDENTS OF THE WORD OF GOD (4:9 – Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;) – Romans 2 is a reminder of how greatly Israel ended up wrecking this opportunity. Romans 2:2324 says “Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.” Though Solomon’s wisdom was cause for praising the Lord, he was an exception in Israel. As opposed to causing the nations to praise the Lord, Israel’s hypocrisy and wickedness caused the nations to blaspheme Him. Though Moses just finished reminding Israel of their great opportunity for wisdom, the beginning of verse 6 says this opportunity only exists when they keep the Lord’s statutes. This stands as a grave warning to Israel and to us of the danger of forgetting to carefully obey the Lord.

  • If we are not diligent students of the Word of God we will eventually be a bad testimony of the Lord. We may cause others to backslide; we may even prevent others from getting saved by how we are living out our life. In order to not have this bad testimony we need to be diligently doing the Word of God with our life.
  • Just because the Lord cared for Israel so lovingly was not an excuse to not be careful to watch their souls with all diligence. We have great reason to rejoice because of the mercy and grace given us by the Lord, but that mercy is not a license for carelessness (Romans 6:1-2). Careful attention to the Lord’s statutes is laughed at and often ridiculed today. “Why are you so picky?” or “It’s all about rules to you.” May we never forget that we are saved by the mercy and grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? We must also never forget that we are saved by faith and not by works. We must remember that we are involved in a very serious fight to keep our hearts pure. Now is not the time to let our guard down. We must be alert and cognizant of the condition of our souls. We must diligently be watching and praying about our obedience.

WE NEED TO NOT FORGET PAST TEACHINGS AND PAST EXPERIENCE’S WITH GOD. (4:10-13 verse 10 – Specially the day that thou stoodest before the LORD thy God in Horeb, when the LORD said unto me, Gather me the people together, and I will make them hear my words, that they may learn to fear me all the days that they shall live upon the earth, and that they may teach their children.)– Keep past experiences and past teachings in mind, dwell on them from time to time and pass the knowledge of those experiences unto your children.

  • “And that they may teach their children.” The key to all of this is they not only practice these things themselves, but that they teach their children to do so as well. They were to continue to tell the story of the day the Lord met them on Sinai in flashes of lightning and thunder. They were to continue to teach them the fear of the Lord. This is the biggest thing missing from Christians today is a healthy fear of the Lord. Fear (reverential respect and awe) was the foundation of Israel’s relationship with the Lord, so Moses tells them to continue to spread that fear through their children. The reason why many young people are unafraid to rebelliously speak and act as they desire is because they have no fear. They do not fear their parents and they do not fear the Almighty God either. If you fear the Lord like you should, you will act in a respectful manner to your parents like you should. (Job 28:28 – And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.)
  • Certainly we must teach children and young people of the grace and mercy of the Lord, but if they have nothing to fear – what does grace and mercy save them from? It is impossible to appreciate the Lord’s love and mercy without having good biblical fear. People do not naturally fear the Lord. Fear is taught. It is taught in Bible stories like what happened at Sinai and Baal-peor. It is taught through a loving rod of correction. If the fear of God is not taught to children, then the fear of the Lord will stop.

IN CONCLUSION: God’s demands are made and they stand firm. His authority must not be challenged, and to reject it means eternal death. But the same God who demands perfection supplies the perfect solution. In Jesus Christ the Law of God is kept for us. In Christ, His righteous will be imputed to us. In Christ, the Law is fulfilled. Each stipulation, each aspect in ways we could never imagine perfecting, Christ did it for us. He suffered for our breaking of the Law; He credits to us His obedience. All we have to do to get started on our journey of doing the Word of God, to get started on our journey to the promised land of our life, is to accept by faith what the Lord Jesus Christ has done for us and call on Him to be our Savior. (Romans 10:9,10 & 13 – That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.)

Hearken… TO DO Them – part 1

(Deuteronomy 4:1-14)

Deuteronomy 4:1 “Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you.”

God in this passage demands our diligent attention to His Word and our diligence in doing His Word in our life. God wants us to be attentive to the reading, preaching, and teaching of His Word whenever it occurs. God is reminding us of His authority over us and our obligation as His children, if we are saved, to be living out and doing the Word of God with our life.

INTRODUCTION: “Hearken….to do them” – Moses having laid before the Israelites the law and teachings of the Lord for their nation, calls upon the whole assembly, in the most earnest and serious manner, to consider what influence these teachings and laws ought to have upon their conduct and practice. He tells them here, that doing the Word of God should render them punctually obedient to the laws of God, and very cautious and wary of offending Him, either by the addition to His Word by works, ceremonies, superstitious rites or the flat-out altering of His Word. Moses is teaching here that the absolute condition of their peaceful and happy enjoyment of their life lies in how they respond to, and live out the Word of God with their life. In our text, Moses emphasizes the importance of doing the law of the Lord that had already been poorly kept by this new generation.

WHY DO THEM? – “That ye may live” (4:1) – Jesus’ words serve as an appropriate consideration about doing the Word of God in our life.  John 14:15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” True love for our Lord listens to the grave warning given by Moses: to be careful! We must watch our souls with all diligence our entire lives. It is not a blind obedience. Moses is about to teach them. So why do them?

  • Because – Understanding is necessary if obedience is to be rendered. God’s authority is given in the context of education with a view to application, as God’s servant, Moses, will teach so that they may do. Just hearing the law is not sufficient. Hearing must be in order to do or live out our knowledge in actual practice in our life.
  • Because – Though culture may tell us to talk, dress, and conduct ourselves one way, hearts that truly love the Lord seek to influence the culture with His ways. We must not allow culture to overcome God’s Word in our hearts as it did with Israel! If we will take care to remember the fear of the Lord our entire lives, we will be further reminded of the importance of not growing slack.
  • Because – The Word of the Lord is not a burdensome thing to keep. His ways are full of life. When His statutes teach us His wisdom, it provides the opportunity for others to see and hear of the Lord’s wisdom. How merciful is our Lord to always grant forgiveness to those who are repentant. May we learn a greater passion for doing the statutes of our Lord. (Colossians 3:23 – And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;)

WE ARE COMMANDED NOT TO ALTER THE WORD OF GOD. “Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it…” (4:2 – Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.)Why are we commanded not to change the Word of God?

  • Because – We need the pure and complete Word of God so we know how to live and worship God the right way.
  • Because – We can see what happens to those in the past that have not “hearken…. to do” the will and Word of God. (4:3)
  • Because – The Law of God is the ultimate Authority – and it is the ultimate source of our freedom. With law there is also to be order. The two go together. The structured authority entailed in the legal codes in our society is what attempts to gives us harmony and peace. There is a connection we often overlook between authority and freedom. It is the authority of the law of the land which prescribes and protects our freedom. For there to be freedom, there must be authority. The same holds true in our spiritual life, for there to be freedom from the bondage of sin there must be an authority acknowledged in our life and there must be laws and teachings (the Bible) that we live our life by.
  • Because – Our life depends on us obeying and doing the will of God with our life. In verse 3 Moses uses the incident at Baal Peor (Numbers 25:1-9) to illustrate from the Israelites own history that their very lives depended on obeying and doing the Word of God. Only those who hold fast the Word of God with their life will live the blessed filled life God has planned for them. (II Timothy 1:13 – Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.)

WE NEED TO CLEAVE UNTO THE LORD (4:4 – But ye that did cleave unto the LORD your God are alive every one of you this day.) – Those that rejected God’s authority were denied the freedom of the land. They died as slaves to their own unbelief. But despite their unbelief, God was still going to be faithful to His promise.

  • Central to our understanding of freedom, to living the lives God desires of us, to enjoying all the benefits of life, it is crucial that we hear, follow, and do the decrees and laws of God. God has not left us in the dark to determine how we are to live. We are not bound to an eternity of determining what is right and wrong. We are free from the pursuit of seeking God, for He has sought us and told us who He is and what He desires of us. His authority revealed in His law is our freedom.
  • How do you cleave unto the Lord? – By loving His Word, by doing His Word. The Word of God is our life as Christians, and obeying God’s Word keeps us in fellowship with Him. God’s people need to be careful about not becoming too friendly with the world; this can lead to loving the world, letting ourselves be molded by the standards and wickedness of the world. This kind of lifestyle lived out by a Christian invites the chastening of the Lord into their life. (Hebrews 10:30-31 – For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.)
  • We need to be cleavers to the Word of God and not leavers of the Word of God and its teachings.

WE NEED TO LIVE OUT THE KNOWLEDGE WE HAVE ABOUT GOD IN OUR LIFE AND DO IT. (4:5-6 – Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, that ye should do so in the land whither ye go to possess it. Keep therefore and do them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.) Why do we need to do this?

  • Because – we have been taught it and commanded to do so by God.
  • Because – it will help lead you to wisdom and understanding. (4:6a)
  • Because – living out and doing the Word of God will give you a good reputation to those around you.(4:6b)
  • Because – Time is short. There is an important reminder in these verses for us, with regard to the authority of God’s Law, with respect to those who have heard and are following God’s commands and those who are not.
  • Because – Of the twofold benefit that happens when we are obedient to God. Our obedience shows wisdom and understanding. When others see that, they see the character of God. Wisdom is found in conformity to God’s authority. We get the benefit of being seen to possess wisdom and understanding, and God gets the benefit of a good Christian testimony on display for others to see and for God to use as a tool to help bring others to Him.

CONCLUSION: Deuteronomy 4:14 “And the LORD commanded me at that time to teach you statutes and judgments, that ye might do them in the land whither ye go over to possess it.” We need to always be doing the will of God. We need to learn His Word, learn His teachings, learn His principles, and we need to keep all that we have learned and to do what we know.

Moses’ encouragement to Israel is to make sure they listen closely to the statutes and rules he commands them. They must remember to obey with exactness. This should not be confused with perfect law keeping. The entire reason the Mosaic sacrificial system was in place was to cover the sins of the people. Moses’ specific concern is seen in verse two. He does not want them to add to or take from the command of the Lord. Why is it so important that they keep the entire law in this way? Notice verse one. It is so they can continue to have life and take possession of the promised land. We too can take possession of the promised land God has planned for us. We, as the Lord instructed the Israelites to do, must do the Word of God in our life. We must live it out, keep it, know it and share it with others. Then by doing so we will open up our lives to see the promised life God has planned for His obedient children.