For our staff devotion sessions this year we have been working through the first 5 books on the Bible using the TG21 Method which is looking at the Text, then how the text links to the Gospel and then how does this then relate to the 21st century in which we live. It has been a very helpful method of examining the scripture. Last week it was my turn for devotions and my passages of scripture were Deuteronomy 4-11. Oh my goodness, that is one of the most beautiful and rich chapters of scripture; I highly recommend a revisit or read for the first time if you haven’t done so.
In this passage the Israelites have reached the very edge of the promised land and are readying themselves to cross over into all that they had been hoping and dreaming for, onto God’s promises. But first Moses their leader gives them one last set of teaching summarising what has gone before and setting them up for life in the promised land. This was his last chance to form them into the people of God and his teachings are rich, wise and sometimes very prophetic.
Throughout these passages of scripture there is a strong recurring theme that Moses impressed on the people again and again, that is to not forget the teaching he is giving and part of the act of not forgetting is to teach them to your children.
Deut 4:9 Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
We need to explain God's Story to our children and grandchildren so that they not only understand the story but live out of it. It is a lifelong calling as a parent to show our children how to live. It is also a difficult task as those that are familiar with God’s Story know the Israelites failed time and time again to live out of God’s Story instead looking to the nations around them. Teaching our children also helps us not to forget God and all His promises.
So then how do we teach our children God’s Story? Deut 6:6-9 instructs the Israelites to teach their children as a normal part of life, from being at home to travelling, from resting to working. We are to use all situations as a potential opportunity to share or show something about God. Part of teaching your children is enrolling them in a school like MECS that is partnering with you in this task of showing our children His World, His Story and our Jesus.
Deut 6:6-9 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 door-frames of your houses and on your gates.