What I am typing out here was originally a sermon on Deuteronomy chapter 6. I pray this in some way edifies you and encourages you. Thank you for taking the time to read.

Deuteronomy 6 hits at the very root of how the church and family meet. In fact, it forms the foundation of true spirituality—a term thrown around a lot, but I will basically define it as the rituals and behaviors associated with particular religious beliefs.

Deuteronomy gets its name for repeating a lot of laws and statutes previously mentioned in the Pentateuch. In this book, Moses preaches several sermons to prepare the people to enter the promised land, the land of rest. You see, in the beginning God existed eternal, holy, and just.  He created all things good, but Satan and man set about a rebellion against Him. God in His graciousness set about a way to appease His wrath before the foundations of the world in His Son, Jesus Christ. So, He established an irrevocable covenant with Abraham saying, “in you all the nations of the earth will be blessed.” But until the iniquity of the Amorites was complete, the offspring of Abraham remained in slavery in Egypt. But God remembered His covenant with Abraham and set the captives free. God sent plagues on Egypt and made known His power above all their gods. God brought back His people though the wilderness even when they worshiped a golden calf. The people are on the brink of entering the promised land and have no knowledge of the law. My dear brothers and sisters, we are on the brink of our rest and have no knowledge of the Word which is evidenced in how we throw ourselves at the gods  of this age. Now listen with me to Moses as he prepares us to enter this rest!

Deut 6:1-9 Catechism

 “Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son’s son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

Here we see the Shemah, the greatest commandment. A lot of preachers look at this text and try to divide it into pieces, “how to love God with the heart,” “how to love God with strength”, etc… But the point of this passage is “how do we love God with our entire being?” This is true spirituality. Now when I speak of true spirituality I am only speaking of Christian spirituality for all else is demonic. Now, the two major temptations when it comes to spirituality is (1) make it a show, or (2) make it completely a private matter. We see in this text that true spirituality for God springs out from the very core of who we are and shows true to how we present ourselves to others.

We see Christians make a show of their religion when they just show up to church on Christmas or Easter, or maybe just to vote in a new pastor. We see Christians make a show of their religion when they make a big deal out of homosexual marriage, but do no bat an eye at the immoral heterosexual marriage or the gross amount of divorce within the “church” today. We see Christians making their religion a private matter when they declare there are “bad places” to share the Gospel. May it never be! We have bothers and sisters in other countries dying to share this good news; the most we would get is a strange look or a ridicule!

Moses teaches that true spirituality comes from the entirety of who we are and flows out of us so others can see. And notice something else in this passage: how is this teaching and lifestyle to be passed to the next generation? By the living out of true spirituality by the parents in front of the children. Not dumping them at church for an hour or two a week so they can be entertained by some skits and given some moral that even the Mormons could do a better job of! We have sold ourselves to our false gods! We have made for ourselves golden calves in entertainment and music. Parents don’t even consider going to a church without a children’s or youth program!

Let’s examine the youth culture for a moment…You see, today everyone has their ideas about how to grow a church: get a younger pastor, bring in cool music, show cool videos, look to the latest trend in the social sciences. I’m not saying these things are all wrong. But these things change so rapidly. You know what doesn’t change? The Word of God! We should look to His Word to grow a church! You know what it says? Sacrificial love, intercessory prayer, and clear presentation of the Word grows a church. But we have turned aside from our God and looked to the gods of this age. These gods do whatever it takes to give us what our evil heart desire with one arm (namely, more people, more power, more money); while at the same time, they reach in with the other arm to remove the theological depth and the very Word of God so that the masses can feel moral enough to send them straight to hell. No! “Faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ!”

Now look with me at the mockery we call “youth groups.” We put a group of students together and throw pizza, Mountain Dew, and movies at them; give them a short “biblical” lesson which is really glorified moralistic therapeutic deism, and expect them to become Christian. Then when they turn about 18 we expect them to have miraculously matured in the faith and become a man or woman and send them into the main service and make them serve in the church. They turn to one another and question, “wait, where are the movies and pizza?” No wonder supposedly 75% of youth leave the church when they go to college, because when you attract people by carnal means, you must keep them by carnal means! Dear church, we have established our golden calves in the midst of being theologically dry and slaves to all kinds of passions. Where are the godly fathers to rise up and raise these children in the Lord? Not to give them just good morals, not to give them good entertainment, but to give them Jesus Christ! Verse seven says to teach them how? Diligently! In all areas of your life! When you wake up, when you go to sleep, when you take them to school, every moment of your life is a teaching moment because our lives are open books and they tell what we really think about God. . Sadly, every moment is something we often forget.

Deut 6:10-19 Amnesia

10 “And when the Lord your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, 11 and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, 12 then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. 13 It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. 14 You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you— 15 for the Lord your God in your midst is a jealous God—lest the anger of the Lord your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth.

16 “You shall not put the Lord your God to the test, as you tested him at Massah. 17 You shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, and his testimonies and his statutes, which he has commanded you. 18 And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, that it may go well with you, and that you may go in and take possession of the good land that the Lord swore to give to your fathers 19 by thrusting out all your enemies from before you, as the Lord has promised.

The following passages focuses on command after command: love, teach, bind, write, fear, serve, swear, not go after other gods, don’t test, keep, and do right. All these things focus in on one central aspect: lest you forget the Lord. So often we forget the Lord. We do not desire his commands or holiness because we do not desire God, we forget about Him. Praise God He is so much more faithful. “But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and livestock that were with him in the ark” (Gen 8:1); “God remembered Abraham and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow when he overthrew the cities in which Lot lived” (Gen 19:29); “And God heard their groaning, remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob” (Ex. 2:24); “It is he who remembered us in our low estate for his steadfast love endures forever” (Psalm 136:23). And what do we do?

Most often Americans have the tendency to forget the Lord in the lie of the sacred/secular divide. You see, long ago Plato established the idea later known as Platonic DualismThis is the idea that spiritual and physical things are separate.This has morphed into the idea of Western Dualismthere is a separation of things “of the world” and things of God. This allows a Christian to participate in a “secular” activity without giving second though to God. In a sense, we forget the Lord. Sadly, there is no possible way to participate in an activity “without God.” The true divide is that which honors God, and that which doesn’t honor God. You can go to church to honor God or not to honor God. You can watch TV while honoring God, and you can watch TV while not honoring God. Everything must be done to honor and glorify God; otherwise, it is sin.

Now immediately when someone starts talking in this manner, the first thing someone screams is, “legalism!” My dear brother and sister, this is not legalism. Legalism is believing you can somehow be justified by working the law, that you can add to the work of Christ. Holiness says, “I know what Christ has done for me, and in light of that, I desire to be like Him!”


We have often forgotten the costs of Christianity amongst the comfort our false gods offer. One IMB missionary wrote a book titled The Insanity of God which recounts his experience of persecution in Somalia during the 90’s. Afterwords, he goes onto other countries with persecuted Christians to learn from them. He recounts one of their stories, ““I remember the day like it was yesterday, Nik. My father put his arms around me and my sister and my brother and guided us into the kitchen to sit around the table where he could talk with us. My Mama was crying, so I knew that something was wrong. Papa didn’t look at her because he was talking directly to us. He said, ‘Children , you know that I am the pastor of our church. That’s what God has called me to do— to tell others about Him. I have learned that the communist authorities will come tomorrow to arrest me. They will put me in prison because they want me to stop preaching about Jesus. But I cannot stop doing that because I must obey God. I will miss you very much, but I will trust God to watch over you while I’m gone.’” “He hugged each one of us. Then he said: ‘All around this part of the country, the authorities are rounding up followers of Jesus and demanding that they deny their faith. Sometimes, when they refuse, the authorities will line up whole families and hang them by the neck until they are dead. I don’t want that to happen to our family, so I am praying that once they put me in prison, they will leave you and your mother alone.’” “‘ However,’ and here he paused and made eye contact with us, ‘If I am in prison and I hear that my wife and my children have been hung to death rather than deny Jesus, I will be the most proud man in that prison!’” [1]
He later recounts another story, “Another time, I asked the same question of another storyteller: “How did you learn to live and die like this?” This man responded this way: “I remember when my parents gathered our family together and my father said, ‘Children, all over this district the communist authorities are slowly starving to death believers who refuse to deny their faith. If our family has to starve for Jesus, then let us do so with joy.’” He concludes, “How did so many Russian and Ukrainian believers remain strong in their faith through almost a century of communist persecution? How did they learn to live and die like they did? Time and time again, I heard the same words: “We learned it from our mothers, our grandmothers, and our great-grandmothers. We learned it from our fathers, our grandfathers and our great-grandfathers.”

Let’s just look through some passages of 1 John.

“If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” 1 John 1:6

And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.” 1 John 2:3-6

15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15

No one who abides in him keeps on sinning; no one who keeps on sinning has either seen him or known him. 1 John 3:6

We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. 1 John 3:14

 Whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, and God in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us.” 1 John 3:24

All these tests and examples while we consume secular TV and radio and go to church for a mere hour a week and think we’re going to be able to follow this great commandment to love the LORD our God with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength! We are not called to sit on this hill and point to ourselves with all new venues and means of entertainment, we are called to go and point people to Jesus Christ! But you look at me and cry out, “why is it so hard?”

Oh Why? Deut 6:20-25

20 “When your son asks you in time to come, ‘What is the meaning of the testimonies and the statutes and the rules that the Lord our God has commanded you?’ 21 then you shall say to your son, ‘We were Pharaoh’s slaves in Egypt. And the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 22 And the Lord showed signs and wonders, great and grievous, against Egypt and against Pharaoh and all his household, before our eyes. 23 And he brought us out from there, that he might bring us in and give us the land that he swore to give to our fathers. 24 And the Lord commanded us to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that he might preserve us alive, as we are this day.25 And it will be righteousness for us, if we are careful to do all this commandment before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us.’

The sons ask their fathers the same thing. “What is the meaning of the commands and the statutes?” God rescued us from Egypt. Do you see this? God rescued us from Egypt! We were enslaved to a dark evil master named Sin who enticed us to do his will while he had us in bars and shackles. Our entire heart, soul, and mind, our entire being, even our will was enslaved to this master. Yet we did not fight our dark master. We sat in our filth and enjoyed it. We consumed darkness, glanced over to the God of the universe who loved us and pleaded with us, and shook our mud covered fists to His face. Never once did we look out of our slavery desiring our looking for a savior. But Christ stepped down from His thrown, took on the form of a babe, placed Himself under the law, subjected Himself to temptation from our evil master, Sin. Christ did not tremble or falter in his war against Sin, as we so often do. He took Sin and nailed Him to the cross, ran after His people, and delivered us from our dark, gloomy chains. Why all these things? He came and got you! No longer do we desire to drink down the smut from our previous master! We desire and long after Christ!

[1] Ripken, Nik; Lewis, Gregg (2013-12-02). The Insanity of God: A True Story of Faith Resurrected (pp. 176-178). B&H Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.