Core Training 2012 (04): Family Discipleship
Core Training 2012: Family Discipleship
Deuteronomy 6:4-7: “Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! 6:5 “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6:6 “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. 6:7 “You shall teach them diligently to your sons 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 up.”
1) Believe that the LORD alone is our God (v4) - Is this “oneness” monotheism or monolatry or the uniqueness of the Lord vs other gods? These six words have been translated in various ways: “Yahweh is our God, Yahweh is ‘One’” - “Yahweh our God is the Unique” - “Our God is Yahweh is the only god” - Each of these is true, but the best translation fits with the whole context (esp., 5:5-8): “Yahweh is our God, Yahweh alone!” The very word Yahweh (“I am that I am”) means uniqueness and absolute divinity. But the stress in context is that Israel is to trust and worship only the Covenant Lord (Yahweh). He delivered is us and is worthy of our trust and worship. What unbelief(s) compromise your family?
2) Love the LORD alone (vv5-6) - The collective command for Israel is to “love” (agapao in Gr.) the Lord with ourselves as a whole (heart = mind, soul = life, might = will). There is no room for a limited love whether temporal (on Sunday) or merely intellectual (agreement with God’s existence) or emotionally (apart of disciplined obedience) or merely devotionally (without theological truth). Belief that the LORD alone is our God must be expressed in all aspects of our lives. God’s Word should be resident in the very center of our conscious life, “on our hearts” v6. What idol loves tear the fabric of your family?
3) Teach this Faith and Love of the Lord alone to Your Children (v7) - This verse explains how, when and where we are to convey this faith and love to our children. We are to “recite” (how) these words in every context of life (where and when). The root word for “teach” is shanan. In every other place this word is translated “sharpen,” such as sharpening swords and arrows, or of a sharp tongue (Dt. 32:41; Is. 5:28; Ps. 45:6; 120:4; Prov. 25:18). Sharpening is really honing, polishing or filing. We should see our task as the daily work of sharpening-teaching our children to believe and love the Lord in all aspects of life. How you “sharpen” your children more in knowing God? In what ways could you trust and love God more as a family?
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more