September 8, 2019
Scripture: Deuteronomy 11:7-28
Our passage today is Moses’ address to the generation of Israelites who would enter the Promised Land. In the address Moses provides instruction to the Israelites about how to live in obedience to God and the blessings that would follow. One of the keys to life would be if the people would choose to know and dwell on God’s Word or not. The same is true for us today. While the Israelites were entering a Promised Land to conquer we are facing a culture to live amongst. We are called to influence society, community, culture, people for God’s glory and with God’s Word. If we are to be successful in this endeavor we must know God’s Word, study God’s Word, see God’s Word, and proclaim God’s Word to people.
How is our dedication to God’s Word? Have we read all of the Bible? Have we memorized Scripture? Is God’s Word apart of our daily life? Do we share God’s Word with other people? These are the questions we need to ask of ourselves and determine if and where we have opportunity to grow in Christ by valuing His Word more!
The importance of knowing God’s Word is emphasized in verses 18-20. Verse 18 begins by telling us to commit the Scriptures to our hearts and souls. Think about this meaning. When we have our heart set on something, we are committed to it, we are passionate about it, we have love for it – does this reflect our current love for God’s Word? The verse teaches our soul is to filled with God’s Word – our innermost being, who we are, should be characterized by God’s Word. If this would be true then we must be reading it, learning it, studying it, memorizing it, and applying it. The verse continues by calling for Scripture to be bound to our hands. Consider the ramification of having Scripture connected to your hand – how many times throughout the day would the Scripture be present before you. We use our hands for almost all our tasks, brushing our teeth, driving, eating, moving things, etc. If the Scripture was connected to our hand it would constantly be before us. The teaching for us is to keep the Word of God before us continually, it should be a constant aspect of our life. Verse 18 closes with the call for God’s Word to be as a frontlet between our eyes, in other words, to have a headband across our forehead with Scripture written on it. This would be something to remind us of God’s Word every time we looked in the mirror, but think about the teaching this has for our influence with God’s Word. If we wore the Word of God across our forehead then everyone we came across would experience God’s Word. Our lives should be speaking God’s Word into other people’s lives all the time.
Verse 19 tells parents to teach their children God’s Word. The Scriptures should be a part of our home life all the time. It should be spoken constantly and taught. Too many parents leave the teaching of God’s Word to the church, but parents should be leading the way in teaching the Bible to children. Verse 20 continues the theme of keeping God’s Word as a central part of our homes with the encouragement to write Scripture on display in our homes. This part of the teaching is probably the most adhered to teaching for today’s Christians. We are quick to decorate our homes with Scripture Verses and art. However, we must ask is the influence of God’s Word limited to window dressing or is it a influential, beloved, honored, and authoritative part of our life?
Our passage ends in verse 26-28 with the teaching that knowing God’s Word and obeying it will be a blessing if followed or a curse if ignored. This teaching is repeated throughout Scripture. In Joshua 1:8, God speaks to Joshua when he takes Moses place as leader of the Israelites and God tells Joshua that if Joshua will value and obey God’s Word then he would experience success and prosper. Psalm 1:1-3 compares the person who seeks, studies, and obeys God’s Word to a healthy tree that is strong, vibrant, fruitful, and full of life. Psalm 119:9-16 is full of blessings for the person who studies and applies God’s Word: it cleanses our life, it helps us to not sin, it is a source of rejoicing and delight. Among many other passages of the Bible teaching about the importance of God’s Word is Jesus’ use of God’s Word in Matthew 4:1-4. Jesus concludes a 40 day long fast and is tempted by Satan. The first temptation Satan presents is for Jesus to satisfy hunger by turning rocks into bread. Jesus responds: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God”. God’s Word, the Bible is vital for our life! Do we value God’s Word enough? Let’s commit to making it more present in our lives each day!
Scripture: John 13:3-17
Our study through John 13-16 is covering the final teachings Jesus gives the disciples prior to His crucifixion. The teaching culminates with Jesus telling us that because of the teaching the disciples, and now us, can face our life which will experience trouble, with peace and courage because Jesus has overcome this world.
Tonight we will focus again on the feet washing. Last week we saw how Jesus used the feet washing to teach us not to focus on advancements and hierarchies important to society’s standards but to rather focus on serving others for God’s glory. Now our attention will be on another amazing teaching from the feet washing that is revealed in Jesus’ interaction with Peter.
Verses 6-8 contain the account of Peter’s initial rejection of his feet being washed by Jesus. Feet washing was the work of a slave and Peter is probably offended by the idea of his Lord washing anyone’s feet including his own.
In verse 8 Jesus tells Peter that if his feet are not wash then he does not have a part with Jesus until they are washed.
Peter responds in verse 9 that he wants a part with Jesus so Jesus should wash his entire body.
Verse 10 Jesus tells Peter that since he is already cleaned only his dirty feet need washing to restore his full cleanliness.
In these verses Jesus is teaching us about salvation. Once a person is saved they are saved forevermore just as a person who has bathed is cleaned. However, just as a bathed person can get dirty feet so can a Christian be dirtied by sin. The result of the sin does not make us fully unclean or unsaved but it does hinder our participation and relationship with Jesus. This is why Jesus told Peter with dirty feet Peter had no part with Him. Sin interferes with our relationship with God and Jesus even when we are saved. It does not override our salvation but it does hinder the relationship.
There is an encouraging and great truth for us regarding our lives in this trouble filled world. In spite of the temptations that we may succumb to, our eternal security is assured not by our cleanliness but by the perfect sacrificial lamb that is Jesus Christ. Life may lead us into sin but our salvation is secure in Christ – this should be a source of peace and courage for us.
Furthermore, the incident shows the wonderful truth of how by presenting ourselves for washing our relationship with the Lord can be restored. Jesus teaching that Peter, who was bathed, would be returned to clean by having his dirty feet washed. In the same way if Christians sin and our relationship becomes hindered by the sin, then it can be restored when we confess our sin, repent, and seek God’s forgiveness. Jesus will always be willing to forgive our sin and restore our relationship as soon as we are ready to repent and return to Him. This should encourage us and help us know that we always have Jesus to turn to.
Verses 12-15 provide more teaching from Jesus. Jesus has demonstrated the acceptance of a person who has sinned but repents and seeks forgiveness. Jesus is faithful to forgive the repentant person. And this is an example for us. Just as Jesus forgives people so should we forgive people who are truly repentant. In verse 17 Jesus connects our happiness with our obedience and faithfulness to forgive. Think about forgiveness versus holding a grudge, which is a draining way to live and which is conducive to happiness?
We want peace in this world. We want to have courage to live for Jesus in this world. Remember: our salvation cannot be lost, while sin may interrupt our relationship with Jesus it can be restored as soon as we repent and turn back to the Lord, and we need to forgive others us Christ forgives us.
If we can be of help in some way to you, please let us know.
In Christ’s Love,