God has no grandchildren. He only has children.
As much as we would love it, there is no automatic transfer of God’s truth to others. Everyone must make his or her own spiritual journey.
Moses recognized that. This mighty leader of Israel spent his last words telling the Israelites how to pass on God’s word to their children. “…that you may fear the Lord your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, you and your sons and grandsons, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged” (Deuteronomy 6:2). If we have children, or grandchildren, He is talking to us. He is telling us how we can pass along His word.
To get the full impact of Moses’ words, remember the present location of the Israelites. After wondering for 40 years, they now stand on the banks of the Jordan river, on the verge of the Promised land. This new territory before them would be the place where their children and grandchildren would grow up. At the beginning of this new life for God’s people, Moses gives three directives:
Hear the truth continually (vs.4). Knowing they were about to march into a land that had no history of faith, He began with the basics: “Hear, O Israel. The Lord is our God, the Lord is One!” Take this Lord your God with you into the new land. As you set up home and establish your faith, remember, the Lord alone is your God. Don’t forget and don’t compromise. God is first. God is the focus of our worship. He is, in fact, the foundation of our life. Drive down family roots deep with this truth. The Lord is our God.
Love the Lord fervently (vs. 5). Moses’ second point: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” He is talking about total commitment to love and to trust God. Our children discover it in moments like this: “Kids, it’s a hard time for us as a family right now, but God will provide. We are going to trust Him during these tough times; you trust Him along with us.” There is something wonderful about loving God with all your heart and soul. It unmasks us.
Teach the young diligently (vs.7). This is not about parents learning the Bible and stopping there; it is about parents implanting God’s word in the hearts of their children. It is telling about and showing them our faith. What we have heard and what we have grown to love, we now teach to our children. Look at how natural Moses made it: “Talk to them about God’s truth.” Talk, not deliver a lecture. Don’t try to force a whole sermon into your dinnertime prayer! Don’t shove big chunks of truth down their throats – live it on a day–to-day basis. Let it come naturally. One way to do this is to make God’s word the very center of your home. Live it out in how you respond to life’s joys and challenges. It is fine to frame verses and put the Bible on a coffee table, but they’ve never changed a person’s life. The verses written on the hearts of parents shape a kid’s perspective. If we are not careful, life gets busy and complicated, and a teachable moment will fly by without a word. Don’t let it. Moses’ warning in Deuteronomy 6 is as fresh today as it was then.
We all want our children and grandchildren to live godly and courageous lives. It will not happen automatically. Parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles, assure the children you love that your relationship with God is your first priority, that you love Him with all your heart, all your soul, and with all your might. Pass those truths on to them. Begin early!
by Rickie Jenkins