Home discipleship (2): on your heart & on your lips (Deuteronomy 6)
Believers follow the Lord Jesus Christ as God incarnate, God the Son in human flesh, because there is no other God. But being a disciple of Christ and making disciples is more than a profession of that belief, it involves training – training our own hearts and training others. This is important in the church, but especially in your personal life and in the home. You train yourself and the next generations in the Word of God.
I. Training from God’s perspective
1. God wants you (and your children) to fear Him.
See Deuteronomy 6:2, 13; Psalm 78:7–8. Understanding that the LORD is our God and there is no other gives meaning and importance to fearing Him.
2. God wants multi-generational discipleship.
See Deuteronomy 6:2, 20–25; Psalm 78:5–6; Titus 2:1–6. In the home and in the church the next generations must be trained.
3. God wants to bless.
See Deuteronomy 6:2, 18, 24; 1 John 5:3; Matthew 11:30. God does not wish to burden you, but to bless you through His Word. But true blessing only comes through the right relationship with God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
II. Training your heart
1. What should be put on the heart?
The nation of Israel was to put all of God’s commands on their hearts. The Christian’s relationship to the law is different, but it all remains profitable (2 Timothy 3:16–17). Therefore, read it, study it, memorize it, and meditate upon it.
2. What does it mean to “set them on your heart”?
‘Heart’ speaks figuratively of all which a person is inwardly, that is, thoughts, emotions, intents, moral sensitivity, etc. To set God’s Word on your heart is to know and to have it shape you, affecting how you think, how you respond, what you intend, etc.
3. What is the relationship between the heart and the lips?
To have God’s Word on your lips, you must have it genuinely on your heart. The mouth speaks from the heart (Matthew 12:34; Luke 6:45; Proverbs 22:17–18) and should speak genuinely what is in the heart (cf. Psalm 50:16–20).
4. What is essential to properly train your heart?
Ultimately, new hearts are needed upon which God writes His law (Jeremiah 31:31–33). Good hearts are the soil upon which the Word of God is sown and bears fruit.
III.Training with your lips
1. What is your responsibility?
“Teach them to your children”, that is, clearly remind your (physical and spiritual) children repeatedly in a clear, penetrating manner what the Word says, means, and how it applies. Parents and particularly fathers are responsible in the home.
2. When and where do you teach them?
Everywhere and all the time
3. How do you explain why you should follow God’s Word?
Just as Israel was to explain its obedience by their redemption out of Egypt (Deuteronomy 6:20–25), so also Christians are controlled by the love of Christ seen in His redemption of them (2 Corinthians 5:14–15). As you explain to children that obedience is right, pleasing to the Lord, and good for them (Ephesians 6:1–3; Colossians 3:20), take the opportunity to explain the gospel, the message of redemption.
Do not rely upon ready access to a Bible on your phone or tablet, but put God’s Word on your heart. Have it ready on your lips. Apply it to your life moment by moment and teach it to the next generation.
Questions for further thought and discussion:
• Do you struggle with having the time to read, study, or memorize God’s Word? If so, examine how you spend your time daily and evaluate the relative value of those activities with learning God’s Word. What do you need to do? What would help getting it done?
• What scenarios in the home can you imagine that would be improved if God’s Word was on the heart and ready on the lips?
• What can you personally be doing to better prepare for a time when the freedom to meet openly as Christians and hear the Word is lost?
Basel Christian Fellowship © 2021 David Manduka