Extreme Makoever Home EditionParenting – The necessity of living for GodDeuteronomy 7:1-11Intro:– Last Sunday night we concluded message #12 in our parenting section of our series Extreme Makeover Home Edition, which was entitled “God’s Job Description for Parents.” We saw 8 Expectations that God has for parents.– Here are some statements made about the raising of children: * “A child of five, if properly instructed, can as truly believe and be regenerated as an adult. ~ Spurgeon* “Griffith John, the celebrated missionary to China, was admitted to church membership at the exceedingly early age of eight. His testimony is, “Had I not taken that step then, I doubt whether I should ever have been a missionary, if a member of a Christian church at all.” * “It is easier and better to build boys than to repair men.”* “Benjamin S. Bloom, professor of education at the University of Chicago, made this startling statement: “By the age of four, a child has formed half the intelligence he will have at maturity.”– Parenting is without a doubt one of the most important responsibilities that exists on the face of this earth. It is incredibly hard, but it is equally as crucial. If you are a Christ-follower you have a God-given responsibility to raise your children to be Christ-followers as well.– This evening we are going to focus on the necessity of parents living for God to be able to even have a chance to effectively raise their children to be Christ-followers. We are going to highlight five different areas of importance under the necessity of living for God in parenting. 1) Teach your kids to date and marry believers (3-4) > 1st Area of Importance < ~ Dating or marrying unbelievers will draw you away from God* When Christ-followers become romantically and emotionally involved with someone who is not a Christ-follower there are two different sets of values that clash (at least hopefully there are two different values-sets that are clashing!)* When a Christ-follower dates a non-believer he/she has already compromised his/her stand for God, this will only lead to more spiritual compromises the longer the relationship continues! ~ Here is what the Word of God says elsewhere on this issue:* Ex 34:15-16 – “otherwise you might make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land and they would play the harlot with their gods and sacrifice to their gods, and someone might invite you to eat of his sacrifice, and you might take some of his daughters for your sons, and his daughters might play the harlot with their gods and cause your sons also to play the harlot with their gods.”* Josh 23:12-13 – “For if you ever go back and cling to the rest of these nations, these which remain among you, and intermarry with them, so that you associate with them and they with you, know with certainty that the LORD your God will not continue to drive these nations out from before you; but they will be a snare and a trap to you, and a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good land which the LORD your God has given you.”* Jdg 3:6-7 – “and they took their daughters for themselves as wives, and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods. The sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth.”* 1 Kg 11:2 – “from the nations concerning which the LORD had said to the sons of Israel, “You shall not associate with them, nor shall they associate with you, for they will surely turn your heart away after their gods.” Solomon held fast to these in love.* Ezra 9:1-2 – Now when these things had been completed, the princes approached me, saying, “The people of Israel and the priests and the Levites have not separated themselves from the peoples of the lands, according to their abominations, those of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Jebusites, the Ammonites, the Moabites, the Egyptians and the Amorites. “For they have taken some of their daughters as wives for themselves and for their sons, so that the holy race has intermingled with the peoples of the lands; indeed, the hands of the princes and the rulers have been foremost in this unfaithfulness.”* Neh 13:23-27 – In those days I also saw that the Jews had married women from Ashdod, Ammon and Moab. As for their children, half spoke in the language of Ashdod, and none of them was able to speak the language of Judah, but the language of his own people. So I contended with them and cursed them and struck some of them and pulled out their hair, and made them swear by God, “You shall not give your daughters to their sons, nor take of their daughters for your sons or for yourselves. “Did not Solomon king of Israel sin regarding these things? Yet among the many nations there was no king like him, and he was loved by his God, and God made him king over all Israel; nevertheless the foreign women caused even him to sin. “Do we then hear about you that you have committed all this great evil by acting unfaithfully against our God by marrying foreign women?”* 2 Cor 6:14-17 – Do not be bound together with unbelievers; for what partnership have righteousness and lawlessness, or what fellowship has light with darkness? Or what harmony has Christ with Belial, or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever? Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I WILL DWELL IN THEM AND WALK AMONG THEM; AND I WILL BE THEIR GOD, AND THEY SHALL BE MY PEOPLE. “Therefore, COME OUT FROM THEIR MIDST AND BE SEPARATE,” says the Lord. “AND DO NOT TOUCH WHAT IS UNCLEAN; And I will welcome you.” 2) Have things around the house that will encourage their relationship with God (5) > 2nd Area of Importance <~ In this passage in Deuteronomy we read about how God instructed the Israelites to get rid of the idols that were going to be where they would live. These idols were of false gods and would be a constant temptation to worship the false gods, instead of the one true God. Also, there was lots of immoral sexual behavior involved in the worship of these false gods. Therefore, God said to get rid of all of them! This was to protect their purity and their relationship with God ~ There are definitely things in this life that absolutely do not encourage our relationship with God or our kids relationship with God. There are movies, television shows, books, magazines, cd’s, etc… that cause our kids to be tempted to compromise spiritually. Some of these things that we have around tempt them to sin sexually, covet other people’s things, and even doubt the truthfulness of God’s Word revealed to us. ~ Here is what other areas in God’s Word say about this area: * Deut 32:16-17 – “They made Him jealous with strange gods; With abominations they provoked Him to anger. “They sacrificed to demons who were not God, To gods whom they have not known, New gods who came lately, Whom your fathers did not dread.”* Ex 20:5 – “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,”* Jdg 2:11,20 – Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals, So the anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and He said, “Because this nation has transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers and has not listened to My voice,”* Jdg 3:7-8 – The sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth. Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, so that He sold them into the hands of Cushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia; and the sons of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years.”* Jdg 10:6-7 – Then the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the sons of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines; thus they forsook the LORD and did not serve Him. The anger of the LORD burned against Israel, and He sold them into the hands of the Philistines and into the hands of the sons of Ammon.” 3) Teach your kids that they are a holy people, God’s special possession (6-8) > 3rd Area of Importance <~ In this passage God reminds the people of Israel that He separated them out for Himself (they are holy to the Lord), and they are His own possession (peculiar people, special treasure). He has loved them and rescued them from slavery in Egypt, giving them freedom. ~ If you are a Christ-follower it is important to realize that the Bible says you are now a part of the family of God, you are God’s own possession (a peculiar people, special treasure). He has loved you and rescued you from slavery to sin, and from the punishment of hell. It is important for the Christ-follower to recognize these facts because it will help him/her to remember how special they are to God. ~ Here is some other Scripture related to this area:* Ex 19:5-6 – `Now then, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be My own possession among all the peoples, for all the earth is Mine; and you shall be to Me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words that you shall speak to the sons of Israel.”* 1 Cor 6:19-20 – “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body.”* Titus 2:14 – “who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.”* 1 Pet 2:9-10 – “But you are A CHOSEN RACE, A royal PRIESTHOOD, A HOLY NATION, A PEOPLE FOR God’s OWN POSSESSION, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were NOT A PEOPLE, but now you are THE PEOPLE OF GOD; you had NOT RECEIVED MERCY, but now you have RECEIVED MERCY.” 4) Teach your kids through your life that God is God (9-10) > 4th Area of Importance <~ Faithful – the Bible teaches us that God is faithful, not just because He says so, but He has proved it through His actions. He is reliable, and dependable. As a Christ-follower you can most certainly trust God.* Ex 34:6-7 – “Then the LORD passed by in front of him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD God, compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in lovingkindness and truth; who keeps lovingkindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin; yet He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations.”* 1 Cor 1:9 – “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.”* 2 Thess 3:3 – “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one.” * Heb 10:23 – “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful;”~ Lovingkindness/faithful love – this is the word in the O.T. that describes God’s “unfailing” or “faithful” love. The enormity of this kind of love continues to grow as we see God act throughout the Word of God and in our lives. It is difficult to describe how amazing God’s love is for His people. * Neh 1:5 – “I said, “I beseech You, O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who preserves the covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments,”* Dan 9:4 – “I prayed to the LORD my God and confessed and said, “Alas, O Lord, the great and awesome God, who keeps His covenant and lovingkindness for those who love Him and keep His commandments,”* Rom 8:28 – “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.”~ Just – another aspect of who God is, is His justness. Though God is merciful and loving, He is also holy and He deals with wrongdoing. This is important for us to recognize that God does care how we live. * Deut 32:35,41 – `Vengeance is Mine, and retribution, In due time their foot will slip; For the day of their calamity is near, And the impending things are hastening upon them.’ If I sharpen My flashing sword, And My hand takes hold on justice, I will render vengeance on My adversaries, And I will repay those who hate Me.”* Ps 21:8-9 – “Your hand will find out all your enemies; Your right hand will find out those who hate you. You will make them as a fiery oven in the time of your anger; The LORD will swallow them up in His wrath, And fire will devour them.”* Rom 12:19 – “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY,” says the Lord.” 5) Teach your kids through your life that they should obey God (11) > 5th Area of Importance <~ In this passage God lets the Israelites know that because of all of the things that He has just mentioned, He wants them to obey Him. Part of this motivation should come from how good God has been to them, who He is, and out of common sense. * Prov 20:11 – “It is by his deeds that a lad distinguishes himself If his conduct is pure and right.” > being the best you can be for God makes you special* Ps 119:9 – “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your word.” > the secret to being the best you can be for God – obey His Word ~ Here is what we learn elsewhere in the Word of God * Jn 14:15 – “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”* 1 Jn 5:3 – “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.” Conclusion:– In the Word of God we find that God clearly instructs us that the role of parents in raising their children to be Christ-followers is essential. To be able to effectively raise our children to be Christ-followers we must be living for God ourselves; teaching them through our words and our actions.– It is our responsibility as Christ-followers to be living for God and raising our children to be Christ-followers. Let’s pray for each other in that process, because we absolutely, positively need God’s help to do this.– Next Sunday morning we are going to move on to message # 14 in the parenting section of our series Extreme Makeover Home Edition. The title of message #14 is – For the sake of your children, discipline them! – pt 1.