Apr29SatApril 29, 2017
It was an amazing adventure in Cuba for me as I joined my brother Lloyd, his wife, Lisa, my mom, a young adult from CTF Kitchener, Ariel and a former youth of mine, Travis. We ran an “Encuentro Da Vida” Soccer Camp based on John 10:10 that Jesus came to give us life to the full!
On the last day of the camp close to 100 children did just that! It was awesome. The way my brother Lloyd shared with those who attended is very inspirational and empowering and it reminds me of our study through Deuteronomy that we recently went through at Church at the Manor.
The book of Deuteronomy is a speech, pep talk, inspirational call to a new generation of God’s people. They had watched the futility and lack of faith of their parents that caused them to miss out on the very best promise that God had spoken over them. What causes us to miss out on experiencing out on everything that our Father has for us? It is the heart of unbelief.
Moses gives the famous ‘shema’ to this young generation and it is built on two words,
LISTEN and LOVE.
Deuteronomy 6:4 “Listen, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
It was a prayer that they were called to express twice a day.
Listen in the Hebrew is not just a call to hear, but to respond to what you are hearing, to respond to God’s grace, to obey the words of the covenant.
Love is the motivation for obeying the commands of the covenant. It is out of devotion that the LORD (meaning the personal, covenanting God) wants us to respond. If they are going to live out and fulfill this Abrahamic covenant to be blessed and be a blessing
It is the same imperative that Jesus gave us when he said, He who ears, let him hear and James who said, let’s be doers of the Word and not hearers only.
In the second section of the book, he takes the to repeat, explain and clarify.
Here is the breakdown:
The path of obedience leads to blessing, abundance and enjoying the land. So, choose life.
The path of disobedience however leads to the curse and a time of famine, plagues and finally exile from the land that God has graciously given. This is the path of death.
The New Testament in Galatians 6:7-10 essentially lays out the same cause and effect. We will reap what we sow.
However, there is a huge gap, issue with all of this… Moses essentially predicts their failure to live it out as well. He basically says that they will be incapable of listening and loving much like Adam and Eve in the garden.
The problem is a universal human condition and Moses then goes on to focus on a time after exile when they will be able to listen and love. In Deuteronomy 30:6, “The LORD your God will circumcise your hearts”. Other prophets like Jeremiah also speak of when God wlll write the law on hearts of flesh.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Jeremiah 31:3
And it’s reiterated again in Hebrews 8:10
So, bottom line for us is this, there is no way to live out the Christian life without the power and the fullness of the indwelling Holy Spirit.
It’s the Holy Spirit that enables us to do the things that God has prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10.
We had so MANY divine appointments in Cuba where God set us up. We had issues with the government about our camp and God literally brings a believer to us who works for the government. Another time we were just visiting at the pastor’s home and a man “randomly” shows up to ask for prayer for his wife. It turns out he was in prison, but in Cuba they put them to work in construction. During our time with him, the pastor leads him to Jesus. We ask him how often this sort of thing happens, he says this is the first time! Amazing!!
The Bible Project video series does such an excellent job sharing this in the following video, it is SO worth the watch!