In Hindsight - Vol. 1

The Lord our God, the Lord is One.

One of my favorite passages of Scripture is Deuteronomy 6:4-7. It’s a foundational section of Scripture that holds such simple and beautiful truths. Deuteronomy 6:4 begins by saying, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.” This is the pivotal place that we start from; understanding first and foremost who God is. Proverbs 1:7a states that, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge…” To know who God is, and to have a holy and respectful attitude towards Him is where true knowledge begins. Deuteronomy 6:5 continues, “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Not only must we know who God is, but we have to also love Him with all that we are. Deuteronomy 6:6 says, “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.” We are here reminded that it’s more than just hearing these words, or even intellectually agreeing with them, but we have to also secure them in the deepest part of our heart. Finally, Deuteronomy 6:7 says, “You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” This is, to me, the key verse of this section. We must know who God is, love Him, and give Him our hearts, BUT it can’t stop there! We are also to teach the next generation to do the same! Psalm 71:17-18 says, “O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.” As long as we are on this earth, we can proclaim God’s truth to the next generation! One of the most powerful ways that we do this, is with our own children.

Part of my philosophy of ministry as a youth pastor is to reinforce your role as the primary faith influencer of your child. I know that what we do on Sunday morning and Wednesday night is a supplement, not a replacement for the importance of what you do as a parent. The goal of this newsletter is to let you know what we are teaching your child and to provide opportunities for you to continue the conversation that we scratch the surface of. Truthfully, the 30 minutes of teaching the students receive from me or another teacher is really only a small fraction when compared to the daily teaching they get from you, the parent, by your example, words, and actions. I want to reinforce what you are already teaching to your child as you “sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” Know that I consider it a great honor to have a voice in your child’s life, an honor I do not take lightly. Thank you for letting me be a part of their faith journey!

In Him,
Pastor Michael
We just finished up a 6 week series called “Timeless: Truth is Always Relevant.” In this series we went over some very basic, yet important truths. The first week we explored the simple truth that there is a God. We can easily look around at Creation and see that there is a Creator. Week two we looked closer at understanding who God is and the fact that as God, He gets to set the standard that we live by. In a society that is becoming more relativistic, we must remember that there is an objective standard that we are to live by. Week three we explored God’s standard some more and the fact that we have all fallen short of that standard. Romans 3:23 reminds us that, “all have sinned and all short of the glory of God.” Romans 6:23 tells us that the “wages” we earn when we sin, is death, but thanks be to God, “the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The next week we talked about what faith really is: more than just optimism or confidence, faith is believing God enough to act on that faith and follow Him. Week five we talked about what it really means to follow Jesus and explored Luke 14. We all need to count the cost and daily follow Jesus. Finally, the series concluded by challenging each student to answer the question that Jesus asked his disciples in Luke 9:20, “But who do you say that I am?” We talked about how this is the most important question anyone can ask, and we each must answer it.

My goal with this series was to do a refresher on the basic things, and to remind the students that we need to keep the important things as the important things. As I look at secular society, I see more and more the eroding of absolute truth. Even in some Christian circles we are seeing the truth of 2 Timothy 4:3-4 where Paul warns Timothy, “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.” Times change, but the truth of Scripture does not. It truly is Timeless.

Discussion Questions

• As a fun starter, discuss with your child things that you think are “timeless” and ask what things they think are “timeless.” You might be surprised on what you agree and disagree on!

• One popular notion today is for people to speak “their truth.” Ask your child what they think this means?

• Follow up by discussing the reasons we are better off with objective truth than with subjective truth. Can you imagine a world where everyone got to make their own standard?!

• Ask your child who they say Jesus is. Whatever their answer, go deeper and ask them to explain why they believe what they believe.