- Sermon Notes
How to Truly Live
October 10-11, 2020
In Deuteronomy, Moses gives his final speech. If you have one last speech, you are going to make it count! It’s an epic speech. If you had one final message and your loved ones were all there to listen, what would you say? What would you want them to know? What would you want them to do? What life lessons would you instill that would help them truly live?
Israel is about to cross the Jordan and God wants it to go well with them. But He knows he is sending them into a land filled with the things of the world that will poison their soul. That’s the issue, what can they hear that will help them truly live and keep from those things that will destroy their nation and their lives?
God warns them in advance of the dangers of turning away from God. “Give heed to yourselves,” Moses said, “keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Watch yourselves carefully lest you act corruptly and go after the images of the world… and beware, lest you be drawn away… so watch yourselves, lest you forget the covenant of the Lord your God, which He made with you… for the Lord your God is a consuming fire.”
When they cross the Jordan and come into the land of promise, they must go to the valley of Shechem. That was to become for them a valley of decision.
For from Mount Ebal on one side they were to call out the adversities and difficulties that would come upon their lives if they did not follow the words of God. Then, from Mount Gerizim on the other side of the valley, they were to call out the blessings of God — the blessings that would come upon their nation if they would follow God with all their heart with all their soul.
I mentioned Wednesday that it’s like parents sending their kids off to college or to find a career in the world. You want it to go well with them, you want them to be blessed, you want them to make life decisions that are right and good and godly because you know that is the way of greatest blessing. But you want to warn them of the dangers that could shipwreck their faith and their lives.
I. Write These Words on Your Heart
- It’s a theme of the speech; he presses this upon them over and over, write these words on your heart…
Deuteronomy 6:6-7, “And these words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your sons 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 up.”
- If they take these words to their heart. He knows it will keep them from falling.
A. God’s Word is God’s heart
- Words are powerful unto themselves because when you speak, your words come from who you are.
Luke 6:45, “…The mouth speaks from that which fills the heart.”
- Your words can hurt and tear down or your words can build up and edify. A person who is wise will learn to choose his words carefully.
James 3:8-10, But no one can tame the tongue…with it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be this way.
- Our words are powerful, they can edify and build up or they can criticize and tear down.
- But God’s Word is the power of life and death. This is why Moses gave this admonition. This is the key to their revival. This is the key to keeping them from becoming spiritually shipwrecked.
Hebrews 4:12, For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.
- God sends forth His Word in power to accomplish the purpose for which He sent it.
Isaiah 55:11, So shall My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.
- When you keep God’s word in your heart, you are carrying God’s heart in your heart.
B. A good heart desires that which is good
- Verse 46 — “Take these words into your heart.” Moses knows that if they don’t do this, there is simply no hope for them. This is the key to spiritual revival. This is the key to their doing well in the land, to their prosperity; to their receiving the blessings God has for them.
- Jesus spoke of the condition of the heart…
Luke 8:15, “But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.”
Luke 6:45, “The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.”
- But how does good treasure get in the heart?
Psalm 119:11, Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.
Proverbs 23:7 “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
- Since this is true, that the mouth speaks from that which fills the heart, then we must be very concerned about that which fills the heart.
- Jeremiah gave a powerful example….
Jeremiah 15:16, “Your words were found and I ate them, and your words became for me a joy and a delight of my heart; for I have been called by Your name, O Lord God of Hosts.”
- This is the key to greater faith…
Romans 10:17, So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
- The heart, then, is the key. What you put into your heart will determine what comes out of your life!
Illus – There are more inputs today than ever in the history of the world. Inputs can either fill your heart with that which leads you away from God or that which leads you toward God.
- A.W. Tozer once said, “We are becoming what we love. We are to a large degree the sum of our loves; and we will of moral necessity grow into the image of what we love most; for love is among other things a creative affinity; it changes and molds and shapes and transforms.”
- Moses knew the importance of loving God with all your heart and with all your soul. It’s the key to spiritual abundance and an overflowing heart — or emptiness, adversity, and trouble.
II. Give Weight to God’s Word
- Verse 47 — “This is no idle word for you.” In other words, how much weight do you give God’s word?
- If they followed God’s Word, they prospered and saw the strong hand of God’s blessing on them.
- If they followed idols and turned their hearts away from God, they saw famine, troubles, and the presence of conquering armies.
- Would they believe what God said? Will you? How much weight you give God’s word?
Galatians 6:7-9, Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
A. The world’s promises are empty
- There are many who get in trouble today because they don’t give weight to God’s word and then believe that what the world offers is real.
- In other words, they give weight to the world and what it promises.
Illus – I remember growing up seeing cigarette ads; the Marlboro Man looked rugged and manly. The ad suggested that smoking Marlboros was the key to being rugged and manly. But then I heard my dad coughing and hacking every morning and I knew it was a lie.
- The world promises to satisfy, but it never does.
- Don’t give weight to the world. If you have the right toys and go to the right parties and have the funnest friends, then your life will have meaning and your heart full. These are empty words.
Ecclesiastes 5:10, He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income. This too is vanity.
B. The eternal God is a dwelling place
- In his final words, Moses speaks a blessing to each of the tribes of Israel as Jacob did just before he died.
- In that last message, he made a declaration we should also receive.
Deuteronomy 33:27, “The eternal God is a dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.”
- What powerful words. The eternal God is a dwelling place. That is the key to growing in spiritual strength; that is the key to revival; that God is your dwelling place.
- This reminds me of the tent of meeting where Moses would meet with God and speak to him as a man speaks to a friend. We need to see God as a dwelling place …and underneath are the everlasting arms.
- You may be pressed down, weighted down, burdened down; but it is there you will find the everlasting arms of God.
Jude 1:24, Now unto him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy.
- Paul gave insight in the substance of faith when he wrote…
1 Corinthians 2:9, But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”
C. This is the substance of life
- This is not an idle word for you, Moses said. “This is your life.”
Deuteronomy 8:3, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
- This is no small matter; this is everything to you. To not understand this is devastating.
- In other words, these are not idle words; these are words of life. This is the substance and reality of Christ that changes lives. It has the power to save eternally and change us now.
Illus – When Zaccheus had an encounter with Jesus, he was transformed!
Luke 19:8, Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.”
- The story of Calvary Chapel is the story of changed lives. These are no empty words that God has given for we have seen the touch of the Holy Spirit changing those who were hopelessly lost into those who are filled with the Spirit of life.
Deuteronomy 32:44-52 NASB
44 Then Moses came and spoke all the words of this song in the hearing of the people, he, with [a]Joshua the son of Nun. 45 When Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, “Take to your heart all the words with which I am warning you today, which you shall command your sons to observe [b]carefully, even all the words of this law. 47 For it is not an idle word for you; indeed it is your life. And by this word you will prolong your days in the land, [c]which you are about to cross the Jordan to [d]possess.”
48 The Lord spoke to Moses that very same day, saying, 49 “Go up to this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab [e]opposite Jericho, and look at the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the sons of Israel for a possession. 50 Then die on the mountain where you ascend, and be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother died on Mount Hor and was gathered to his people, 51 because you broke faith with Me in the midst of the sons of Israel at the waters of Meribah-kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin, because you did not treat Me as holy in the midst of the sons of Israel. 52 For you shall see the land at a distance, but you shall not go there, into the land which I am giving the sons of Israel.”