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The Shema—Here's where you hear

Greetings CrossTrain family! How wonderful it has been to begin our study of Romans, Paul’s detailed presentation and explanation of the Gospel as a church! I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge that our goal in family ministry is to mimic Paul’s approach very much in this aspect of the ministry; therefore the emphasis is heavy on the scripture memorization and discussion that comes from it. As we continue to learn, we are hoping to lay scripture in our hearts and minds teaching us about the following things: what the Bible is, who God is, who we are in relation to God, our sin and its consequences, what God has done for us that we may be made right with him, what we are called to do in response, and what the Christian life looks like until Jesus comes again. This will be accomplished through 26 verses and will take exactly one year to achieve. This week we are finishing our portion of introducing who God is and will begin to make our transition into understanding his commandments and, naturally, sin.

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, The LORD is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Deuteronomy 6:4-5

Why this verse? This passage is known as the Shema, and this was a prayer that Jesus and all Jews would have recited daily. In this verse, God is declaring again that he is the only God and he is King. As such, he makes it clear what is commanded of us: we are to love him with every fiber of our being. What a tall task this is, and none of us are able to do this completely! It’s interesting that we see a common sequence of things here. God reminds us of who he is and then tells us to therefore go and obey. As we continue to learn more about our God, who he is, and what he has done, our only appropriate response is to adore and worship him!

We do not have a full list of the commandments for us in this portion, but this would be an EXCELLENT time to read and discuss each of the commandments with the family (they are found in the previous chapter, Deuteronomy 5). Although not explicitly listed, Jesus makes it clear in Matthew 22:40 that if we love the LORD our God with all our heart, soul, and mind, we will unavoidably obey each of the ten. May we be reminded though, Jesus is the only man to have ever obeyed this perfectly and God has known from eternity past that we would fail to reach this standard (but we’ll begin our dive more into this next week!). For now, may we as families sit and marvel at our God and Savior, Jesus the Christ. He is the one and only. He created everything from nothing. He depends on nothing for to exist. He sustains all things. He holds everything together. He reigns as King NOW. He is holy, holy, holy. He is Yahweh and he is one. May we love and adore him alone with every molecule in our body!

Additional questions to consider:

  1. Who is the only God?

  2. Who reigns as King of the universe?

  3. Because he is God, what does he command us to do?

Family, I regret we cannot begin to do justice the job of introducing our perfect, holy God. Our hope in this week going forward is that it would help all of our families to be still with each other and reflect on who He is. From there, talk about him, praise him, sing about him, and tell others about him! He is worthy of it all!

“Praise God, from whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye heavenly host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!”

Until next time, may God richly bless you by the grace and mercy won by Jesus Christ!

In Christ,

Adam and Audra Griffin

Family Ministries

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