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Therefore you shall lay up these words of mine in your heart and in your soul, and bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall teach them to your children, speaking of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. (Deuteronomy 11:18-19)

These verses are part of what is known as the Shema, the first part of which is recorded in Deuteronomy 6 beginning with these words, “Hear O Israel!” In this section Moses refers to necessity of God’s Word being in our hearts but also as “a sign on your hand.” This statement, along with the phrase “frontlets between your eyes” refers to the phylacteries  (in Hebrew, tefillin) worn by observant Jews. In short, the Word that is in our heart should be visible in our lives to the point that others see it. It should affect where our feet take us and what we set our hands upon to do. In short, it should impact every part of our life — including all those who are part of our life.

That especially means our children; they should see that the Word of God is, indeed, working in our lives. That includes our consistent attempts to train them in God’s ways by teaching at every opportunity given to us, whether at home or elsewhere; whether it is in the morning or just before retiring. We must be diligent to teach them of God’s ways because, if we don’t, someone else will teach them and, most likely, it won’t be someone you or God would approve of. If we don’t fill their hearts and spirit with the Word of God, that doesn’t mean their hearts and spirit will remain empty — to the contrary, the Adversary will make certain that someone comes along to fill their spirit with “another word.”

Messiah asked this question: “What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul?” (Matthew 16:26). I’d like to springboard off of that concept and ask this question: “What does it profit a man to save the whole world but lose his own family?” In other words, if we are inclined to be witnesses of the resurrected Messiah, shouldn’t that effort begin at home? Shouldn’t our own families be the ones we go to first to teach and to demonstrate the power of God in our lives? Were we all to be faithful just in that regard, there is no telling how great the impact would be on the rest of the world. So then, let us make certain we are doing at home what we are instructed to do so that the next generation is equipped to carry on the work of the Kingdom.

Blessings and Shalom,  




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