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Purpose: Deuteronomy 8:1-20's first of four Living Commentary's message shows how we in three ways develop a strong Christian life: A.) Embrace God’s good purposes, B.) Understand life’s experiences, and C.) Respond to God's work in our lives.
Many times when we face troubles in our lives, we look for quick solutions. We try this and that. More than often those quick remedies do not bring about the cure we are seeking. Often we waste time and money. Typically, if we do quickly find a solution, we soon discover its inability to solve our problem. Disappointment follows and later perhaps depression. Many, not all, but many troubles occur because we are not willing to face what the real problem is. It is like someone who just wrote to me after I confronted him with the truth, "I have always known the truth about my life, I guess the truth is harder to accept than I ever anticipated."
It is much like painting. We want our walls to look nice. They are scummed up and have a lot of peeling and cracking. The temptation is just to paint over it. We say to ourselves, "It will look so much better." But the problem will soon reoccur. Because the old paint was not properly scraped off, the new will not stay on long. We are so unwilling to look at the real problems in our lives.
I hope to take a deeper look at our Christian lives in Deuteronomy 8. We will not find all of our answers here but will gain a general framework by which we can handle the questions of life through a better understanding of how God deals with His people.
"I have always known the truth about my life, I guess the truth is harder to accept than I ever anticipated."
We can fall into confusion, depression and rebellion if we are not careful. God warns His people of these things here. The point is that we need to remember His ways. Deuteronomy 8:2 and 8:8 both use the phrase, "You shall remember." This thought is similar to a New Testament phrase "renew your mind." We need to know the truth and recall it. The very experiences that the Lord has taken us through become a great asset to living a Christ-filled life.
Perhaps this is all the more important for those who are familiar with the Bible and the church. We can easily take the basics for granted. The Lord, however, through Moses is calling us to refresh our commitment to Him by remembering or renewing our minds. Unfortunately many Christians have never been trained to understand how God works through and in a person's life. In Deuteronomy 8 we discover there are three major things that will help us develop strong Christian lives.
A.) Embrace God's good purposes: We build up our faith and ward against doubt by remembering God's good purposes even in difficult times.
B.) Understand life's experiences: We deepen our intimacy with the Lord by remembering His wonderful ways in our past and future plans ahead.
C.) Respond to God's work in our lives: We develop a strong Christian life by obeying and remembering Him.
Let's look at these one by one.
Next -> A.) Embrace God's good purposes