Deuteronomy Sermon Series Preview
Have you ever heard yourself saying, “I’m just not at a place in my life right now to be able to do that.”? Maybe it was an opportunity to take an exciting risky career move in a direction you are passionate about. Or perhaps it was a chance to really love someone in a sacrificial and costly way. But whatever the opportunity, you knew that your life was not stable enough to launch such an effort. What you needed was for your life to be settled, solid, and secure; in a word, rooted. So that you could launch toward love, service and impact from a place of health and strength. And you wonder, where might such grounding be found?
Jesus gives us his answer in Matthew 7: 24: Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house upon the rock. Jesus is the ground and rooting ourselves in relationship to him enables us to then live confidently for others; rooted to bear fruit, to shift the analogy slightly.
But what does it mean to be rooted in Jesus, and what does fruit look like? Believe it or not, the answers are beautifully revealed not just in the life of Jesus but in the OT book of Deuteronomy. It is the blueprint, if you will, of living as a community rooted in relationship with God himself in order to bear fruit that is true, beautiful and good.
Deuteronomy opens with Israel, the people of God’s promise, poised to enter the land of God’s promise. There they would set up shop to live as God’s people in a way that would bring blessing to the nations. Moses gives them a series of sermons, pastoral pep-talks, encouraging them to root themselves not just in the land but in their covenant relationship with God himself. In as much as they could or would, their life in him, shaped by his loving law, would be life-giving and fruit-bearing.
As a church community, Grace+Peace longs to live in such a way that brings the life, love and blessing of Jesus to the lives of our neighbors, communities and culture. And we ask, “What might such fruit look like?” How about love, justice, joy, generosity, and for-you lives? All riches to be mined in Deuteronomy! But even more profoundly we first ask: “What does it mean to root our lives deeply together and as individuals in the rich soil of relationship with God in Jesus?” In other words, what is the character of the God to whom we are united, and what is the nature of our relationship? How do we meaningfully participate in ways that lead to life ? We hope you’ll join us as we seek God’s answers and work them out together in Sunday sermons, in our parish groups, at our dinner tables and over cups of coffee.
If you’d like to do some pre-work throughout our series, here is a breakdown of where we are headed:
Deuteronomy 4:1-14 The Framework of Covenant Relationship: Rooted to Bear Fruit
Deuteronomy 4: 15-40 Rooted in The One True Covenant God
Deuteronomy 5: 1-27 The Blueprint for Roots and Fruit
Deuteronomy 6: 1-9 Rooted through Radically Loyal Love
Deuteronomy 7: 7-11; 8: 10-20 Rooted in God’s Past Faithfulness
Deuteronomy 9: 7-29 Rooted Exclusively in the One True God
Deuteronomy 12: 1-14 Rooted through Worship
Deuteronomy 14: 1-21 Bearing the Fruit of Holiness
Deuteronomy 15: 1-11 Bearing the Fruit of Justice
Deuteronomy 16: 1-17 Bearing the Fruit of Joyful Celebration
Deuteronomy 26: 1-15 Bearing the Fruit of Generosity
Deuteronomy 30: 1-6, 11-20; 31: 19-22 New Hearts to Bear Good Fruit