Sunday, January 09, 2005

Sermon Idea Number - 10 -

Suggested Titles:

Finding Life
You get to choose


Deuteronomy 30

Passage Overview – some highlights:

The Exodus is long over, the Israelites have had several opportunities to commit their allegiance to God. Now, before Moses dies and turns over leadership to Joshua, he reminds the Israelites that God is not a tyrant, nor one who enslaves. He doesn’t do like Pharaoh and “take life” – God gives life – and the people get to choose. But their choice for living in relationship with God is not something they have to travel to receive – but there are things they must do – they must commit, covenant, and obey.

Important Specific Concepts:

“Choose life”

Notice the ideas in this passage about how God will return a people and love them again – consistent with what we have heard about God from God (see Sermon on Exodus 34).

Notice as well that there is a need for people to respond in this passage – perhaps even to make the “first move” towards God when they “return” (a word that can also be translated “repent” or “turn around) that God does much of the rest – extends compassion, grace, makes prosperous, circumcises hearts and more.

Note that several conditional clauses are in this passage, “If” is a common phrase – there is a responsibility and the need for response-ability by the people. They must respond so God can respond.

Note the choices “life and death” – these could be preached in a “serious” way – this is a “life or death choice!” or more emphatic of how God offers us life! . . . but its our own fault if we choose death because, as Moses says, this word is not far off and it’s not impossible to obey. “Now choose life!”

Ideas for Illustrations:

Do you remember on the playground when you got to choose teams and you were the captain and you knew you had the winning team and you got to tell others to join your team.

Remember as a child getting to choose who you would invite to your best birthday party ever?

Ideas for Wrapping Up - Response - Call:

It feels great to be chosen, but we, like the Israelites, have to respond.“Choose Life” – this sermon could end with a “pledge” to commit our “allegiance” or “obedience” to God – maybe something “more serious” (written documents?) to commemorate the moment.


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