You're Still the One

Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  26:48
0 ratings
Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →
Our Scripture reading this morning is selected verses from Deuteronomy 6. We will be looking at what is called the Shema by Jews. “Shema” is the first word in our text, it means “to hear”.
Deuteronomy 6:4–5 ESV
“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 6:10–14 ESV
“And when the Lord your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. You shall not go after other gods, the gods of the peoples who are around you—
May God bless this reading of His holy and infallible Word.
In 1997, country singer Shania Twain repurposed the title of a rock 1970’s song You’re Still the One and gave it totally new lyrics:
Looks like we made it.
Looks how far we’ve come...
They said, “I bet they’ll never make it”.
But just look at us holdin’ on.
We’re still together
Still goin’ strong.
As Moses contemplated what he would say to Israel in his last sermon before he died, I am sure he longed for Israel to love the LORD in this way. However, as a prophet, not just a preacher, he could see into the future, and what he saw broke his heart. For what he saw was Israel’s adulterous ways. Two hundred years ago the hymn writer, Robert Robinson penned these words in his hymn Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing, “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, Prone to leave the God I love.”
I do not have to be a prophet like Moses. I know my own heart, just like Robert Robinson, I know my heart is prone to wonder, and Scripture teaches me that I am not alone. We are all “prone to wander, prone to leave the God we love”.
This is why Moses begins this second sermon in Deuteronomy with these words of urgency...

Hear, O Israel!

This is a call to pay attention. What Moses is about to say is of uttermost importance!
Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the LORD is one.
As important as the debates about the Trinity are, this verse is not about the nature of God, rather it is about our love for God. Do we love and serve Yahweh as our God alone. This is reflected in the translator’s notes in your pew Bibles, where the ESV translation committee suggest another way to translate this passage is:
Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God, the Lord alone.
We know this was Moses’ intent, because of what he says in vss. 10-14, Moses expresses his fear that when Israel enjoys prosperity, they will forget the LORD and run after other gods. Further confirmation that this is the way the Jews at the time of Jesus understood the Shema. A good example is found in the passage we read from earlier in Mark 12. As I read it, did you notice what the scribe said?
Mark 12:32 ESV
And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him.
The LORD is to be our one and only God. The world has many “gods”. The believer is to have one and only one God—Yahweh.
When vs. 4, says that the LORD is “one” it means that He is to be our “one and only”, just as true love between a man and woman is exclusive. The world has many “gods”. The believer is to have one and only one God—Yahweh.
Earlier, I made reference to the song entitled, You’re Still the One. It is a beautiful thing when a man and woman can share a lifetime of love. It is truly something to sing about! However, according to the Apostle Paul there is a deeper reason why we are moved by love songs and love stories. Human love, according to Paul is a mere reflection of Christ’s love for the church. Our deepest longing is to be in a relationship with God. Most people however do not realize this. Sin has blinded their eyes to reality. This failure to love God as we should is what the Shema reminds us of.

Do I Have a Witness?

These are the words you will hear in many churches. The pastor is asking his congregation for a response. He is asking them to act as a witness to the truths he is preaching.
The Shema is a witness. Each morning orthodox Jews recite the Shema as they wake up, and again each night as they go to bed. If you look at Deut 6:4 in a Hebrew bible, you will notice that the first and last letters are enlarged. This is the only place in the Hebrew bible this happens. It just so happens that together, these two letters spell the Hebrew word “witness”.
The Shema is a witness, it testifies to our love for God.
Deuteronomy 6:5 ESV
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
n the marriage liturgy I use, I read these words in the Declaration of Purpose:
“In Christian marriage there is a joyful covenanting between a man and a woman in which they proclaim, before God and human witnesses, their commitment to live together in spiritual, physical, and material unity.”
This is analogous to what we find in vs. 5. When Moses says we are to love the LORD our God with all our hearts, he is saying we are to love God with all our inner person. When he says we are to love with all our souls, he is speaking of the whole person, including our physical bodies. Finally, when he says we are to love God with all our might, he is saying we are to love God with all the means available to us, including our physical property!
When understood this way, it is easy to see that we do not live up to this standard. The Shema stands against us, not because there is anything wrong with the command, but because there is something wrong with us. Paul speaks of this in Romans 7:
Romans 7:12–14 ESV
So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good. Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin.
The Shema is a standard we cannot live up to, but thank God there is another Witness.
In Romans 8, Paul speaks of this other Witness.
Romans 8:33–34 ESV
Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.
When I asked, “Do you have a witness?”, the response I was looking for was not “Amen”, but rather “Jesus”!
Jesus perfectly met the demands of the Shema, and he freely gives his righteousness to all who believe in Him. You see, not only did Jesus fully meet the demands of the Shema, but he fully met the demands of “loving his neighbor as himself”!
It is His love that sets our hearts ablaze with love.

Hearts Set on Fire!

In John’s first letter we read these words:
1 John 4:19 ESV
We love because he first loved us.
In our sinfulness, it is impossible to work up a love for God that will fulfill the demands of the Shema. Too many people are trying to light a fire without a fire starter.
There are all types of ways to light a fire: matches, flint, a magnifying glass, a friction bow, the list goes on; but it is impossible to light a fire with nothing. Spiritually we have nothing. We are dead in our trespasses and sins. This is why we need the love of Jesus to set our hearts ablaze with love.
In the marriage liturgy I use, the Declaration of Purpose continues:
In this covenant they acknowledge that the great love God has shown for each of them enables them to love each other. They affirm that God's gracious presence and abiding power are needed for them to keep their vows, to continue to live in love, and to be faithful servants of Christ in this world. For human commitment is fragile and human love imperfect, but the promise of God is eternal and the love of God can bring our love to perfection.
Every time I read those words in a wedding my heart sings! It is God’s love for us in Christ that brings our love to perfection!
In a moment, we will close our service by singing together the hymn, Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing. In preparation of that hymn and as a conclusion to this sermon, I want to recite the closing verse:
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I'm constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee:
Prone to wander, Lord I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here's my heart, O take and seal it;
Seal it for Thy courts above.
Let us pray.
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more