Revelations of Life


Message Title: Revelations of Life
Revealing Revelations
Season: Epiphany
Main Text: Deuteronomy 30:15-20;
Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:21-37
RCL Scripture: Deuteronomy 30:15-20; Sirach 15:15-20; Psalm 119:1-8; 1 Corinthians 3:1-9; Matthew 5:21-37
Focus: Moses calls for Israel to embrace God’s commands and live.
 To choose the Giver of Life through intentional practice of faith.
Other Notes
: VALENTINE’S DAYBlessed Be the Tie: “Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love; the fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above”

SCRIPTURE READING: Matthew 5:21-37  21 “You have heard that it was said to those who lived long ago, Don’t commit murder,[a] and all who commit murder will be in danger of judgment. 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with their brother or sister will be in danger of judgment. If they say to their brother or sister, ‘You idiot,’ they will be in danger of being condemned by the governing council. And if they say, ‘You fool,’ they will be in danger of fiery hell. 23 Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift at the altar and go. First make things right with your brother or sister and then come back and offer your gift. 25 Be sure to make friends quickly with your opponents while you are with them on the way to court. Otherwise, they will haul you before the judge, the judge will turn you over to the officer of the court, and you will be thrown into prison. 26 I say to you in all seriousness that you won’t get out of there until you’ve paid the very last penny. 27 “You have heard that it was said, Don’t commit adultery.[b] 28 But I say to you that every man who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery in his heart. 29 And if your right eye causes you to fall into sin, tear it out and throw it away. It’s better that you lose a part of your body than that your whole body be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to fall into sin, chop it off and throw it away. It’s better that you lose a part of your body than that your whole body go into hell. 31 “It was said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife must give her a divorce certificate.’[c] 32 But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife except for sexual unfaithfulness forces her to commit adultery. And whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. 33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those who lived long ago: Don’t make a false solemn pledge, but you should follow through on what you have pledged to the Lord.[d] 34 But I say to you that you must not pledge at all. You must not pledge by heaven, because it’s God’s throne. 35 You must not pledge by the earth, because it’s God’s footstool. You must not pledge by Jerusalem, because it’s the city of the great king. 36 And you must not pledge by your head, because you can’t turn one hair white or black. 37 Let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no. Anything more than this comes from the evil one.


    1. Action: Pour Skittles, Reese’s pieces, & M&M’s in the same bowl.
    1. Ask: How do you feel about this?
    1. Assumed response: appalled
    1. Ask: But they all look the same, don’t they go together?
  2. AUDIENCE ENGAGEMENT: How do you feel about cereal being mixed together?
    1. When I was young my parents would mix the last of cereals together to use them up. I HATED this because the tastes and textures were different. YOU CAN’T MIX THESE TOGETHER!

TRANSITION: In our text today, we will discuss the distinction between life giving actions and actions that lead to death. Can these two things mix?

  1. Literary context:
    1. Deuteronomy is the fifth book in the Torah. The Torah is the first section of the Hebrew scriptures. Gen, Ex, Lev, Num, and Deut are the foundational documents for this people; not only laws but the essence of their existence. Stories of their foundational identity and purpose are included in the Torah.
      1. Here, the people are about to enter the promise land FINALLY after wandering for 40 years. The generation about to enter the promise land have only known the wilderness, they never were slaves in Egypt. God’s promise is finally going to be realized.
      1. Moses & the enslaved generation will not get to enter the promise land, they lost that right because of their disobedience.
      1. Joshua, son of Nun, will be taking over the leadership of the Israelites after Moses.

MAIN TEXT: Deuteronomy 30:15-20; 15 Look here! Today I’ve set before you life and what’s good versus death and what’s wrong. 16 If you obey the Lord your God’s commandments that[a] I’m commanding you right now by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments, his regulations, and his case laws, then you will live and thrive, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. 17 But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and so are misled, worshipping other gods and serving them, 18 I’m telling you right now that you will definitely die. You will not prolong your life on the fertile land that you are crossing the Jordan River to enter and possess. 19 I call heaven and earth as my witnesses against you right now: I have set life and death, blessing and curse before you. Now choose life—so that you and your descendants will live— 20 by loving the Lord your God, by obeying his voice, and by clinging to him. That’s how you will survive and live long on the fertile land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors: to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.


  • Before entering the Promise land, Moses will die. Moses provides the people with a choice, follow God and live or embrace evil and die.
    • Choose life and live in God’s ways.
    • ESV Vs. 20  …loving the Lord your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.”
  • Connect to Gospel
    • Jesus continues in the Sermon on the Mount by framing more laws around the traditional understanding—following the letter of the law—and a new interpretation –following the essence of the law.
      • Not just following the letter as God’s people but following God’s heart that is woven into the letter
    • Moses – live by the law; Jesus- examples


  1. Does this only make sense in my head? (Smite button)
    1. Choose God and Choose life; Choose evil and choose death
    1. While some would see this as a curse, I see this as a logical consequence:
      1. God is the one who put breath in our lungs. God is the one who knew us in our mother’s womb. To reject God is to reject the very life in our lungs.
        1. It’s like a person taking out their pacemaker or unplugging from life support.
          1. “No thanks life, I’ll do life on my own.”…promptly dies….
          1. Rejecting the thing that made me alive is God
  2. Last week: We discussed we live for God not for the reward. God’s ways of living are not the same as the worlds. The way we include kids in church is one example.
    1. The problem of motivation: things get sticky in our faith when we talk about the blessings God pours out on God’s people.
      1. God’s people were doing things to try to gain something BUT it was distinctly selfish motives. Their own words gave away their selfish ambitions.
    1. What if the motive is wrapped in holiness like a Pharisee?
      1. “I follow the letter of the law but God’s heart. Because I follow the letter of the law, I know I am righteous and can be arrogant and proud around others who are not as holy as I am.”
  3. Motivation is key –The actions look the same on the surface but the motivation behind them is different and the essence they emit will be tangibly distinct. (faithfulnessàsuffering (paul))


  1. BACK TO BEGNNING: As I become more familiar with God. *scoop handful of candies and eat* I will be able to distinguish the difference between actions motivated by God’s love and actions motivated out of selfish ambition.
    1. A close examination will enable me to sort out those candies and intentionally pick the ones I want to eat.
    1. In the same way a close examination of our faith will help us to develop a more genuine relationship with God.
  2. Start with the actions:
    1. Ask: Why do we recite the Lord’s Prayer and Doxology each week?
      1. Are we trying to elicit a specific response from God?
      1. Distinction between: Practicing for reward vs practicing w/ obedience (trying to believe)
    1. When we struggle to believe, we gather with our faith siblings and practice our faith in hopes that God will meet us there and guide our steps.
      1. “I believe, help me in my unbelief”- father asking for healing for his son in Mark 9:24
      1. Psalms of helplessness Ps109: 26; 119: 86


Today’s revelation:  Church/practices help train our hearts to see the world through God’s eyes


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s