Friday, November 30, 2012
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There's a 7-Eleven store owner in Texas who won my respect some years ago. Never met the man, but I really respect his creativity. He had this particular problem every night in his parking lot. A bunch of teenagers would gather there and their rock music would blare from their cars and then they kind of took over their neighborhood with decibels. And when they left, they'd leave a trail of litter and broken bottles.
Now, he could have gone out in the parking lot and yelled and screamed, and said, "You crazy kids, get out of here!" But he was much more creative and effective than that. He installed his own speakers on the roof of his store and started playing Mozart in the parking lot at night. His speakers were so big he was drowning out their speakers. I'll bet you could guess and guess correctly what happened! No more teenagers in the parking lot! They're not going to go near that Mozart stuff. His music cleared the parking lot. Now, that's a great way to win.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Drowning Out the Disturbing Music."
Now, our word for today from the Word of God comes from Deuteronomy 6. It is addressed to parents who have just moved out of the wilderness. They're moving into the Promised Land of Canaan, but it's a pagan place. They've been raising their children around people who believe what they believe. Now, they're going to have to raise their children in a pagan culture, a pleasure-mad, godless environment. There's going to be a lot of temptations for their kids, and the children will be hearing the siren song of Canaan blasting through the neighborhood.
How do parents deal with all these pagan influences? It sounds like the atmosphere in which we're raising our kids, doesn't it? Do you go out and yell and scream against all the sin? That might not be the best approach. Deuteronomy 6, beginning with verse 6: "These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."
Seems like the strategy that God suggests here is to drown out the music of a godless earth with the music of a Christ-centered home. You can create in your family an island of sanity in an otherwise insane world. We hear all the appealing voices and temptations of a sinful culture, and oftentimes we act like we're afraid of that as if they really have something to offer. We cloister our kids; we try to pretend there is no other music. But God says in essence, "You can't stop the world from playing its alluring attractions for your children, but you can play the music of Jesus louder." How do you do that? Impress His teachings on your children. It doesn't just say tell them or teach them. It says to impress them.
Now, if you want to make an impression on something physically, you've got to be right next to it, in touch with it. That's how you impress something. Well, see, this is close-up time! It's not just teaching Christian answers; it's spending lots of that close-up time with them. It's interweaving God talk and God values into their everyday activities. The best place to learn about Him, to see the reality of your faith is in the classroom of everyday life. It's debriefing your child daily from their venture into the world. The greater impression is when they see you loving Jesus, enjoying Jesus yourself. Not so much pushing Jesus - enjoying Him; a spontaneous faith treats Jesus like the unseen member of our family; the decisive person in all the things that matter to you.
The world can't play music like that, so don't waste a lot of time trying to fight the world's blaring music. Just play Jesus' song louder, with a living faith in your family.