A Paraphrase Of
Now this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you1. I pass this on in order that you may walk with the Lord your God: you and your son and his son – by keeping His word all the days of your life. Listen therefore, O Christian, and be careful to keep His word, because the love of God perfected within you2; and the Lord Jesus Christ has promised you: I came that you may have life and have it abundantly3.
WITh all of your heart, Listen, O Christian: There is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men: the man Christ Jesus4 in all of His fullNESS5. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And God’s word shall continually be on your heart and on your lips. You shall teach the word diligently to your children. Talk to them when you sit in your house, and when you walk down the street, and while you’re driving in your car: make it your final topic before bedtime, and your first topic when you rise. May you constantly be within reach of a supply of index cards to keep the discussion fresh. Have your Post-it notes and your note paper engraved with Bible memory verses. Any time you make eye contact with one of your children, may God’s word prevail. Ideally, every place you stand, and in every direction you look, you should see scripture passages printed in plain view. You shall write God’s word on the doorposts of your house and on your gates; on your walls and on your furniture, and on the screen of your television. If the Post-it notes block your view of the show you are watching, then so much the better.
And when you find yourself prospering in all that you do6, when you live in great and good cities that you did not build, and houses full of all good things that you did not build, houses with heaters that you did not design, with refrigerators full of food that you did not hunt, and fruit trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, when all this starts to happen, then take care!! Let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall7. It is the Lord Jesus Christ you shall serve and in his name you shall pray. You must no longer walk as the world does, in the futility of their minds8. Do not love the world or the things in the world9; — for God is jealous over you with godly jealousy: for your Church is espoused to one husband, that she may be presented as a chaste virgin to Christ10.
Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God11.” You shall diligently do all that the Lord requires of you. You shall do justice, and you shall love kindness, and you shall walk humbly with your God12. Walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called13. Fight the good fight; finish the race; keep the faith that there might be laid up for you the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to you on that day14.
And when15 your son asks you in time to come, ‘Why do you constantly want to talk to us about your walk with God?’ ‘Why do we all have to behave so differently?’ ‘How come our mail never comes wrapped in plain brown paper bags?’ ‘Where do you keep your key to the liquor cabinet? No, Dad, I don’t really want to know, but I’m starting to think we don’t even have one.’ ‘How come other moms and dads use all those words that you used to spank me for saying?’ ‘I don’t even think we own an ash tray.’ Then you shall say to your son, “I was once a servant of sin, and sin was in control of my body. I was obeying its passions16. And the risen Lord rescued me from sin with a mighty hand. And He showed me signs and wonders, great and grievous. Before my eyes, he caused my magazine subscriptions to cancel. He took away my desire to smoke. He exposed television to be a waste of time. He brought me away from the friends I used to hang with, and He surrounded me with new friends – friends who love the Lord. He gives me abundant life today, and eternal life with my Lord forever. And the Holy Spirit prompts me to walk according to His will always, and to trust God in all matters great and small, for my good always, that I might one day hear Him say to me ‘Well done thou good and faithful servant17.’ For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life18.”
Deuteronomy 6:1-25 (Parts ad-libbed)
Two oversized letters bookmark the beginning and the end of Deuteronomy 6:4, called the Schma. They should be fairly self-evident as you look toward the top line of the page. Or, you could find the blurry “4”.
Oversizing the last letter of the last word seems plain enough. But it might seem curious why they oversized the last letter, rather than the first letter, of the first word. It’s simple: The two letters together: d[ form the Hebrew word for “witness.”
11 Thessalonians 5:18
21 John 2:5
41 Timothy 2:5
5The extension of this note will explain the unusual syntax.
71 Corinthians 10:12
91 John 2:15
102 Corinthians 11:2
142 Timothy 4:8
15It says “when,” not “if.” If you are that diligent in communicating God’s word to your children, it is a certainty he will ask you these questions. Have your answer ready. It is certain the questions will come.
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