If I ever tell you that I find it easy to keep my eyes on Jesus, you will know I am not telling the truth. I am built in such a way that I am always dwelling on the things coming up in my day. It takes effort for me to live in such a way that my first thought always goes to God. I can do it, especially after reading a devotion which reminds me to do this; but that lasts a few hours at best. I can not wait until I am perfect. Life would be so much easier if I gave everything, every moment to Jesus.
I know how I should live but sadly have a hard time doing it.
It is refreshing for me to read stories like the one about Peter in this week's chapter. It's not that I want him to fail, but I do feel better knowing he had trouble keeping his eyes on Jesus too.
I hope you have already spent some time with your wonderful children discussing the things in this chapter. If not, please do before Sunday. It is SOOOO important that YOU are the teacher your children look up to. You have the most time with them and can make the biggest difference in their lives.
Thank you for being such good parents!
When you think of the words “Bible Study,” what comes to mind? Do you picture a time-consuming process where you must have quiet? Or do the images of Instagram come flooding into your mind and you feel that you have to have a perfect place before starting devotions? (like this one) And if you do have a perfect place, then do you have all the right resources necessary to do it properly? By standards which seem to be gleamed from the world, one video I was watching said, “I don’t always do devotions. But when I do, I Instagram it.” (watch it here).
If these are the requirements, Bible study seems like it would be hard to attain. Are we making things more difficult than they need to be? The more I’m learning about God, the more I realize that it isn’t so convoluted. We need to know what is expected of us, what the best way to live is. How do we discover that? Through reading the Manual, or the Blueprints for life, if you will. God’s Word - the Blueprints - teaches us and opens our eyes to how to live and helps us have a firm foundation that survives the storms of life.
Tomorrow’s passage in Luke 6 is all about reading or hearing God’s Words and then living them out. So, whether you use a physical Bible or a digital one, read in a clean house or a messy one, or even just have the Bible alone…study. Study God’s Words like your life depends on it. Because it truly does.
How do you teach a 3 year old, or a first grader, or even a teen how to study the Bible? You start by encouraging them every chance you get. Teach them how important it is to know what God has to say to us. Let them see you study the Bible and even allow them to help you from time to time. Share some of the new things, cool things, or the special things that you learn from your study. Help them read their Bibles and tell them by listening carefully they will learn something new.
Always begin with prayer and ask God to help them learn His promises, His plans, and how much He loves them.
For the little ones, the stories this week are about Joshua taking the Israelites across the Jordan River into the Promised Land. Moses had taught the people many things that God wanted passed on. God wanted His people to follow His commandments all the time. Joshua needed to know, understand, and remember all those things.
We will also learn about the story Jesus told about the grain that fell on different soils. Some of the grain did poorly and some grew to make many more seeds. That is an example of people who listen to God's Word. Some won't grow at all because they won't believe, or they will be too busy to allow it to change their life. But some will listen carefully They will remember what God told them and they will grow in understanding. Soon they will share God's Word so others can believe.
May your week and especially your time with your kids be super blessed.
I wish I could tell you I was a great prayer warrior. I am not. If you ask for prayer I will probably pray right then so I'm sure to pray for you. Oh, I have a list, but I don't like praying through lists, it just seems wrong to pray the same thing over and over. That is why I like the story in Luke 11 starting in verse 5 where Jesus tells His disciples about persistent prayer.
One of my shortcomings when I pray is that I expect God to answer my prayer right away just like I asked. He doesn't do that. You'd think I know that by now. I expected everything in Seattle was going to go just the way I was told and the way I prayed. I'd get rid of the cancer, get a bone marrow transplant and live happily for at least another 10 years. I forget I serve an omnipotent God who knows so much more than I do. I think He knew that plan wasn't going to work well for me. So even while I'm praying for that plan, He is setting something else in motion. Because of His plan I was able to come home 4 or more weeks early and I get to return to a life that is closer to my normal.
My devotion from Jesus Calling this morning said this...
When you bring Me prayer requests, lay out you concerns before Me. Speak to Me candidly; pour out your heart. Then thank Me for the answers that I have set into motion long before you can discern results. When your requests come to mind again, continue to thank Me for the answers that are on the way. If you keep stating your concerns to Me, you will live in a state of tension. When you thank Me for how I am answering your prayers, your mind-set becomes much more positive. Thankful prayers keep your focus on My Presence and My promises.
Please help your children know they can talk to God like a true friend. He cares. He wants them to talk to Him. He loves all of us. Also teach them that God is like daddy and mommy. He knows what is best even when it doesn't make sense to us. Our story about Gideon is a good example of that. After Gideon believes God wants him to lead the army, God tells him to use only 300 men. That sounds so crazy to us. But it was God's battle and He wanted the people to trust in Him, not their numbers. They won the battle because of God. (My cancer is God's battle too.)
Please read this week's lesson with your children and teens. Discuss it together and grow together.
Sunday we will learn from chapter 11 in the Believe series. The topic is worship. Please spend time with your older and younger children talking about this important topic.
This week's lesson teaches us how important Worship is. Worship can be something done in private but should also be done with others. Many times during worship at DBC it meant so much to me to look around at all my friends sharing their love for God together.
The kid's lesson focuses on Daniel who refused to stop praying in worship to the God of his people in spite of the threat of becoming lion fodder. God rewarded Daniel by protecting him from the lions until he was released the following morning. The New Testament story is about the time Paul and Silas were thrown into prison after being beat. Paul and Silas were heard by the other prisoners worshiping God and singing praises to Him. During the night there was an earthquake which resulted in the jailer and his family being saved from their sins. Well, the quake didn't save them, their faith in Jesus based on what they learned from Paul did. God deserves our praises. We need to see all the ways God blesses us over and over again. The more we worship God, the more we see these blessings.
God bless you for the very important role you have of teaching your children!
We take turns writing when God gives us an idea. The author will be noted.