Yesterday I decided the 2 oldest boys and I are going to do daily devotions every morning before school. I’ve had this ambition plenty of times before and at times we’ve succeeded but most of the time, to be honest, it has fallen by the wayside. Now, we go to church as a family every Sunday, morning and evening service, Wednesday evening, every first and third Tuesday church bible studies and youth rally the second Saturday of each month. My husband and I read/study our bibles just about every day as well and we talk about the Lord quite a lot with them. Sounds like enough, doesn’t it?
It’s Not Enough….
I’m here to tell you, it’s not. Our children need us to teach them and instruct them in God’s Word. It’s not enough to go to all the things. Just talking about the Lord isn’t enough. The teaching needs to start in the home. We need to show our children the Word and how to study it. They need to see their dad and I really studying it every day, not just looking over it for a few minutes. We need to ingrain it into our lives, like our lives depend on it….on God, because our lives do depend on Him! We need to show them what it means to be in love with the Lord, which means we as parents need to get to the place where we are truly in love with the Lord ourselves!!
18. Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. 19. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 20. And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates:Deuteronomy 11:18-20 KJV
Honestly, as the mother of 3 boys, and one that has just started high school, I see things that really concern me. I see holes that we as parents have allowed, and I want to close up those holes before it’s too late. By other people’s standards, we may seem like we are doing enough, but it’s not “enough”. If we aren’t living up to God’s standards, then it’s not enough! God’s standards are not too high for us either. Yes, they are higher than our humanly standards, but they aren’t too high. He made them so that we can attain them, we just have to put forth the effort and we need to lean on Christ to help us.
1. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.Romans 12:1,2 KJV
This Morning’s Devotional-Work and Ambition
Back to the devotional we had this morning. I woke the boys up 10min. earlier than normal, about 6:45am. Of course it takes 10 minutes for them to actually crawl out of bed after I’ve bounced between them singing some sort of “wake up song” and alternatively shaking or tickling them. I may have been a little more cheerful this morning than normal after waking up at 5:30am and only getting 6 hours of sleep…I also drank some coffee….that may or may not have had something to do with it. I’m not sure they appreciated that though…..
Things went really smoothly this morning, however, getting our devotional in. They ate breakfast, got dressed and ready to go, and then we sat down in the living room and opened the Word.
“7. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. 8. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,”Philippians 3:7-8 KJV
We need to have ambition in life. An ambition for everything that we do, even school work (they didn’t like that one LOL). I explained to them that even if it’s something they don’t like to do, like school work, they should still have ambition to get it done, and to look ahead at the bigger picture. How will this help me down the road?
We didn’t hit too much on worldly ambition just yet though because I wanted to bring out that our ambition and work for the Lord has to be the number one thing, the worldly things of this life are temporary, our spiritual life is eternal. If we put the physical things above God, then that is a loss for Christ… which means we ourselves lose in the end. If we know Christ as our saviour, we’ll still go to heaven, but we will lose rewards if we do not put Him first above all else. If we don’t seek the Lord in salvation, then we will remain lost in our sins and lose, not only our physical life, but also our spiritual life (in Hell).
This morning I started reading the book by Gary Keller, founder of Keller Williams Realty, called “The One Thing”. So far it’s got some great insight. The main point is that there’s always that “one thing” that we need to focus on that will make a huge difference in whatever it is we are trying to accomplish in our lives. That “one thing” is what we should focus on, because if we try to focus on too many things at once, we won’t get very far, but there’s always that “one thing” that is the most important that will make a difference and move us forward.
So, I’m using that because it made me think. The “ONE THING” in our life that is most important, in the grand scheme of things is seeking God and putting Him first. If we do that “one thing” it will make ALL the difference.
Of course there are a million other sections in our life that have one physical thing at a time to focus on that will move us forward in whatever physical goals we have, but God is the very biggest one thing we could do every single day that will help us accomplish all the other “one things” at a time, if that makes sense lol. (it makes sense in my head!)
Anyway, I didn’t actually talk to them about all that with Gary Keller’s book, but it struck a chord as I’m sitting here typing.
I talked mainly with them about their need to get into God’s word and let it be the hammer that it is and chisel away at them until they get softened to the point of salvation. Neither of them have professed salvation yet, so for them, that is their “one thing” at this time. A lot of times these kids pray and pray and pray, and are under conviction to be saved, but there’s something holding them back. Maybe they know what it is, or maybe they don’t. The only thing that is going to help to get themselves out of the way, be humbled and just let go and let God save them, is for the Word to be that hammer and soften their hearts and they have to want that too!
Is not my word like as a fire? saith the LORD; and like a hammer that breaketh the rock in pieces?Jeremiah 23:29 KJV
I told them, it’s not a bad thing, it’s a good thing to have God’s word hammering on you. Let it. Let it break you down. If you allow him to break you down, he will then build you back up and you’ll be so much better off than you were before! I know personally because he’s done it to me. There have been so many times I’ve prayed for God to soften my own heart, and I felt that Word hitting me. It wasn’t pleasant and made me feel uncomfortable, and sometimes I knew what I needed to do, other times I didn’t. When I didn’t know, he took me through some uncomfortable situations that then made it clear to me what was wrong and how I needed to get it fixed! Once I let him fix the problem, I felt so much better and free!
I added quite a bit to this devotional that I didn’t go over with the boys. We probably only spent about 5 min. before they went off to school, but it was a good 5 min. I think. I felt good afterwards and I’m looking forward to tomorrow morning.
Tonight, their dad will be doing what they are calling “Bible Club” with all 3 of them before bed. He started back up with that last week and plans on doing it on nights that we don’t have church or a church bible study. I have faith that with both of us stepping things up spiritually, we will see a huge difference and that God will bless our efforts.
I’ll end with this. What is the one thing you need to do today that will enhance your spiritual life? Something you aren’t doing or maybe you already are, but it’s not with as much ambition as you could be. (I’ll give you a hint: if you aren’t getting into God’s Word and asking him to guide you to the Truth, then that should be your one thing right now, every day)