When my children were very little I would get up early, often dragging myself out of bed unwillingly, and make a hot breakfast every school morning. And I would wake my kiddos up early too, but not as early as myself. Why? For breakfast of a spiritual kind!
Bobby and I and the children would sit around the table and eat a scrumptious breakfast and we would do devotions together. I knew that feeding them both physically and spiritually was the best way to start their day and send them off to school!
Can you picture it, there we were dressed and ready to go to school and work while it was still dark outside eating and chatting and opening God’s word and a devotional book for kids and then teenagers. Praying and loving on one another. No TV, no angst, nothing carried over from the night before! We did this for years without exception!
Now, I was not the perfect mother… not at all!
You see I was saved at the age of 33 and I knew what Jesus had done for me. A price more precious than I could ever count!
So I taught my children with fervor about the love of God and how Jesus sacrificed His precious perfect life in my place. And by the grace of God, my children were very young when they accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior and were saved from so many of the devastating life-choices I made.
I KNOW what I was saved from! And I never wanted my precious children to have deal with the things in life I did!
When I surrendered, joyfully, happily, a-ton-has-been-lifted-off-my-soul, to Jesus I became so thirsty to know more about Him.
Psalm 42:1 sums it up perfectly…
AS A DEER PANTS AFTER WATER SO MY SOUL PANTS AFTER THEE
When I saw this verse in my Bible I knew God had written it just for me! He knew exactly how I felt!
I began a lifelong love affair with the lover of my soul! The more I read and absorbed and studied the more I loved and pressed into and ran after my Lord! I just could not get enough of His company and wisdom and truth and comfort and grace and mercy! The more I read the more I agreed with Him and obeyed Him!
And I so desperately wanted the same for my children!
I used to say to my children, “How can you serve a God you do not know”? How can anyone know a God they do not spend time with?
When my children turned 13 I asked them to commit to reading a chapter from the Book of Psalms and a chapter from the book of Proverbs every day until they were out of high school. And they did.
Why the book of Psalms? Because in it God shows His character. He shows who He is. And it is so important not to think of God as a man or someone you can even hope to understand fully! But Psalms gives the reader a small look at the glory of God!
And why read the book of Proverbs? Well, let’s get it right from the source…
The proverbs of Solomon son of David, king of Israel:
for gaining wisdom and instruction;
for understanding words of insight;
for receiving instruction in prudent behavior,
doing what is right and just and fair;
for giving prudence to those who are simple,
knowledge and discretion to the young—
let the wise listen and add to their learning,
and let the discerning get guidance—
for understanding proverbs and parables,
the sayings and riddles of the wise.
Do you see it? “For gaining wisdom and instruction, for understanding words and insight! For receiving instruction in prudent behavior and doing what is right and just and fair! Wouldn’t you love that too?
Proverbs 1 goes on to say… For giving prudence to those who are simple, knowledge and discretion to the young
I wanted that for my children as they faced their teenage years. And for me? I want all of what Proverbs offers until my Lord calls me home!
Tucked into the longest Psalm is this beautiful truth…
THY WORD IS A LAMP UNTO MY FEET AND A LIGHT UNTO MY PATH Psalm 119:105
God’s word, the Bible, will be a lamp on the path of life that is filled with darkness.
God’s word shines its holy light into the unclear and shadowed areas of life and makes them clear. It is a bright light that will positively show the right and profitable way to travel through this life on earth.
Did you know that only 20% of Americans are “bible engaged”? They read their bibles four or more times a week. And the number of Bible skeptics/hostile has risen to 32%, according to Barna Researchers. And younger Americans are the group most skeptical and even hostile to God’s word?
But here’s the sad truth. Most homes in America have a bible! Actually, 87% according to the American Bible Society. And the average bible in an American home is three! THREE!
There is such a problem. Can you see it? Most people have access to a Bible right in their homes (not even talking about online sources) but only 20 % are actually reading it with any regularity.
And of those who don’t read the Bible, the top reasons are “I don’t prioritize it and I don’t have time”.
Most Americans know the Bible is important enough to own but they are not willing to make time to open it to let the LIGHT of God illuminate their lives!
We collectively need to read Proverbs 1 again and again!
So I am asking you what I asked my children when they were 13.
Will you commit to reading a chapter in the book of Psalms and a chapter in the book of Proverbs daily?
And not only read it. Talk it back to God! Let God’s bright holy light shine on the path of your life and make it straight! Then you will be amazed at how God can light up your path and your whole life!
Wise words this week…