Monday, July 20, 2009

Daily Devotional Thought for Monday (7/20/09)--For the Christian Family

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 5 You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6 And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I remember having a conversation with a pastor in St. Louis who was grieving the loss of the “family altar.” His grief came from years spent in ministry where he had struggled to teach the Christian faith to children who lived in homes where Christ was the occasional guest, rather than the very foundation and source of life and faith.

Schedules are busy, granted, but I wonder if our pace of life is the excuse we often make it. For example, while a family may be trying to implement a consistent routine for devotions and prayer, when that same family goes on vacation—and the pace of life slows down—the devotional routine is often the first to go. Do mom and dad make sure to pack their family bible while they load up the mini-van? All of this illustrates a deeper problem.

Deutoronomy 6 encourages parents to teach their children the Word of God—diligently. Apparently, families that discuss the faith, ponder the Scriptures, and pray together while they sit around in their living rooms, or while they travel across the country are, well, families that understand their dependence on Christ to be their foundation, and the source of their life.

You see, apart from Christ, we will all perish. But as a family abides in His Word (John 8:31ff) they will know Christ himself, and in Him they will be set free to live. The “family altar” may be the single most needed addition to the church today. May you and yours know the blessings that Christ bestows—the forgiveness of sins, life and salvation!

Peace in Christ!

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