Thursday, July 5, 2012

thoughts on family devotions & times of worship

Joshua 24:15 (NASB)

If it is disagreeable in your sight to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves today whom you will serve: whether the gods which your fathers served which were beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."
My family is spending this week at the beach and enjoying some time together.  But one of the things we have decided to do on this trip is to add worship.  That does NOT mean that we are going to have a church service each day we are gone.  What is DOES mean is that we are going to be more intention during our family devotions.  We will spend some time worshipping God in various ways: through nature, through music, through sharing our thoughts and other creative ways we can find.

I praise God for my family.  Blessed is a big word, but it speaks volumes of truth about what I am experiencing as a father, as a husband and as a child of God.  We have much to worship God for and about.  It is my calling and commitment to lead my family to see and know and worship God.  We have a choice as the verse above states.

You have a choice.  Family devotions can start with one or two people or more.  Devotions can be a couple minutes or 15 minutes or more.  Just do it.  Start somewhere pointing yourself and your family to God.  This may be the very thing that keeps your family together when it begins to fall apart.

Recently we have had a couple conversations that I was pretty passionate about, and what my kids shared with me made me extremely proud.  They get it.  They get the fact that I am passionate about helping people, and they need to follow in the same way.  They get it.  We can't forget God in our daily lives with is so easy to do.

Take some time to start something new or to make a new commitment to spend time with your family doing devotions and worshipping God.

Proverbs 22:6 (NASB)
Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.
(NOTE: the following post first appeared on my blog in December of 2009 and conveys some insight about how you can begin devotions with your family.  I pray that our experience and commitment will encourage others to begin having family devotions at your house.)

Several people have asked about our family devotion. Thought I'd share what we do. This is just the way we do things. There are lots of other methods. Point is, just do it. Lead your kids to see Jesus in all your family does.

As we begin each family devotion, we read a small part of scriputure, then we talk about what we read, move on to share something we want to pray for including praying for someone else and then we take takes praying.

Use an easy translation of the Bible. I use GWT God's Word Translation (or the New Living Translation) because it is very easy. We read through a book of the Bible (John has been our favorite) and read about a paragraph or from one topic to another.

Hearing each other pray is huge. Sometimes my kids do a great job. Sometimes not so good.
The most important part is be consistent. Every day at about the same time. We either do it at the dinner table or a few minutes before bed time.

Family devotions have been a huge blessing to our family. Have to thank my friends, the Ohlerkings, and their "40 Days of Prayer with the Children" which begins each August 1st. Go to www.childrenscup.org for more info on their program. Good stuff.

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