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REAL TREASURE

 

Best Verse:  Psalm 119:11 “Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.”

VALUABLE

When you think of treasure you naturally think of gold, silver, precious gems and the like.  One of my children’s favorite movies was “Goonies.”  These kids are looking for the lost treasure of a pirate that supposedly is hidden near their town.  The whole movie they struggle through dangerous situations to get to the treasure.  And when they finally get there and find it, they realize other things are more valuable. (I won’t spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it.)

As believers, our most precious treasure is the Word of God.  It is worth so much more than any amount of gold or silver.  If I was offered all the gold in the world if I gave up any access to God’s Word, I would have to turn it down.  It is just too valuable to me and my walk with Christ.

TEACHING MOMENT

How do we teach our children to value God’s Word?  Well, that comes very early.  We have to read it to them.  We have to use it as our instruction manual.  We have to show them we live by it.  We will teach them to value what we value.

Memorizing scripture is so important.  I know many children struggle memorizing it, but I bet they can memorize the words to a song.  So, put the Word to music.  Make it fun to memorize.  Go over those verses time and time again.  Let them store it in their hearts.  It is their real treasure.

So, Mom and Dad, how are you doing with storing the Word of God in your heart today?  Have you taken the time to memorize a verse this week?  Just one verse a week will allow you to memorize 52 verses this year.  Do it with your kids.  Challenge them with a reward at the end.  Prove to them that you have treasured God’s Word in your heart.

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WHO’S ON YOUR THRONE?

 

Exodus 37:7-9 “7 He made two cherubim of gold; he made them of hammered work at the two ends of the mercy seat; 8 one cherub at the one end and one cherub at the other end; he made the cherubim of one piece with the mercy seat at the two ends. 9 The cherubim had their wings spread upward, covering the mercy seat with their wings, with their faces toward each other; the faces of the cherubim were toward the mercy seat.”

WHY CHERUBIM?

Have you ever wondered why the Lord told Moses to make the ark the way He did?  Maybe it’s just me, but I have always wondered about the cherubim.  Why were they placed on the lid?  Why are they facing each other?  I found one explanation that I think you will like.  “Because the Lord’s presence was in the space above the Ark (Lev. 16:2; Psalm 80:1), and Moses spoke to God there (Number 7:89), it was sometimes said that God was enthroned between the cherubim (1 Samuel 4:4; 2 Samuel 6:2).”  – from gotquestions.com

So the cherubim are bowing before the enthroned God on the mercy seat.  That led me to ask the question, “Who do I have on my throne?”  Do I bow before a Holy God each and every day?  Or do I put myself or someone else on that throne?

TEACHING MOMENT

It is our responsibility as parents to teach our children who to put on their throne.  We should be constantly pointing them to Jesus.  When they begin to elevate some celebrity or sports figure, point out that they are just flesh and blood and subject to failures.  When they think their whole world revolves around that boyfriend or girlfriend, remind them that Jesus is the King whom will never desert them.

Our children naturally are drawn to people of power.  But it is so dangerous to allow them to do that without knowing the reality of everyone’s frailty in this world.  Even parents can let children down, right?

So who do you have on your throne today?  Are you taking the position of the cherubim and bowing before Him today?  Are you in a perpetual bow before Him, just as those two cherubim are?  We should be for only He deserves our worship and praise!

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IF YOU WANT BEANS…

 

Galatians 6:7 “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.”

PLANTING THE RIGHT STUFF

Years ago I had a garden.  In fact, for several years I kept a garden.  It was my therapy. I loved raised bed gardening.  I would plant green beans, tomatoes, corn, peppers, lettuce and a few other vegetables.  But there is one simple truth to gardening.  You will only get what you want if you plant the right seed or plants.  You can’t plant bean seed and expect to get corn.

A couple of times I planted what I thought were bush beans but accidently planted pole beans which need a trellis to climb to produce well.  That can be frustrating, to say the least.

TEACHING MOMENT

Teaching our kids to plant the right stuff in their lives is crucial for a successful spiritual harvest later.  They can’t fill their lives with video games and the wrong information and expect to live holy, God-fearing lives.  We have to till the soil of their heart while they are young and plant the Word of God firmly in their tiny spirits.  As they continue to grow we water and care for their spirit with extra fertilizer from God’s Word.

Do some children have crop failures?  Sure.  But usually that is due to insufficient attention to the crop as it grows.  We, as parents, can only tend their garden so long.  They eventually have to take care of it themselves.  We should still send some extra water and nourishment, but they have to be willing to apply it.  Left unattended any garden will cease to produce.

How about your spiritual garden?  Are you planting one thing and expecting another?  Have you planted and forgotten about it?  Are you too busy with other things to tend it?  Stop whatever you are doing today and get out that hoe and weed your garden. Lay down some new mulch and fertilizer from the Word of God.  Apply a generous amount of the Living Water to your spirit today.

Happy Harvesting!

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STANDING GUARD

 

Exodus 33:11b “When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart from the tent.”

TRUSTWORTHY

Moses had established the tent of meeting outside the camp.  That is where he went to meet with the Lord.  This was before the actual Tabernacle.  It was a special place, a place that should be protected as holy.  So, who went with Moses there?  None other than Joshua, son of Nun.

But he didn’t just go with Moses and stand guard while he was in the tent talking to the Lord.  When Moses would return to the camp, with his face shining from being in the presence of the Lord, Joshua would remain behind, standing guard at the tent of meeting.  We see no indication that he grumbled or complained.  He was loyal and dedicated.  He was willing to serve, even if it meant guarding a tent.  This was the same Joshua who had led the army in their first battle.  He was a warrior, but here he was just standing there.

TEACHING MOMENT

Do your children ever complain of the small chores they have to do?  Who likes doing those things?  I used to have to go around the house and empty all the trash cans and then take the trash out.  That may have seen like a small chore, but just imagine what would happen if no one did that.  Your children need to see that there are no small chores, just seemingly small ones.

We need to teach them that everything we do as part of the family is important.  Everything we do as part of the family of God is also important.  Picking up trash in the pews after a service may seem a little thing, but it has to be done.  Being loyal to the small tasks prepares us for the larger tasks to come.

What “small” task are you complaining about today?  Do you feel undervalued?  How do you think Joshua felt just standing next to the tent?  But he knew he was doing something important.  He was protecting the people from trying to “sneak a peek” at God.

Whatever you do today, do it with excellence.  You serve a Master who demands loyalty and loves unconditionally.

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A REASON FOR EVERYTHING

 

Exodus 29:46 “They shall know that I am the Lord their God who brought them out of the land of Egypt, that I might dwell among them; I am the Lord their God.”

DETAILS

When is the last time you read Exodus?  When you get into the chapters with the descriptions about the tabernacle and the clothing, your eyes start to glaze over, right?  You start thinking, “Okay God, do I really need to know that Aaron and his sons had to wear certain undergarments?  Really?”

This verse today struck me though.  The Lord gives the reason for all the detail with these words.  He wanted to make sure they knew He was God and He dwelt among them.  Wow!  Now tell me, who doesn’t want to be reminded of that?

TEACHING MOMENT

So, the challenge is how can we use this verse with our kids.  Easy!  Take a look around you.  Challenge your kids to find things in nature or in your home that reminds them of the Lord.  Since God is everywhere and everything exists because of Him, that should be fun.  Make a list of everything that they name.  It doesn’t matter how silly it may sound.  God reveals Himself to people in different ways.

Maybe little Elrod sees God in that toad he has been playing with.  Perhaps Susie sees Him in the flower she picked just for you.  Explore with your children why and how they see God in the items they named.  Later on, when they feel God is not around, remind them of the list.  Show them how close He really is.

May I challenge you today to take a fresh look around yourself.  Discover God in your everyday surroundings.  Let His image burn into your mind in the things that you have overlooked lately.  He wants to be near you.  Let Him!

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FOOLS

Galatians 3:3 “Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?”

DON’T TRY THIS YOURSELF

Why would Paul call the Galatians “fools”?  Why would he insult them that way?  That wasn’t very nice, was it?  My mamma would have skinned me if she heard me calling someone a fool.  But here we have Paul, the missionary to the Gentiles, calling the Galatians “fools.”  Why?

Because Paul knew better than just about anyone the futility of the flesh.  He knew it was impossible to please God on your own. He knew it was hopeless to try to keep the Law.  He knew the Spirit was the key to living a life that honored Christ.  That is the message he had preached and continued to teach to all who would listen.

TEACHING MOMENT

Do your children struggle to obey you sometimes?  You know they love you and want to please you, but they just can’t help themselves sometimes.  What a perfect verse to share with them.  Explain to them that all their efforts to please you are worthless until they yield first to the Spirit of Christ Who can give them the ability to please God and you.

They need to know as early as possible that pleasing you is secondary to pleasing God.  As a parent, we should be honored that our children want to please the Father.  If our children are pleasing Him there should be nothing that displeases us.  And the best way our children can learn to please Him is by learning from us.

So, are you pleasing the Father by living in the Spirit?  Or are you trying to achieve holiness through your flesh?  If you are, then may I call you foolish?  You are a FOOL!  Won’t you instead become a fool for Jesus?  Let Him give you the power to do all through Him.

Let His Holy Spirit guide you and direct you in every word and deed.  The world may see you as a fool, but the Father will be well pleased.

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DID YOU SEE THAT?

 

Exodus 24:9-10 “9 Then Moses went up with Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel, 10 and they saw the God of Israel; and under His feet there appeared to be a pavement of sapphire, as clear as the sky itself.”

QUITE A VISION

Can you imagine for a second what went through the minds of these men as they gazed upon God?  I am not surprised that Moses and Aaron were allowed to see Him, but the rest?  They must have been scared to death.  They were probably fearful they would be struck down by just looking.  But they weren’t.

Who were these seventy elders?  Were these the men Moses had chosen to help judge the people?  Were these trusted men who had proven themselves?  They aren’t named, but it doesn’t matter.  They obviously were trusted by God for He to reveal Himself to them.  They were counted worthy to be in the very presence of the God of Israel.

TEACHING MOMENT

Have you ever been somewhere with your children and observed a truly amazing sight?  Perhaps it was an incredible sunset or sunrise.  Maybe it was the view from the top of a mountain.  Maybe it was something else in nature they took your breath away.  That would be a great time to share this verse and explain how these men must have felt.

Seeing an incredible sight here on earth today can’t compare with seeing God.  But your children need to know that they can enter the very presence of God every day as they pray.  He is listening and invites them to come to Him.  There is no fear.  There is no trepidation.  We come because we know He loves us and wants to be with us.

Have you visited God today?  Have you looked upon His presence?  Are you longing to see His face as you lift your voice in prayer?  He says, “Come.”

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DID YOU HEAR ABOUT…?

 

Galatians 1:24 “And they were glorifying God because of me.”

REPUTATION

What a change in attitude!  What a change in direction!  What a change – period!  Paul had been a persecutor of the church, dragging people to jail and even agreeing with killing the believers in Christ. Now he is a proclaimer of the Gospel.  This was nothing short of a miracle.  You can see why “they were glorifying God because of” Paul.

Paul’s transformation was the talk of the region.  And those early believers gave glory where glory was due – to God.  They didn’t glorify Ananias who was the one God sent to Paul.  They didn’t glorify the men who escorted the blind Paul to Damascus.  They didn’t glorify Paul.  They glorified God.  But now Paul had a reputation to uphold – God’s.

TEACHING MOMENT

Our children need to understand that when they become a believer they represent a holy God.  It’s not just about them anymore.  When they make their faith public through profession of faith and baptism, they are taking a stand for Christ.  People will see them differently.  Hopefully, they too will glorify God because of them.

So, when they do something or say something that could bring shame on their Lord, they need to make it right – quickly.  They need to make it right with the Lord first and then with anyone else they may have offended.  Children need to learn at an early age that confession is a good thing.  They need to know that being held accountable for their actions is a good thing.

How about you?  Are you bringing praise to your Lord by the words you speak and the things you do?  Are you protecting God’s reputation in your life?  Do others look at your life and glorify God because of you?  That should be our aim – to point others to Him.  Then perhaps we too can glorify God because of what He does in THEIR LIVES!

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WHAT IS IT?

 

Exodus 16:15 “When the sons of Israel saw it, they said to one another, ‘What is it?’ For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, ‘It is the bread which the Lord has given you to eat.’”

EAT THAT?

In my travels I have been offered some strange things to eat.  I almost always partake of it, even if I don’t really want it.  I don’t want to be rude to my host.  But here are the Hebrew people in the wilderness faced with a new food source they had never seen.  They had been grumbling and complaining since they left Egypt about not enough to eat or drink.  So God gives them “what is it,” manna.

The word literally means “whatness” or “what is it.”  We would call that mystery meat when I was in college going through the cafeteria line, lol.  Not only did God provide them their “daily bread,” but He also told them when to gather it and how much to gather. He told them how to prepare it and store it for the Sabbath.  If that’s not attention to detail, I don’t know what it is.

TEACHING MOMENT

Are your children picky eaters?  Many kids are.  I truly believe too many parents give in to their child’s desires rather than concentrating on providing for their needs.  How many of your kids would have eaten manna which they had gathered off the ground each morning?  How many of your children would have said, “Mom, I am tired of this manna stuff.  That’s all we ever have to eat.”?

The next time your little Elrod or Gertrude complain about the food on the table, pull out this story.  Remind them it is NOT about what’s on the table.  It’s all about how the Lord provides for us daily.  Turning up their nose to prepared food is thumbing that same nose at God.  It’s as if they are saying, “God, you don’t know what I need.”

But how about you, Mom and Dad?  Are you doing the same?  Do you question God’s provision in your life?  Are you grumbling about where He is leading you (it may be the Promised Land) as if you have a better plan?

Let Him lead.  Let Him provide.  He ALWAYS knows what we need when we need it.

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MERCY

Exodus 13:17 “Now when Pharaoh had let the people go, God did not lead them by the way of the land of the Philistines, even though it was near; for God said, ‘The people might change their minds when they see war, and return to Egypt.’”

NOT READY YET

God decided to protect the people leaving Egypt by sparing them from having to fight and battle as they left their bondage.  He knew they would have plenty of fighting ahead.  So, He decided to give them a reprieve from war.

Interestingly enough, the first battle they faced was at the Red Sea when the Egyptian army was upon them.  They feared for their lives.  But they didn’t have to lift one finger.  God destroyed the advancing army in the waters of the sea.  Not one Jewish soul was lost, not one sheep or cow, nothing!

TEACHING MOMENT

When our children are younger we fight their battles for them.  We defend them.  We protect them.  But as they grow older, they have to learn to fight for themselves.  They have to learn to rely on the strength of the Lord, rather than the wrath of mom or dad.  Why?

If we do not prepare our children to fight their battles, with the Lord, they will never achieve the purposes God has for their lives.  Hard times build faith.  Battles help us learn wisdom.  We have the responsibility to teach them how to stand up for truth and righteousness.  Otherwise, they will be led astray by that friend or professor who seeks to lure them away from the Lord.

How are you doing in your battles?  Are you relying on someone else besides the Lord?  Are you trying to do it in your own strength?  Let the Lord be your pillar of fire by night and pillar of clouds by day.  He stands ready to defend you, but He will ask you to be a part of the fight.  Put on your armor today and report for duty, soldier of the Cross!

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