Howdy to y'all!
Last night we went back to church, and got to hear Bro. Eric Hixon speak again. He talked about family. About how we as Christians need to be having not only private reading and worship, but reading and worship as a family, as well as at church.
He quoted many scriptures, most of which I will share. He said that we need to return to the old church, not a few hundred years ago, but farther than that.
He quoted Psalm 127 - "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives his beloved sleep. Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord. The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but shall speak with their enemies in the gate."
This tells us children are a blessing from God. We are stewards of God's grace and responsible for their souls. Our children were placed in our homes by God's sovereign design. The little soul in your home could have been in someone else's home, somewhere in Nicaragua, in Ethiopia, in France, or Israel. But God chose you to teach them, and guide them.
He talked about how leading a household of faith will prepare us for public worship, in that we won't be just waiting for service to end, but rather we will be joyful and happy to be in the house of the Lord, and ready to praise and worship Him. Pointed out was the fact that most people who have spiritual apathy, or rather, say they are saved, and go to church, but just aren't excited, or aren't happy to be there, are normally people who don't have a time of private reading and worship.
Deuteronomy 6 : 6-9 "And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates."
After this, he told a story about how in Greenland, many years ago, when a traveler would get caught in a storm, and nightfall came, he would knock on the first door he came to, and ask, "Is God in the house?". If someone responded with, "What? Who?" the traveler would continue to the next house, knowing that the people inside could possibly do him harm.
The point of all of this was to show that our families, and especially our men, as heads of our household (sorry ladies, it's true) are responsible for making sure that our families are worshipping together, reading together, and privately.
It's about talking about God all day long with our families. About His blessings, and the things He has done. About everything!
Constant reminding is needed because let's face it, we need it. We are a forgetful people.
A few statistics were given to us - 88% of kids in church whose parents are NOT engaging them in prayer, Bible study, and worship at home, leave the faith by the time they are college freshman.
ONLY 11% of professing Christians read their Bible everyday. (Even I am guilty of this. Lord please forgive me.)
Imagine a friend coming over to your home for dinner. They are your best friend in the world, so you pull out the paper plates, because they understand, and you are just relaxin in jeans and a t-shirt.
But then imagine that your HERO comes over, the ONE person you admire most, and never thought you could meet. If that happened, you would put on your best clothes, pull out the best china, and do your best to entertain him.
I say that to say this: God is insulted by the scraps of your life. If you are only giving Him paper plates, that insults Him. He wants your whole heart, your life, your love, your attention.
If someone knocked on your door and asked, "Is God in the house?" What would you say?
I tell you ALL THAT to tell you this....
When I heard all this, I realized that I SAY I am living for God. I don't drink anymore, we aren't doing the things we used to do. But I give a lot of my time to video games. A lot of my time to things that I really could give up. But then I don't spend ANY time in my Bible. I don't pray except for a little bit here and there.
I felt so ashamed, and so low, so convicted and heartbroken that I have given God ONLY the scraps. My oldest step son is doing things NO child should be doing.
And then I realized....if children are a blessing from God... then shame on me. I don't deserve a blessing. I don't deserve His grace or mercy.
Yet I have it. Praise God for that. I am challenging myself to read more, pray more, and to live for God. Get rid of the things in my life that take up all my time, and to engage my husband in private study and worship.