Do you ever feel like there are so many voices calling for your attention that you hardly know which one to listen to? Often times, it’s easy to put God on hold too, because after all, life is busy or perhaps by the end of the day, you are just plain tired. Maybe you might even think, “I will sit and relax, watch my favorite show, unwind a little and then take some time to delve into my Bible.” However, that time never comes. Because then it’s time to put the kids to bed and the laundry is calling or your sister calls on the phone or something else happens. If we as adults struggle to read our Bible, then how can we expect our kids to have a love for God’s Word?
Thankfully, I developed a habit in my early teen years of reading and praying that has served me well, but I do admit that there are days that I miss my time with God because I get distracted. So what’s the answer? How can we develop that love for God’s Word and how ultimately do we grow in our faith journey?
I don’t pretend to have the answers because literally, I don’t. I don’t know how to help you and I certainly don’t know how to help our technology-driven kids. I do know for me, developing that habit at a young age was crucial. I was lucky enough to have a Sunday School teacher who made reading our Bibles a priority. He encouraged us in a fun way. First he prayed for his class by name faithfully. I also had a praying mom and grandma, but back to my teacher. He then gave us little assignments each week and if we completed those assignments, he rewarded us with some fun prizes. Mostly though, he lived his faith. He shared his own love for the Bible and he showed us that reading the Bible wasn’t just about completing an assignment or reading a bunch of words on a page so that we would be rewarded, rather he showed us through his excitement and actions that reading God’s Word was a way of connecting with God. It was based on a God who loved us enough to want to be with us and talk to us. He showed us a God who heard and answered out prayers. I learned that when I had a problem, I could go to God and He often spoke to me through His Word.
Thank you Hap Ross and others who helped me to discover and develop a love for God’s Word. Oh Lord, I pray that there are dozens more teachers, parents and grandparents like him who live their faith, pray their faith and show this next generation the relationship that can be found in the pages of a powerful book, the Bible; a relationship that is based on the love of a Father for His children. That relationship is with God and His Son Jesus. As for the Bible… well the Bible is really a love letter to us. So stop what you are doing for just a minute and focus on God’s Word. Let Him whisper encouragement to you through its pages. Hear Him say, “I love you my child. Truly I do!”
Today there are so many distractions that draw us away from spending time with you and in your word, I find that there are days when I allow everything to get in the way and then I miss my time with you. I know that I feel so much stronger, healthier and simply encouraged when I do spend time in my Bible, listening for your voice, Thank you God, for people who helped me develop a habit of reading early on. I don’t know where I would be today without that. I pray for our kids growing up today. I think there are more distractions than ever before and the enemy would like our kids to stay distracted, but God you have a message for our kids and that message is that you love them. You love them and you desire to talk to them and be there for them no matter what. I’m just a grandma, I don’t know how to reach the kids of today, but God you do. Call our kids by your Spirit. Call them into relationship with you. Oh that they may know you and look to you whatever comes their way. Amen
HELPING OUT KIDS DEVELOP A LOVE FOR GOD’S WORD
* Let them catch you reading and being excited about it
When my kids were young, I remember trying to get up before they did to have just a little quiet time to myself. Inevitably, one of them would wake up and that quiet time was gone. I was frustrated until one day I felt like God said, read to them and I did. I started reading and trying to frame what I read into words they understood. I don’t know if it changed their lives, but it sure changed mine.
* Provide your kids with an age-appropriate Bible that they can look at or read for themselves.
* Read to them – Do they ever get too old for this? I hope not, I sincerely hope not.
* Pray, pray, pray!!!
* Hey, I’m not beyond a little bribery – reward your kids when they do read God’s Word.
* Let them know God loves them immensely and wants to spend time with them.
SHARE A STORY – Jesus Is Baptized – Matt. 3:13-17
When Jesus grew up, He wanted to do what His Father God wanted Him to do and He wanted us to know that we could live for God too. One day, Jesus came to the Jordan River where John was baptizing people who wanted to live for God. Jesus wanted John to baptize Him, but John said, “Why do you want me to baptize you? I should be baptized by you instead!“ John knew that Jesus was a lot greater than He was. Jesus was God’s own Son!
Jesus said, “I want to be baptized because I want to obey my Father God. I want to do what He wants me to do.” Then John baptized Jesus and as soon as Jesus came out of the water, a dove came down from heaven and landed on Jesus.
God said, “This is my Son. I love Him and I am very happy with Him.” Jesus did what His Father God wanted Him to do. He obeyed and did what was right. He wants us to know that we can live for God too. Jesus will be our forever friend and help us know what to do. He will help us listen and obey God. Jesus will help us do what God wants us to do.
God shows us in the Bible, what to do If we need help, we can pray and ask Jesus to help us any time and anywhere. When we listen to the Bible, we will grow strong and wise like Jesus did.
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, Thank you for being my forever friend. I want to love you with all my heart and obey just like you obeyed God. Help me to listen and learn from the Bible so I can know you better. I know you love me and that I can always talk to you. Amen
MEMORIZE: Luke 2:52 CEV – (Hold hands like holding a book.)
“Jesus” – (Touch fingers of hand to palm of other hand, repeat.)
“Became wise and” – (Point to forehead.)
“He grew,” – (Squat down and then slowly stand up.)
“Strong” – (Show muscles.)
“God was pleased with Him” – (Point up and then clap hands.)
“And so were the people.” – (Clap hands.)
KNOW: The Bible is God’s Word. Jesus is God’s Son.
TALK ABOUT: Obeying God or doing what God wants me to do.
ASK: Who wants to be your friend? Jesus wants to be my friend.
AND DO: I can obey God’s because Jesus will help me. The Bible helps me know what to do.
FUN IDEAS FOR THIS WEEK
* Turn off the lights and use a flashlight to lead your child to bed some night. Talk about how the Bible is like a light that helps us know the way to go.
* If you don’t yet have one for your child, buy a Children’s Bible and read a story with your child everyday. For preschoolers, I like the “Beginner’s Bible.”