Archive - January, 2016

Your Family and the Church

ID-100327503The older I am, the more disheartened I am in learning of the number of children from Christian families who grow up and leave the church. Some of these young adults have not necessarily abandoned the faith, but they have, for all practical purposes, abandoned the church. I wonder if some part of the reason for this is that we have failed to adequately explain what the church is and its necessity in the life of every believer. In other words, we sometimes forget to intentionally talk about these things with our children. Here are some really helpful words from Tedd and Margy Tripp:

God designed the means of safely delivering our children gradually from the primary community of the family to the broader family that supports the worldview of the family. That is the church. Family life and church life are intended to run parallel over our child’s developmental years. This will encourage their movement from our family community to the church community, where God the Father, Christ the brother, and earthly sisters and brothers in Christ become their personal experience.

Think of the elements of family life… and reflect on life in the body of Christ. In a culture where everything regarding the church and God is suspect, we must understand and practice biblical church life that gives meaning, purpose, dignity and divine intention to human life. God has designed the church community to safely extend all the ministries of the family for the nurture and development of our children and us. We should discuss these thoughts with our children. The church is an essential element of the culture we provide for our children.

(From Instructing a Child’s Heart, copyright©2008, pages 136-137)

(Image courtesy of atibodyphoto at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

Teaching with a Heart that is Amazed by the Word

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What is one gift you could give the students in your classroom this coming year? Something that would have a greater impact than creative activities, snacks, songs, lesson visuals, or games? In his recent article, “The One Must-Read This Year,” John Piper calls us to renew and increase our daily wonder over this truth:

All Scripture is breathed out by God. (2 Timothy 3:16)

No prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. (2 Peter 1:21)

Pause. Let this sink in. There is a book that is unlike every other book, because it is the very word of God. You have this book. Or you have access to it. Many do not. But if you are reading this, you do. It is astonishing. Absolutely astonishing. You can hold in your hand a book whose words are the very words of God. God! Do you hear this? Really hear it?

There are no emotions of thankfulness or wonder or adoration that come close to what we ought to feel because of this book. This is why the psalmist cries out in desperation: “Incline my heart to your testimonies” (Psalm 119:36)—because our hearts cannot delight in this book as we ought, without omnipotent help from God. The book is so great, we need great help to see it and savor it for what it is. Let this sink in. God gave us a book of complete truthfulness about himself, and his saving work, and his will for us. This alone is enough to make a wise person read it and savor it deeply every day.

(by John Piper, ©2015 Desiring God Foundation, desiringGod.org)

As teachers, I wonder how this daily amazement and adoration of the Word might transform our teaching. Children can sense when something is really important to you. They can feel it in your tone, expressions, and demeanor. Most children will stop fidgeting and pay attention when they sense an urgency in your words. What if they felt this as we hold the Bible in our hands and teach from it, really believing and treasuring the Bible as the very words of the Holy God?

(Image courtesy of graur codrin at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.)

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