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Deuteronomy 6 is the chapter that is at the heart of all Children’s Ministry.  These family ministry passages concern how we, as a people of God, can continue following Him.  God knew when He told Moses to give this passage to the people, that the next generation would be different than the last.  The first generation out of Egypt remembered what life was like as a slave.  With that knowledge, they asked to be brought back as slaves; they did not want to have the Promise Land because the people there were too big.  God saw this generation and said, fine I will wait you out.  When that generation died, God came to their kids and said now there is only Caleb and Joshua. Moses looks to this generation and says it is your turn.  The same covenant I gave to your parents is now before you to be ratified, and the people are being told all the instructions.  In Deuteronomy 5 you see the Ten Commandments stated again for the people to follow.  Then you come to chapter 6.  This passage begins with the dramatic, “Hear O Israel. . . ”  If you are not paying attention, now is the time to give your full attention to the coming words.  The Lord is one.  Love the Lord you God with all you have to give; heart, mind, soul, and body. 

As the messages of these commandments are agreed to by the people, God also provided a way for the people to pass on their beliefs.  God told the people, if you demonstrate to your children at every point in their life the Love of God, you will succeed and you will keep the blessings.  Failure to follow is a failure to keep the blessing and you will receive punishment just like your parents.  We can now look back with perfect vision and read of the failures, but God has a remnant for each generation that kept His word and followed.  They were blessed and continued what was started.  As a whole, the people failed, then repented, then failed again.

In January the Children’s Sunday School sponsored a trip to Pizza Ranch.  There were 50 from our church that attended.  In our devotion, we discussed Deuteronomy 6.  I talked to the group about many different ways we can observe this passage today: Family devotions at lunch, how to make up games using the Bible on a drive to church, etc.  The time was short, but if this generation will listen and truly follow His statutes, the next generation will have a better chance.  My question to you is, If you keep track of what you did this week with those a generation younger, would they be following the teachings of Jesus, or would they be getting another lesson?  I pray each day that we will take the time to place Jesus and His life in front of ours.  What would your kids or your grandkids say about your life? 

Posted by Jason Hoke with
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A couple of summers ago, our whole family was vacationing in Gulf Shores.  We were blessed to be staying on the 21st floor of a condo situated right on the beach.  Of course, I spent the entire week worrying that our youngest granddaughter/dare devil, would end up falling over the railing—although she had no worries as she told me with great confidence that it would be ok if she did because she would just land in the swimming pool below us. 

One afternoon, as we were relaxing out on the balcony, I went inside to get my book when suddenly I heard my daughter yell, “OH MY GOSH!!!”  Of course, my first thought was—Lexi went over the railing.  I ran outside instead to find exhaust fumes so thick you could not see the beach below us.  “What happened???” 

My husband was the first one who could respond, “You are not going to believe it, but the Blue Angels, 5 of them, just flew past at eye level with our balcony.  They were so close we were looking directly into the cockpits!!!”  Well, you can imagine the disappointment I felt.  A once in a lifetime event….and I missed it! 

During my quiet time the next morning, as God often does, He chose to use my disappointment to speak to me and grow me.  He asked, “What would you have done differently if you had known ahead of time the Blue Angels were going to be dropping by?” 

Well, first of all, I would not have wasted one single moment inside getting a book.  I would have camped out on that balcony so I didn’t miss it.  And, I would have been prepared.  I would have invited everyone I know to our balcony to be a part of this amazing experience.  I would have had my camera out and ready and I would have taken time to explain to my grandchildren who the Blue Angels are so they could fully appreciate what was going to happen.  

But, the reality is, the last thing I had on my mind that morning when I got up was that the Blue Angels would be doing a fly-by that day.  God spoke again and said “And yet, you do know that one day I will either call you home or you will see the return of my Son to gather all believers, and you still live like that’s the last thing on your mind.” 

In James 4:14, it reminds us “that we are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.”  The fact is, I may have 1 hour or 20 years left—only God knows. The same goes for the lost God puts around us every single day.  We never know how much time they have.  Each encounter we have with them could very well be our last. 

This isn’t meant to be a message of gloom and doom, but of joy in being given these lives of ours to share the amazing gospel message of a God who loves us so much that He sent His son who was willing to be beaten, tortured and brutally crucified for us so that we can spend all eternity with Him.  Why would I not want to live every day of my life as though it could be my last and spend it sharing my Jesus story with a lost and broken world who so desperately needs to know Him? 

Romans 10:14 says, “How then can they hear about Him unless someone (you and I) tells them.  How will they believe in Him who they have not heard?”  They need to hear from us that there is hope in a dark world and that hope is Jesus.

God uses all kind of situations to show me the MANY areas in which I need to grow.  The truth is that I value this lesson He taught me far more than the temporary thrill of getting to see the Blue Angels, amazing as they are! 

God has challenged me to live every single moment of every single day as though it were my last opportunity to tell those around me about the love of Jesus.  He has asked me to be a witness for Him everywhere I go–to everyone I encounter—to make an impact on the world FOR HIM every day I am given here. 

Do people see Jesus first and foremost in how we live our lives and how we love others?  I have heard it said “our evangelism is not effective because our lives do not reflect the Jesus we are proclaiming.” 

A story I heard tells of a little girl who came home one day and was telling her mom of a lady she had met. When her mother asked what the lady’s name was, the girl replied, “I don’t know, but she must have been Jesus’ grandmother because He is all she talked about.”  Oh how I pray that one day, someone will say of me, “I can’t remember her name….but all she talked about was her Jesus!” 

Colossians 4: 5-6 says, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders, make the most of EVERY opportunity.  Let your conversation be ALWAYS full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” 

As God has challenged me, let me also challenge you.  Wake up every morning with one thought:  “God, let me live my life today in such a way that people every where I go will see Jesus—not me—in everything I think, say and do.”  Begin praying daily “Let the words of my mouth (everything I say), and the meditation of my heart (everything I think), be pleasing in your sight O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14 

We are His witnesses in a lost and fallen world and our time is short.  Make the most of it.  Treat every opportunity as if someone’s life depends on it because my sisters and brothers….it does.

Posted by Beth Sweeney with

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