Deuteronomy 6:4-9 Amplified Bible
4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one [the only God]! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and mind and with all your soul and with all your strength [your entire being]. 6 These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be [written] on your heart and mind. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your [a]children [impressing God’s precepts on their minds and penetrating their hearts with His truths] and shall speak of them when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road and when you lie down and when you get up. 8 And you shall bind them as a sign on your hand (forearm), and they shall be used as [b]bands (frontals, frontlets) on your forehead. 9 You shall write them on the [c]doorposts of your house and on your gates.
The Word of God for the Children of God.
Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.
Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia! Amen.
Parents, Grandparents and God’s Children of all ages and walks of and among life, what first comes to our mind when we meditate about “family devotions”?
Does it include regular times set apart for your family read Scripture? Prayer? Worship in song? Formal Bible instruction with age-appropriate resources?
Yes, all these things and quite a few things more characterize family devotions.
And all serve to glorify and honor God and too will definitely come to benefit our children and our families as we instruct them in what is most important.
I don’t think there’s a mandate to be found in sacred Scripture that is more solemn than this one. That we are to teach our children the truth of God’s Word is a sacred, holy responsibility that God gives to His people. And it’s not something that is to be done only one day a week in Sunday school. We can’t abdicate the responsibility to the church. The primary responsibility for the education of children according to Scripture is the family, the parents.
(R. C. Sproul, “The Most Solemn Mandate in the Bible for Parents,” ligonier.org)
God instructed the nation of Israel in Deuteronomy 6:6–9,
“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. 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.”
This ancient passage of text makes it abundantly clear that God’s forever intent is for parents to teach their children and each other about God and His ways.
God’s Word should be at the forefront of our lives and the center of our homes.
Thousands of years later, Apostle Paul echoes the importance of these words.
Ephesians 6:4 says, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” One way we teach our children this truth is by coming together as a family to be in God’s Word and praying together.
The wisest of the wise King Solomon: Proverbs 22:6 gives this wisdom: “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”
As parents who love God and who deeply believe and cherish Him, we want to help our, and future generations of children also come to love and believe Him.
Deliberately, Intentionally, Purposefully, our setting aside time for our family devotions each day will show our children that God is the very center of our lives, and spending time with Him is our priority, and we desire to do His will.
We want to show them that it’s okay, God can be the center of their lives, too.
We also want them to be taught, see how God guides them through life in their community, schools, family, and decisions – so they may teach their children.
To raise them up with critically important biblical values that they may one day, as might be needed, to emphasize these values before school board authorities.
Advocate, Communicate, Educate, the highest values of acceptance and sanctity of all life which God indelibly places upon everyone – without any exceptions.
Living, Loving, Moving, Being enveloped in the Word feeds us with everything we need from advice, to wisdom, to morals and ethics and unto His salvation.
It sets us up with a rock solid, sure and certain and steadfast and immovable foundation, a place for all to turn to in times of trials, tribulations, and praise.
Family devotions are a wonderful time for discussions with your children.
As you and your family read through God’s Word together, you can discuss the ways in which it is inescapably relevant to their lives.
For example, some of your discussions might include the ways in which God’s character applies to our understanding of our morals, attitudes and behaviors.
Be sure to not only discuss troublesome behaviors, but positive ones as well.
Your discussions might also include questions about how and why the world works the way it does.
You might just find yourselves talking about your relationships with others and all the ways in which God’s character and His commands help transform those.
These discussions can help your children see that God’s Word is “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12) and “profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16b–17).
Family devotions help create a firm foundation for your children’s spiritual growth.
In diligently and prudently practicing the spiritual disciplines of reading and studying God’s Word of fellowship and praying together, you help train your children to incorporate and carry these “God” practices with them through life.
You’re also helping them to learn the immeasurable dimensions, the infinite applications of the truth of God’s Word and to come to know, love, Him better.
When we dive into God’s Word, we are teaching our children that God loves and cares about them and us relentlessly.
When we come together to God to pray, to seek Him, we are showing our children we have access to a God who is holy, loving, able to meet our needs.
Our family devotions will likely challenge our faith and contribute infinitely to our spiritual growth as well.
Family devotions also help us meaningfully connect with our children in the midst of a sometimes hectic world.
Taking time to pause to focus on God together is the sweet intimacy of Christian fellowship.
A family time that is deliberately, intentionally, personally, purposely set apart can also serve as a time to honor God and each other, to relate with one another.
As we share our joys and our concerns, our struggles and trials, prayer requests or discuss how God’s Word applies to our lives, we are sharing God in our lives.
Dedicating this time to focus on your children and on God can help strengthen your relationships with your child.
Family devotions do not have to be elaborate.
You can keep them as simple as reading through a passage that pertains to issues you might be facing in your family, to reading through a certain book of the Bible, or purchasing age-appropriate devotional books.
You can include time for worshiping with music if you desire.
Psalm 139:23-24 Amplified Bible
Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart;
Test me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.
There is no set time-length that family devotions have to last, but you can be assured that you will soon find this experience to be a joyful time together.
At the conclusion of your time together, pray for God’s goodness in your family, any requests of friends and family, and for His abundant guidance in your lives.
Psalm 139:1-18 Amplified Bible
God’s Omnipresence and Omniscience.
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.
139 O Lord, you have searched me [thoroughly] and have known me.
You know when I sit down and when I rise up [my entire life, everything I do];
You understand my thought from afar.
You scrutinize my path and my lying down,
And You are intimately acquainted with all my ways.
Even before there is a word on my tongue [still unspoken],
Behold, O Lord, You know it all.
You have enclosed me behind and before,
And [You have] placed Your hand upon me.
Such [infinite] knowledge is too wonderful for me;
It is too high [above me], I cannot reach it.
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Or where can I flee from Your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, You are there;
If I make my bed in Sheol (the nether world, the place of the dead), behold, You are there.
If I take the wings of the dawn,
If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea,
Even there Your hand will lead me,
And Your right hand will take hold of me.
If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me,
And the night will be the only light around me,”
Even the darkness is not dark to You and conceals nothing from You,
But the night shines as bright as the day;
Darkness and light are alike to You.
For You formed my innermost parts;
You knit me [together] in my mother’s womb.
I will give thanks and praise to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was being formed in secret,
And intricately and skillfully formed [as if embroidered with many colors] in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes have seen my unformed substance;
And in Your book were all written
The days that were appointed for me,
When as yet there was not one of them [even taking shape].
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
If I could count them, they would outnumber the sand.
When I awake, I am still with You.
Remember to always praise God for His answers to your prayers, too.
Create an environment that is calm, loving, and memorable, one that your children will want to foster, nurture, impress, upon the lives of their children.
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” (2 Peter 3:18).
Family devotions are a crucial means of declaring, living out family priorities.
By turning to God’s Word and prayer together every day (or most days, at least), we model the uncompromising centrality of these practices in our Christian life.
These daily times together will also prove an important means of our building closeness within our family…
Our devotions call us to a family experience each day.
Hebrews 6:19-20 Amplified Bible
19 This hope [this confident assurance] we have as an anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whatever pressure bears upon it]—a safe and steadfast hope that enters within the veil [of the heavenly temple, that most Holy Place in which the very presence of God dwells],20 where Jesus has entered [in advance] as a forerunner for us, having become a High Priest forever according to the order of [a]Melchizedek.
Our time away with God, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit and each other gives expression to this “confident assurance” we have all an anchor for our souls.
We each have our own hopes and dreams we desire to see lived in each other.
And while few of them are remarkably miraculous on their own, it is their gradual and steadfast accumulation which will add up to something special.
And then there is the benefit of building a habit that adds structure and stability to the family’s shared life.
As we have emphasized family devotions, we will gradually find out it becomes a kind of disciplined, organizing structure to the God life we all share together…
Through disciplined family devotions we model our own discipline of personal devotions, for the two closely, inextricably, inescapably, resemble one another.
By relating to the Lord as a family, we teach how to relate to him as individuals.
Growing up in a prayer-filled home is a beautiful and powerful thing.
Parents can pray over their children from the moment they are conceived through adulthood.
Children can learn alongside their parents how to pray to the Lord themselves.
Siblings can pray for and with one another as they resolve conflict and build strong relationships.
Extended family can cover loved ones in prayer through both joyful and challenging seasons.
Families can pray together more often than just before dinner, and it can be a life-changing and spiritually transformative experience that not only brings family members closer to God, but blessedly, ultimately closer to one another!
It is the kind of disciplined habit, perhaps like eating and praying together, and attending church together, that anchors family to the centrality of Jesus Christ.
In the name of God, the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit,
Let us Pray,
“Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” Colossians 3:16-17
Lord, I pray that the message of Christ and his sacrifice is the root of gratitude in my and my family’s heart. That His gracious gift leads me and my family into thankful living, setting a timeless example for the rest of my family and their children. That they will have their own truly abiding relationship with Jesus one day, and that You would grow gratitude in their hearts out of the acceptance of Jesus as their Savior. Lead us to do everything in the name of Jesus and give thanks to You through Him.
Adeste Fidelis! Venite Adoremus! Dominum.
Gloria! In Excelsis Deo! Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia, Amen.