“But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:5
What does serving the Lord look like to you? If you asked a room full of people you would receive many varied answers. Some people believe in writing and updating mission statements, as Stephen Covey has encouraged.
What would happen if Christians everywhere were to write a mission statement of how his family was to serve the Lord? We would not all be foreign missionaries, but we can certainly be missionaries here at home.
The idea is we must define what we are to do. And we need to start by looking in the Bible. Inside those pages we learn what God expects of us and what tools He is offering to help us along the way. Reading the Bible as individuals and with our families should be a top priority. Some feel devotional books help a lot in this department. I would also advocate reading entire books of the Bible as a family. I know, the Old Testament is scary for small children, not many warm fuzzies in the battle scenes! But, kids learn an important lesson: God means business! When we disobey Him there are consequences! (A great reminder for parents too!)
Making a point to serve others is keeping with Jesus’ commands. When we serve as a family, we are helping instill the habit of service early on, so that it becomes second nature, a way of life, which pleases God.
Keeping God’s commands certainly serves Him. Not always an easy thing to do, but we can discuss this with our children, saying “I really do not want to give my tithe this week, the budget is tight, but I will do it because God commanded it. And, I will trust He will supply our needs.” Make sure to highlight when you see rewards, because that will speak volumes to your child as well.
When we pause in the daily grind, and get intentional about our faith, and focus our intentions on passing it on, we often see blessing we once overlooked.
I have kept a prayer journal on and off for years. I have also recorded service projects for each daughter throughout her homeschool years. When I have written down the prayer requests and service projects, both personal and others, I have seen so much more clearly where God’s hand helped those situations. I have also noted how much we all grew as a family and as individuals in the Lord. It has also served to help me remember how God supplied all my needs, even the ‘little’ ones which troubled my heart. I encourage our daughters to do the same, and have been surprised how much they have witnessed to me as a result.
Maybe yours is not a family of writers, but one member could record requests at a meal each week, and review them and see what God does over the course of time.
Thanksgiving Day is a wonderful time to break out the prayer journal and service record and see how God has been faithful.
Once you get intentional, prepare yourself for blessings you never imagined!
Reflections: (One to ponder each weekday!)
1) How serious am I about my faith? About my relationship with God?
2)Does I recognize God wants a personal relationship with me? Christianity is so much more than a list of dos and don’ts!
3)How can I be more intentional about my faith and service to God?
4)How can I encourage others to be intentional about their faith and service to God?
5) Please, share what you have learned about being intentional, and how you are planning to foster your faith through focusing on it! Please share how you serve, it might spark of wave of service! Your sharing will help encourage others! Just click the “comment” button!
Please return by Monday, May 14 for the next post! And thank you, for reading and encouraging!