Friday, June 16, 2017

Reading Your Bible Again!?

“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
Joshua 1: 7-9 NIV

I have hundreds of memories from my childhood. Some of these memories stand out because they were highly emotional. The time I ran over my brother with our go-kart and our unsuccessful cover-up is one such memory. I have pleasant memories from vacations, playing in my room, and spending time with my grandmother.

Then, there are very mundane memories that my brain has held on to because I saw the same images over and over. My father reading his Bible falls into that category. Every morning at home, I would wake up to find my father sitting in his chair reading his Bible. He could be sick or have a full day of work on the farm and yet, there he would be in the morning reading. 

If there's one thing my father taught me about God and faith, it was the importance of the Bible in our daily lives. There was not a daily demand of me to read my Bible. There was a moment in my upper-grade school years when my father told me it was time for me to start reading daily even if for a small amount of time. There were no follow up chats, Bible reading charts, or any further discussions. He knew I had to take ownership of my faith. He really didn't have to speak it to me, because he modeled it to me. It was clear that he believed the Bible was true and was important.

If there was one thing I have taken from my father, it was that God is real and the Bible is the key to understand our faith. It is also critical to have an understanding of the word for times that arise when we truly understand nothing.

Having a baby with an extra chromosome who needed two open-heart surgeries stretched my faith. Yet, I had a model and a background in which I knew I had to press into God and the Bible during those tough times.

As an adult, I have tried to keep my father's model alive. I do not read my Bible in a "closet" where no one sees. I read it in the living room each morning.

One day my son asked me, "Do you have to read your Bible every day? Haven't you read it already?"

In that moment, I realized that my son was growing up seeing me as I saw my dad.

I hope I am teaching my son the power of the Bible. I hope when his sister is sick, he'll remember seeing me continue to read and pray to God. I hope he notices the scriptures we hang up in her hospital rooms. I hope he'll have memories of me modeling the faith when he looks back at his childhood. That way, the demonstration of our faith will continue on for another generation.

As Father's Day approaches, I have to give my dad a shout out for not just telling me to be a Christian but showing me how to be one. What about you? What are you showing your children about God, especially in times of sickness and chaos?

Thank you for sending your word to us. Let us never forget the power of it and take it for granted. Help us as parents teach and show our children the importance of your word. Let them understand that the answers to our problems and the hope we need for our lives are found in your word. Help us to do better keeping your word on our lips and minds so we can have generations that follow you. Amen!


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