I grew up in a house with two Christian parents. Two parents who believe in God’s word and it is evident in their lives. Chuck, my dad, instilled in me a passion for knowing the intricacies of scripture: the who, when, why, and where. Y’know, those kind of bits of information that when you share them people look at you funny for knowing it, like, the third wife of Abraham was Keturah, and she gave him more children that either of his other two wives. I’m a nerd, and I’m OK with that. Debbie, my mom, taught us the day to day of living the Christian life. She read us our devotions every night and prayed with us, she taught us how to be wives and mothers, and taught us to live lives full of God’s grace and mercy (although I struggle with that one, as I have a lot of my daddy in me, too).
But, I’ve found in the past 10 years knowing God’s word has become of utmost importance to me. Why? Two reasons, Isaac Soren and Annaliese Foley. I want my children to know God’s Word, and know it intimately. Knowing his Word is how we know Him. It’s how we know His voice. It’s how we hear His call. Scripture says to hide His word in our heart so that we might not sin against Him, and if his words are hidden there and our heart is the wellspring of our life, think of the sweetness that is going to come out of that!
However, I also know that Jesus spoke God’s Word. (I mean, He is God’s Word, see John 1:1) When He was tempted by Satan in the desert, He used the Old Testament. Hebrews 4:12 tells us that God’s Word is living and active and sharper than any two edged sword, Ephesians 6 tells us that it’s the Sword of the Spirit. We will battle, but our battle is not flesh and blood, our battle is against the deceiver, and the only way to battle deceit is with the truth. Peter tells us to be ready in season and out of season to give an answer for our faith.
I want my kids and my husband to be ready when the devil attacks, because he’s roaming, like a lion seeking whom he may devour, he’s like a thief who seeks to steal, kill, and destroy. I don’t want to send them out unprotected. They are saved, yes! I believe that is once and for all because no one is strong enough to snatch them out of the Father’s hand, but they can still be wounded. I don’t want them to have one scratch! Yet, I know they will. We’re imperfect people who are never going to get it all right all the time. My responsibility is not on how they react but that they know.
Speaking God’s Word is powerful. Jesus said in John 6:63, “The words that I speak to you, they are spirit, and they are life.” We’re called to speak life to others. Demons tremble at the name of Jesus. (And guys, if we’re gonna believe in angels we better believe in demons, spiritual forces of evil in this world.) We don’t use it to cut down others, we’re not struggling with flesh and blood! Psalm 19:10 says God’s word is …. sweeter than honey. In my healthy eating journey I have learned that honey is a healer. It helps fight infection, it soothes aches and pain. So while God’s word will convict us and cut us to our core sometimes when it’s rooting out those evil influences in us, it also heals and brings comfort. That’s what I want my kids and the other children and teens I come in contact with to find. I want them to find their healing and comfort from the Word. When I speak that over them, sometimes I bring conviction when they are wrong but when they need comfort that’s where I get it, too. I’m sure they often get tired of hearing, “Well, the Bible says…..” but as they’re older I know that they will appreciate it!
We know the word and we speak the word so that we can do the word. The Bible calls us all to be doers of the word, not hearers only. It feels good to come sit in the church house and sing good songs and hear an encouraging word. Sometimes we get that Holy Spirit high. We think, “If I could just stay in my Holy Huddle things would be great!” But, the church is not a building, it’s the body. And if our spiritual bodies just sit around and eat all the time we will get spiritually fat! We have to put action to our faith. The opposite is also true, we can’t just serve all the time without putting good food into our bodies or we will get burnt out, we become malnourished. As in everything balance is key!
God says he has begun a good work in us, and he will be faithful to carry us through until it is completed. He has created us for good works! Paul says our faith is dead if we don’t have some action with it. I can say all day long that I believe a chair will hold me up but if I never sit down in it, do I really believe it? Our faith is proven by the good things we do. Don’t get it flipped, we do not earn our faith by doing good works, but we do good works because of our faith in God, and we have to teach our children that.
Growing up, my family was serious about serving the church. We were there earlier than most, we served on committees, and we came to every function. The church was our family. When they needed us we were there, and when we needed them, they were there. I love to tell the story about the Father/Son work day my dad made ME go to (newsflash, I’m not a son) because he was serious about teaching me to serve. The early church we read about in Acts shows us a legacy of service. Jesus tells us to take on the attitude of a servant, the old song says, “They will know we are Christians by our love,”…and here I thought it was our youth group t-shirts that were gonna do the trick. I learned to serve by watching those around me serve, until I was convicted to serve on my own. God has a purpose for all of us in His Kingdom, both in church life and the secular world. But we have to know God’s Word so that we can know what He has called us to do in this world.
His final words to us on this earth, recorded in Mathew and Acts, teach us that our job as disciples of Christ is to teach others about Him. In the original Greek, it says as we are going, to make disciples. That is your primary job. You may be a banker, a teacher, or a stay at home mom, but your role first and foremost is disciple maker.
Know the Word. Speak the Word. Do the Word.