‘Dedicate your children to God and point them in the way that they should go, and the values they’ve learned from you will be with them for life.’ Proverbs 22:6 (TPT)
I was thrilled earlier this month when my daughter asked for a Study Bible. She had had a very successful year at school and had achieved some important goals throughout the year. As a reward for her success I offered to get her something to remember this year. She asked for a Bible.
After researching and looking over the options her choice was a Life Application Study Bible. It arrived this week and she was totally overjoyed at what she received. Then she asked a question that made me sit up very quickly.
“Dad, where do I start to the read Bible?” She had tried many times before from the beginning. After progressing steadily through Genesis and into Exodus, by the time she hit Leviticus she had stalled, and all the good intention and endeavours stopped.
I took some time to explore possible options. We discussed what was on her heart when she read the Bible. As we spoke the Lord impressed upon my mind the need to tell her that she would fall in love with God in a new and beautiful way in 2019. I soon realised that to undertake such an assignment I was going to need to put her on a plan that would lead to her achieving her goal.
For many years I have read the One Year Bible every day and continue to do so. When I suggested this to her, she felt this may be a task too daunting at this time.
What if I unpacked the One Year Bible into manageable bites sizes so that each day, she could spend time in God’s Word? My desire was that she would fall in love with the Lord by reading regularly, so I suggested that in 2019 she reads the Psalms and Proverbs in that year.
She was excited with this as I set about putting the plan on a spreadsheet for her.
As I was typing a plan into a spreadsheet, I sensed the Lord say that I needed to challenge my whole family to fall in love again with God’s Word and to create a fresh hunger in my whole family for God’s Word in 2019. I immediately transferred the plan to Google Doc and sent it via email to my whole family with the challenge of developing the spiritual discipline of reading God’s Word every day.
I have been pleasantly surprised by the response from my family and the willingness to start all or part of reading plan through the Bible each day next year.
But for me as a parent my role doesn’t finish there. I have always taken my responsibility seriously to cover my wife, my children and their spouses with the Lord’s presence, protection and power – in prayer, through God’s Word, praying for healing, by sharing prophetic words or being encouraged when someone else speaks into their life.
I want all my children to become closer to and more deeply acquainted with God in their own lives. While I can’t live their lives for them, I can be the lamp that shines beside them on the track they are on. As the light shines forth and they enter this new spiritual adventure next year my prayer is that they will stay focused and on purpose in each of their own walks with God.
As I look towards to 2019, I claim the promise in Isaiah 60:1-2 “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you. See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the Lord rises upon you and his glory appears over you.” This is season of the Lord bringing forth His light to Open Heaven and Invade Earth We need to be people of the light. The light that shines brightest is the revelations that come from the Word of God.
This challenge has caused me to ask both powerful and real questions of myself as I journey with my family and others playing my part in keeping them on the right track.
I can sum my answer to all the questions I considered in Paul’s word to the Philippians “[For my determined purpose is] that I may know Him [that I may progressively become more deeply and intimately acquainted with Him, perceiving and recognizing and understanding the wonders of His Person more strongly and more clearly” Philippians 3:10 AMPC.
May God challenge you to be hungry for His Word in 2019 and stay on track with Him throughout the year.