Monday, March 7, 2011

A Truthful and Secure Identity

"Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."
Deuteronomy 6:5-9 

As I read Deuteronomy 6, I am hushed and humbled again by the commands given to us by God as Christian parents.  Impressing God's Word on our children's hearts and teaching them His truth is a privilege, honor and responsibility.  Truly, there is no greater desire or prayer, and no greater joy than to know our children are walking with and in the Truth.  (3 John 1:4)  God is faithful and His Word is truth.  If our children are abiding in Him and seeking out His precepts daily, our parental hearts will be free, peaceful and joyful.  "I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out Your precepts."  (Psalm 119:45) 

The "when you lie down and when you get up" part of our command in Deuteronomy 6 has to be intentional for me as a parent.  A general plan needs to be in place or the mornings and evenings can get swallowed up.  We talk about God's Word all the time as we "sit down at home and when you walk along the road" (or, in our case, "when you drive the children here and there in your Ford Explorer").  Mornings and bed time have always been so precious to me as a mom since they were babies.  Making the opening and closing of each of their days most meaningful and sacred as they grow is our time in God's Word.  
For our 2011 daily Bible morning devotion for our children, we are doing a "Who We Are In Christ" Bible study.  After reading through God's Word in 2010 (click here), I prayed God would lead me for 2011, and I know He has.  Our identity as Christians is secure because of who we are in Christ.  Our identity is based in TRUTH.  We are not defined by what others say we are, who others think we are, by our sin or by our accomplishments.  We are who we are because we are IN CHRIST, which is stated beautifully in His Word.  And His Word is truth.  By His truth, He sanctifies us and makes us holy.

"Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth."
John 17:17

We are who we are in Christ because of who HE is.

For Christmas, we gave each of the children a new journal.  Each morning, usually before they wake up, I write a scripture reference in the journal and I date it.  When they awake, they are excited to look up the scripture and write it in their journal.  We then talk about who they truly are in Christ by what His Word says.  I pray this journal of their truthful, secure identity becomes a treasure to them as they grow up.  I pray His Word grounds them securely.

Here are just a few entries in their journals:

We are children of God, the perfect Parent!
"Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God..." 
John 1:12

We are a friend of God!
"I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you."
John 15:15

We are the apple of His eye!
 "He shielded him and cared for him; He guarded him as the apple of His eye..."
Deuteronomy 32:10

We are forgiven!
 "I write to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of His name."
1 John 2:12

We are redeemed!
"Christ redeemed us..."
Galatians 3:13

We are sealed by the Holy Spirit!
"And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit..."
Ephesians 1:13

Wow!  I am excited to go through the year and fill their journals, hearts and minds with the truth of who they are in Christ.  Already, going through the scriptures and teaching the children who they are in Christ has had a serendipitous blessing and lesson.  While we want them to know their truthful and secure identity founded in His Word, we are also reminded of the privilege and responsibility that comes with being His child, His friend, the apple of His eye, His forgiven.  (This is a blog post for another day.J)  

We pray our children will moment-by-moment hold firmly to the Word of life and thereby shine like stars in the sky for Him and boast on the day of Christ that, indeed, they did not run or labor in vain!  Only by His grace and strength.

"You will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life. And then I will be able to boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor in vain."
Philippians 2:14

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