WEEK 5 - DAY 35

“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

This is a difficult verse to read, as some translations speak of training a child in the way they should go and they will not depart from it. But what happens when they do depart from it? Does
this mean we have not done the training well enough? Church is full of stories of kids who have grown into adults with beautiful, full relationships with God and those who haven’t. God himself grieves as we, His children, turn our faces from Him when we sin but of course, we know He is so gracious in His love and mercy. The very best a parent can do is to love God wholeheartedly and live out this love in their actions and words, and build a strong message of identifying ourselves in Christ - locating our lives in Him because nothing of God is wasted and those values do indeed remain. Beyond that, we must give our children the freedom to choose, just as God has designed because their salvation is not our responsibility, it is a choice to make freely.

Indigenous cultures often see the business of child rearing as a communal, collective responsibility. Everyone has a role to play in the growth of their children, as they recognise that as individuals prosper, the community prospers as a whole. We can learn a lot from this. Why don’t we take a collective approach to teaching our children, pointing them towards God, laying a foundation of values that they can build their lives upon? We will all benefit when this happens.

Prayer

Lord, help us as a church community, to instil in our children
a deep and abiding love for You and to love them when they stumble, secure in the knowledge that You will be there to catch them. Help us to live our lives as a testament to your grace, to uphold one another, rejoice in our salvation and continually turn our face towards you. Holy Spirit was ask for wisdom in teaching our children, open our eyes and ears to see and respond in a Godly way to our children. Amen.

Response

Some suggestions are to get involved in kid’s ministry - it’s a lot of fun! Go along to the ‘It Takes A Village’ nights and be part of the conversation of what is shaping our young people. Become a mentor to parents, cook a meal for a single parent - actually any parent, pray for our children, be the best example of what it means to live with Jesus at the centre of your life as you can be.

WEEK 5 - DAY 34

“We’ve heard true stories from our fathers about our rich heritage. We will continue to tell our children and not hide from the rising generation the great marvels of our God – his miracles and power that have brought us all this far.”
- Psalm 78:3-4

There is a stand of Maritime Pines in Hagley Park that were planted around 1870, set apart from those around them, upright and strong, soaring heavenward. Those who planted them did so in the knowledge that they would never see them in all their fullness, never sit beneath their rising canopy yet they planted them all the same, knowing the trees would outlive them, outgrow them, but that one day their great great grandchildren might walk amongst them and marvel at their grandeur. The trees would serve as reminders of where they had come from. Throughout the bible we see God’s big picture, pay-it-forward plan unfolding as He seeks to act in the present but always with the future picture in mind. There is a Maori whakatauki that says, “Ina kei te mohio koe ko wai koe, I anga mai koe I hea, kei te mohio koe, ki te anga atu ki hea - If you know who you are and where you come from, then you will know where you are going.” When we fully grasp who we are in Christ and His redemptive plan for us, then we can know with surety where we are going.

What this means for us today is that we can pray in the knowledge that our prayers for our children or the children of others, are seeds planted. We water them and whisper over them, we embody them with our hopes and desires for now and for successive generations to come because our prayers of today may continue to bear fruit long after we are gone.

Prayer

Lord, we are just so thankful for your love for us, You are such
a majestic God who loves us with such an expansive love, we may never fully comprehend it. You are all at once sovereign and intimate and we do marvel at the way You are at work in all creation. May we never forget the ways You are at work in our lives and give us the boldness to keep telling the stories of your wonder. Amen.

Response

Why not do an Old Testament bible study with your children or friends? Marvel together at how God has worked out, and continues to work out His eternal plan of restoration.

WEEK 5 - DAY 33

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” - Deuteronomy 6:5-7

Let us replace the word giving with gifting. These words
that I am gifting you today...these words are God’s gift, His inheritance for us to pass onto our children. Let this be our legacy. God has gone before us. Let the love of God be in our hearts. Let us build a culture of God’s love to influence our families in coming generations, for blessings will flow.

Teach the ways of God. This will be our stronghold. When something is lived day by day for your children they will be influenced. Teaching and guidance is a true way to being mature Christians. There is more freedom in God’s gift to us. His legacy is not a tradition; it is a way of life.

Prayer

Lord, thank you that we can come to You at any time, any place to pray and talk with You. Let us show our love for
You in all our daily living. Let your love be our legacy, this is what we stand for. No other God, but the one true God of our lives. Thank you for this gift of love. Which covers us and draws us closer to knowing You, then this gift that can be given to others. Amen.

Response

How are we influencing our children, to show them Gods love? How are we sharing Gods love with others? In our actions, in our listening, in our wording? Are we allowing God’s love to influence our daily lives from morning to night?

WEEK 5 - DAY 32

“But if it doesn’t please you to worship the Lord, choose for yourselves today: Which will you worship - the gods your fathers worshiped beyond the Euphrates River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living? As for me and my family, we will worship the Lord.” - Joshua 24:15

Joshua was addressing all the different tribes of Israel. The many tribes were influenced from many different cultures, from an ancestry of traditions from long ago, so idolised many different things, one of them being idol statues. These different races were influenced by their fathers’ family habits, carrying with them the tradition to follow the worshiping of idols. They may not have worshipped their idols every day but they definitely would have been mindful of their existence.

Joshua was saying; The Lord was with you and you were unaware. God has been with you from the beginning. He has paved the way for you. He is your legacy, your inheritance not a tradition from your background. Just because your family have had beliefs, you do not have to follow these beliefs but if you choose to follow God’s inheritance, blessings will follow.

Prayer

Lord, we pray that You would help us to be mindful to what idols may block our way to You. That You would restore our faith in our daily walk with You. That you are all we need. Show us what it means to live with God’s inheritance. That we can turn to You and be mindful of You in all situations. Amen.

Response

How is this different from today? What traditions are we carrying, that may not be fruitful or beneficial to following Gods path for our lives? What idols get in our way? (Things that fill our time, time not spent mindful of what God wants in our lives).

What idols are we mindful/or not mindful of?

WEEK 5 - DAY 31

“And these things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.” - 2 Timothy 2:2

Two things are required in order to leave a legacy; something to pass on and someone to pass it on to. How do we pass on our faith and whom do we give it to? The gospel is spread through relationship and discipleship. Reaching people who will reach still more people.

Paul encourages Timothy to be strong in the grace of Jesus and to find reliable people to join in the work of the gospel. Other words for reliable are steadfast and unswerving. As we fix our eyes on Jesus, we learn to follow His example. We remain full of faith and persevere through difficultly, not by our own strength, but by the power of God.

Just as we have been helped to grow in our faith through the investment of one or more people, we are called to pass on that legacy and invest in others. How beautiful it is to have influenced the life of another person! Each of us is invited to be part of God’s grand story and contribute our gifts so that many more may know the love of Christ Jesus.

Prayer

Jesus, thank you for your grace which empowers me to be steadfast. Today, I choose again to follow You and listen for your voice. Lead me as I take steps to pass on my faith and invest in others. Amen.

Response

Write down some people to invest in. Intentionally spend time with someone this week who needs the grace of God.

WEEK 5 - DAY 30

“One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts.” - Psalm 145:4

We are called to celebrate God and pass on our stories of praise to the next generation. Throughout the Bible people were constantly remembering the amazing things God had done for them. King David knew the mighty power of God and he did not keep quiet about it. We have the opportunity to encourage each other by speaking of God’s glory and faithfulness.

These words that tell of God’s goodness bring life and hope. They help us realise that our everlasting Father is at work and His kingdom is breaking through - right here in our generation. We are invited to get involved in the mighty acts happening around us and speak out in praise of our King. And when we honour God in this way, we prepare a legacy for those who come after us.

Prayer

God, You are so worthy of praise! Thank you for the times that we have seen your faithfulness and experienced your goodness. Holy Spirit, give me wisdom and boldness as I share stories with others. Amen.

Response

Ask others to share their story of what God has done for them.

Prepare a three minute testimony of God’s power in your life and share it with someone this week.

WEEK 5 - DAY 29

“A good person leaves an inheritance for their children’s children, but a sinner’s wealth is stored up for the righteous.” - Proverbs 13:22

This proverb speaks of leaving an inheritance for future generations. If we have children, this scripture encourages us to leave behind something valuable for them.

What if you have very little in the way of finance or assets, through no fault of your own? I believe this verse speaks of more than just worldly wealth because Proverbs 13:7 says: “There is one who makes himself rich, yet has nothing; and one who makes himself poor, yet has great riches.”

Jesus had no material wealth and no children; yet He left an inheritance that still affects the whole world - He gave the keys of God’s eternal kingdom to the twelve disciples. What a treasure - much more valuable than earthly riches you cannot take with you. He poured Himself into those twelve men over three years, preparing them to receive the Holy Spirit and change the world. The apostle Paul made tents and had no children either. His legacy included the churches he founded, the individuals he mentored like Timothy, and the spirit-breathed letters he wrote.

Prayer

Father, You see and love the generations to come. Thank you for giving us the grace, wisdom and opportunities to bless them in what we do today. Amen.

Response

Today in your time with our Father, meditate on today’s verse and ask Him to make it personal for you. Take a note of any promptings, impressions or leadings you may sense. He is ready to help you process them wisely and to take the next step in this faith journey.