40 Day Challenge

As most of you know, our church has been challenged by Pastor Danny to set aside 30 minutes a day, every day, for 40 days to read the Word aloud with our families, beginning and ending in prayer. Today I received the following in an email newsletter from author Ray Comfort at Living Waters. I must say that I know too well the “excuses” he mentions, as we have been fighting many of them in this challenge. I hope that his thoughts might encourage you and strengthen your resolve to have a “family altar” time, too.

If you want “godly offspring,” it is essential that you make the time to establish a family altar. Build it out of the unmovable rocks of resolution. You will need to be resolute about this because it will be a battle. Your flesh will fight it, and you can be sure there will be a continual spiritual battle within your mind. “Circumstances” will constantly crop up. Your kids will occasionally groan when you announce that it is time for devotions. Loved ones may subtly, subconsciously discourage you. However, your time of family devotions should be a priority for your whole family. Don’t be legalistic about it, but as much as possible, put all other things aside before you postpone or cancel family devotions.

It will be an altar of sacrifice, as you sacrifice your time, your energy, and sometimes your dignity. For years, our kids heard, “Six o’clock—reading time.” My wife and I dropped whatever we were doing, and the children learned to do the same, and we gathered as a family. Making it a priority for your family’s growth will speak volumes about its importance in their lives.

Again, you will find that there are many excuses for not having devotions. You may be pressed for time, feel tired, or think you are unable to teach the Bible. However, there is one very powerful reasonwhy you should have daily devotions: the eternal salvation of your children. (Adapted from How to Bring Your Children to Christ…& Keep Them There.)

Malachi 2:15 But did He not make them one, Having a remnant of the Spirit? And why one? He seeks godly offspring. Therefore take heed to your spirit, And let none deal treacherously with the wife of his youth.

Has God Forsaken You?

Trials are not necessarily a sign that God has forsaken you. The Christian life is filled with lion’s dens and Red Seas. Trust God to shut the mouths of lions and open Red Seas. However, even if He doesn’t see fit to do the things for which you are hoping, joyfully trust Him anyway, because whatever you are going through will be worked out for your good (see Rom. 8:28). Follow the example of Shadrach and his friends, who would not bow to an idol. They told the king, “If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up” (Dan. 3:17,18, emphasis added).

– Ray Comfort