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Throughout the coming week, let's center our minds on the fact that our relationship to God is the most important consideration in life. It is not enough to give casual, once-in-a-while thought to God and His will. God requires that we pay serious attention to Him. Anything less than a diligent approach will not get us to heaven.
Peter wrote, "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and rest your hope fully upon the grace that is to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ" (1 Pt. 1:13 NKJV). To "gird up" the "loins" of our minds means to prepare our minds for responsible action and to get control of our thinking. To be "sober" means to have a serious regard for things we ought to be serious about. Considering the tactics of our enemy, the devil, we won't survive what we're up against if we're anything less than serious-minded about what is going on.
Unfortunately, words like "serious" and "diligent" do not describe the approach most people take to religion. In an age of convenience and ease, there is a strong tendency for us to make our relationship to God nothing more than one of our activities, a respectable part of our "lifestyle."
Against this trend, we need to impart to our children the concept that being God's person is not merely a part of life -- it is all of life. We need to show them, by our deeds as well as by our words, that pleasing God is all that really matters in this world. They should see in our actions that the business of serving the Lord is a thing we are more serious about than anything else that concerns us. Solomon observed that a right relationship with God is the whole of what it is to be a human being: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil" (Eccl. 12:13,14 NKJV).
When we take honest inventory of our lives, most of us can see areas in which we have been doing little more than playing at religion. As our kids would say, we need to "get real." If God is God, He deserves nothing less than our passionate devotion. Let's think about that all this week.
Monday: Hebrews 12:18-29
Key Idea: When God speaks, it is wise of us to pay serious attention.
Questions for Family Growth: What was it like when God spoke to Israel from Mount Sinai? See Exo. 19:16-20; 20:18-21. Today, when we hear God speak in the Scriptures, what should be our attitude toward Him and His message?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 15:21.
Tuesday: Hebrews 2:1-4
Key Idea: If we are not very careful, we will drift away from God.
Questions for Family Growth: What does it mean for someone to "drift" away from God? What does v.1 say about how we can keep from doing that? Is there anybody who can afford to be careless about serving God?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 15:22.
Wednesday: Galatians 6:6-10
Key Idea: God cannot be mocked: we will, in the end, reap whatever we have sown.
Questions for Family Growth: What does the word "mock" mean? If we thought we could reap something other than what we have sown, how would that kind of thinking mock God? What is the opposite of mockery?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 15:23.
Thursday: Proverbs 28:9
Key Idea: If we do not listen to God obediently, He will not listen to us when we pray.
Questions for Family Growth: What kind of attitude do we have to have about God's law in order for Him to hear our prayers? Can we live just any way we want to and still stay on speaking terms with God? For a specific application of this, consider 1 Pt. 3:7.
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 15:24.
Friday: 2 Timothy 2:15
Key Idea: Serving God faithfully requires diligence.
Questions for Family Growth: What does the word "study" mean in this verse in the King James Version? According to this text, how can we make sure that God will be pleased with our workmanship when He inspects it?
Wisdom for the Day: Proverbs 15:25.