Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Family Ties in the Social Distance #39: Proverbs 14:26–A Nation Exalted

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My husband, Glenn, is sharing these daily lessons for our West Huntsville family as we are necessarily (because of the virus) spending less time physically together in worship, study and fellowship. We may be “socially distanced,” but  we’re a close-knit family and we want to keep it that way! One way to stay on track together, spiritually, is to think about a common passage and make applications for our lives together even when we are unable to assemble as frequently. I’m sharing these daily family lessons here for those in other places, whose families (or even congregations) might benefit from a common study in these uncommon days of semi-quarantine. There are Family Bible Time guides included, as well. You can adapt, shorten or lengthen them according to the ages of kids (and adults) in your family. Blessings.

From Glenn:  

My Favorite Proverbs:  What Exalts a Nation

Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Prov. 14:26).

Be impressed with the hard, cold fact of this statement. So long as this world stands, this will be true. Be reminded that Christianity is a world religion, not merely an American religion.  Our real success as a nation is in proportion to the degree to which we live according to the precepts of God’s Will. So many of the blacks and whites of right and wrong have turned to a sickening grey in the minds of citizens.  One doesn’t have far to look to find a politician who trades in debauchery, deceit, and compromised morality. People may turn a blind eye and elect him or her to whatever office he or she aspires.  We will do better as a nation–be exalted, lifted to a higher place– if we can strengthen voices against sin, as defined in the Bible, and if we can elect leaders who insist on a Biblically-framed virtue in all parts of our government.  

So far as I’m aware, only one U.S. President, James A. Garfield, was a member of the Lord’s church.  As we approach the next election, nothing would please me more for our government than if the executive, legislative and judicial branches were all filled with New Testament Christians; but that’s, of course, unrealistic.  What we must do this November, as in all our elections, is to choose leaders who will do the most to accommodate the cause of Christ in our land.  I’m surprised to have come to the point at which saying the following is realistic rather than a knee-jerk reaction, but it is not hard for me to imagine an America in which Christians are persecuted in ways similar to the ways our early Christian family was persecuted in the first century.  In the interest of my children and grandchildren and, obviously my family in the Lord, I’d like to delay that time as long as possible.  God has blessed us to live in a democracy, a republic, in which we have the vote and voice to choose our leaders.  We must take advantage of that gift and vote with the benefit of Christianity in mind.  May this be our chief motivation; not earthly issues that have no real bearing on the souls of citizens.  

Today, make time to step away from the political wrangling and hatred to lay the interests of our nation again at the feet of God.  Doesn’t He still work in the governments of men?  Don’t allow your heart to be driven by those things which won’t matter in eternity, but rather beg for His will to be done in our government. Then, use your influence, however small, for good.

“Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (I Tim. 2:1-4).

 

Family Bible Time with Glenn and Cindy:

Tonight’s phrase from Matthew 25 is “I was a stranger and you took me in.”

This one’s a little more difficult to practically apply, especially during a pandemic. But you should try and make your children understand that, although we cannot house all of the people who might be traveling through our area, when we know of Christians who have a need for housing, we should be happy to offer our homes as places for them to stay and our tables as places for them to eat. Even if we know of non-Christians, who need a place, and they come to us recommended by fellow-Christians, we should be happy to use our homes in this service. There are lots of people in our West Huntsville family who routinely offer rooms at home, hotel rooms, meals in their homes and restaurant meals, cabins and couches, for people they’ve not ever even met before. The guests are gospel preachers who visit, people who are moving to our area, those who have temporary work in our area, and those who may be temporarily homeless. There are just many examples all around your children during times of normalcy (non-pandemic times). See if they can think of some and talk to them about how you want to make “our house” available for people, because that’s making it available for the Lord. It’s a serious setting in which the Lord instructed this.

Have big people pretend-call the teeny people on the phone and tell the teenies that they are needing a place to stay and sleep because they are on a journey. Have the teenies respond with “Sure, we have a place,” and let them arrange the blankets on the sofa and put a pillow there and bring a bag with a bar of soap and some toothpaste and a spare toothbrush and put it on the pillow along with a towel (and whatever else you have on hand that a guest could use). Have one of the visiting big people lie there for the rest of the story time, profusely thanking the little person.

Tell the story of 2 Kings 4: 8-17. Be sure your children can name the simple things that the woman of Shunem put in the room for the prophet. Make sure they can also tell you that when she did this she was serving the prophet, but she was, most importantly, serving God. She was helping the prophet  to be able to preach the Word of God. She was helping God to work on this earth. When we offer to house God’s people, we help God’s cause on this earth!

Have your children look around your home and give ideas about how rooms and provisions and appliances can be used to help God’s cause.

Pray with your children. Pray that you will be able to use your home for His glory. Pray specifically for each room, that you will find ways to use your kitchen to feed God’s people, that you will find ways to use the bedrooms to help His people rest, that you will use your living room as a place to share His Word, etc….

We will be a closer family if we are serious about hospitality.

 

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