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.
My Favorite Proverbs: Proverb 15:14 — The pursuit of knowledge.
“The heart of him who has understanding seeks knowledge, but the mouth of fools feeds on foolishness.”
An aphorism, or proverb, just means a short, pithy statement or maxim. In the book of Proverbs, such a statement is often presented in the form of a contrast. That’s true in our proverb today.
With what do you feed your mind most days? Eight of our 24 hours is used for sleep, some for eating, some for work, some for exercise and family matters. What are you doing to expand your mind? Are you committing enough time to learning God’s word? Jesus encountered a man one day who was too busy. Here’s the exchange between them:
And when Jesus saw great multitudes about Him, He gave a command to depart to the other side. Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”
Then another of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Follow Me, and let the dead bury their own dead”(Matthew 8:18-22).
The only way we know how to follow the Master is by study and application of His word. At some point we’re going to have to decide to spend some time each day—to let the world go by for a few minutes—while we sit down and meditate on God’s word. There isn’t anything wrong per se with enjoying entertainment (which doesn’t involve sin in anyway), but how much time do you spend on that while letting large gaps of time elapse between sit-down, focused Bible study?
If our young women fail to develop a personal Bible study habit, how will they rear the next generation of children to know the Word? If our young men feed more on the Bible than on the “foolishness” of this proverb, where will we get our preachers and elders in the next thirty or forty years? Where will we get godly teachers and mentors? We could find ourselves in the frightening position of lowering our standards and accepting preachers and elders who know much about social media, sports, and video games, but little about Scripture.
For today, consider your own study habits and how you can improve. Make your study systematic. Find a deliberate system of study, such as 20 minutes each day before going to work or before the kids wake up. Choose a book of the Bible and get a good commentary to help you along. Some may even take a leap of faith and join the Digging Deep studies (https://www.calebcolley.com/diggingdeep/ or https://thecolleyhouse.org/digging-deep). Once you begin some regimen of study, you’ll be amazed how many times the during the day you find yourself thinking about what you’ve been studying.
Help others by giving gifts of good commentaries, concordances, and Bibles, especially to young people. Wise Solomon wrote, “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, “I have no pleasure in them” (Ecc. 12:1).
Seek knowledge; not foolishness.
Family Bible Time with Glenn and Cindy
Matthew 25: 31ff (continued)
Jesus said “I was sick and you visited me.”
Emphasize to your children the premise of this passage: The way we minister to Jesus, who needs nothing now, is to minister to other people–all people, but especially those in the kingdom (Galatians 6:10)
Read to your children Matthew 14:14 and emphasize to them that one of the reasons Jesus healed sick people while on earth was that he had compassion on them. Talk about the meaning of compassion (feeling sympathy or pity). Try to give them an illustration, from their lives, of that feeling. (A pet that was suffering, a time when one rescued a sibling from being bullied, a time when a grandparent was in trouble, etc…) Tell them that anytime we see people suffering we should be “moved with compassion.”
When we see people who are sick, we should see Jesus. Right now, we cannot go and be with most of the people we know who are sick. We cannot even visit the hospitals. But we can make and send cards. Get out your church directory and find people who are sick…at least one per child.
- Use the time tonight to make cards for these sick ones. Be sure your children walk them to the mailbox tomorrow. (I’m not even sick and I was over the moon about cheer cards received during the pandemic from children of our congregation…you Canter kids and Mitchell kids!)
- Tomorrow, have each child (toddlers and up) make at least one phone call to someone in the church who is sick. Train them to be cheerful and full of compassion. Make sure they ask if there is anything the person needs that you could bring by and drop on the porch.
- If you have teeny people, let them practice by pretending you have cut your arm and let them bring band-aids to help you get better. Be sure to tell them that when they help people who are hurting, the Bible says they are helping Jesus.
- If you have the Hannah’s Hundred 2 CD (www.thecolleyhouse.org), play song #72 for your children. Play this each night for several nights until you know these verses from Matthew 25.
Pray with your kids. Be sure to let your children make a “sick list” prior to your prayer and pray for these people specifically.
If you do have the CD, also listen to Matthew 5:16 and practice singing that as you close.