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Spare Change - May 2023

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The newest sermon series by Pastor Alan is on Psalm 119. I love Psalm 119 because it is all about God’s Word.  In his sermon on April 16th entitled “Answer the Question,” he referenced a Lifeway research study.  This study was groundbreaking research on something we probably should have already known.  The study confirmed that the most important spiritual influencer in a child's life is God’s Word.  The resource is called Nothing Less: Engaging Kids in a Lifetime of Faith.  In this book that was developed from the research they say, “The greatest contribution to raising fully devoted, Christ-following young adults is regular, not daily or religiously, just regular Bible reading.”  Another way to say this is that children that are exposed to regular Bible reading will have a greater chance of sticking to their faith as they go into adulthood.

This is very important considering we have many Christian families that do not expose their children to the Word of God on a regular basis. This is crazy since 89% of households own a Bible and the average number of Bibles per home is 4.1.  Even with all these Bibles only 19% of Protestant church goers read the Bible daily. It seems we have an epidemic in the church.  The great news is this problem can be solved very easily.  We simply need to open God’s Word and read it!  You can take simple steps that will help both you and your children in walking with the Lord.

1. Daily Devotion
As a Christian adult, you should already have a daily devotion.  This is a set aside time every day where you can spend a few minutes reflecting on God’s Word and praying.  Feel free to use a devotion book or a digital devotional plan; there are some great ones on the YouVersion Bible app.  I like to switch up my devotional sources periodically, so it doesn’t grow stale.  Your children should also have a devotional time.  When they are little, you should read to them from a children’s Bible like the Jesus Storybook
Bible.  When they are older you need to continue to encourage them to have their own devotional time.  I love the Foundations devotional book by Robby and Kandi Gallaty.  If you build a daily devotional pattern in their life when they are young, it will stick with them as they grow up.

2. Scripture Memory
Adults and children alike need to memorize scripture.  This is the most underrated spiritual discipline.  It will help you build a strong foundation of faith and fight temptation.  Children have a hard time keeping the faith as they grow older because they don’t know God’s Word.  When you memorize scripture, it becomes ingrained in your heart.  You can’t help but meditate on it and learn its truth as you commit it to memory.  If there is one thing I would say that has given me the most spiritual growth in my life, it is scripture memory.  I recommend a Bible memorization app like VerseLocker or Fighter Verses.  These apps will help you in your scripture memory journey.

3. Prioritize the Word of God
The last way to help your children know God’s Word is to prioritize it in your life.  That means that you prioritize time spent in the Word but also you prioritize living the truth in your life.  It is important to take the commands and promises of God found in His Word literally.  We need to strive to live in holiness and fight temptation with everything we’ve got.  Our children know by our actions if we truly believe God’s Word.  We should be an example to them of someone that seeks to live out the truths of scripture.  We will not do this perfectly, but this too can be an example of Christian living.  You can show what repentance and forgiveness looks like by being appropriately honest about your sin.  In all ways you can show your children that you love God’s Word by how you live.  The hope is they see it in you and want the same thing for their lives.

How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:9-11 

For more on this subject, check out the Families for Life Podcasts Episode #4 from June 8, 2020 at https://www.podbean.com/ew/pb-ks2xe-df1189