Our Inheritance in Christ

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While a certain friend of mine has been having problems growing mung seeds (“munggo”) for her kid’s science experiment for some weird reason (No naming! You know who you are! Wink! Wink! Hahaha! Peace Sistah!), our little princess has been growing these seeds since she was 4 years old with no trouble at all. All it takes is some water and cotton in a plastic cup plus a seed or two, and in 3 days and 3 nights, a plant appears!

But lately, her success ends there — in the plastic cup…

She grows these mung seeds now  all by herself, and there was a time I discovered she has a plant hidden behind the curtain at our window and it dried out because she forgot all about it and I didn’t know it was there…

This tall plant in the picture also didn’t make it to be transferred to a pot with soil because the stem broke…

It just so happened that the theme for her Beginnings lessons this week was all about gardens. And so her little plant was the perfect activity and now she’s trying to grow a carrot in a bowl of water. We’ll see how that goes…

She has other “gardening activities” for this week, such as tasting veggies and identifying which part of the plant we eat for each kind of veggie…

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We also made a bouquet of paper flowers and decided to surprise her dad with it. (Her daddy’s birthday is not until next week, and so he was really surprised to be greeted with a “Happy Birthday” complete with flowers today. Hahaha!)

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But in all this, what amazes me is how my little girl is absolutely fascinated at making things grow.

I told my friend my daughter probably inherited her “green thumb” from her granddads from both sides of the family. What a wonderful thing to inherit!

And it got me thinking…

There is no better inheritance in all the universe than our inheritance in Christ our Lord and Savior!

Ephesians 1:11-14

“11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” 

Thanks be to God for this awesome gift of being heirs to His Kingdom!

The Word is sure of our destiny, but the question is, are we?

Are we living as princes and princesses of the King of Kings? Do we live as a “chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light?” (1 Peter 2:9)

Or does the good planted in our hearts sprout like a seed here and there, only to dry up or get broken, and then we have to start all over again, again and again?

We — as God’s children — are destined to bloom, to grow, and to flourish in our Christian lives!

But we will never do so if we are not rooted deeply in the love of God (Ephesians 3:17) which is the source of all things good and beautiful (James 1:17).

HEART CHECK:  Do our lives show that we are deeply rooted in Christ?

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Train up a child…

“When I am tempted to throw a block at Sam’s head, I will cast out Satan in Jesus’ name and pray to God. Then I will say “Sorry” to Sam and give him a hug.” – Ate Allyra

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Our little girl hurt her brother this morning, and we corrected her and reminded her that she should always choose to listen to Jesus in her heart and not the devil who wants us to do bad things. As all things are orchestrated by a Great God, her bible lesson in class today was about the temptation of Jesus, and this was what she drew and had me write on her activity which requires her to give an example of a temptation she had to deal with. Praise God she was able to process right away how the Word is to be applied in her experience today!

This got me reflecting on the verse most every Christian parent knows:

“Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6

“TRAIN UP A CHILD”

Merriam Webster defines the word “train” as such:

  1. to direct the growth of usually by bending, pruning, and tying
  2. to form by instruction, discipline, or drill
  3. to teach so as to make fit, qualified, or proficient
  4. to make prepared (as by exercise) for a test of skill
  5. to aim at an object or objective

This denotes a purposeful, deliberate and much more thorough kind of instruction than just a reminder here and there about what God tells us to do or what God would have us say. It’s definitely more than just saying “grace’ before meals and going to church on Sundays. It implies a serious kind of training for a specific purpose, much like how an athlete goes through regular, oftentimes difficult and focused drills and exercises to build strength, stamina, and improve skill. And so we are to do this type of “training up” our children, but in what?

“IN THE WAY HE SHOULD GO”

What is “the way?” Again, a favorite bible verse comes to mind:

“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” – John 14:6

Jesus is the ONLY WAY and we should be training our children to become like Jesus and to place their trust in Him alone. There is simply no other way.

How are we supposed to do this seemingly overwhelming task? Well, we are fortunate, because God has graciously provided us with a “training manual.”

“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” – 2 Timothy 3:16-18

No instruction booklet or book on values, good manners or proper etiquette will ever do. If we want to raise children who are going on to be perfected as all believers should, we must read, meditate, study and teach them scripture. That is how we as children of God are being prepared for all the good things he has in store for us.

It all seems so cut out, and God’s instruction to us parents and teachers very clear, but as all may agree, it is easier said than done. For even as athletes need consistent and disciplined training in order to succeed, so must we be consistent, patient and determined to allow God’s Word to mold us and our children. And change doesn’t happen overnight. We all have to be “processed,” so-to-speak. But, it stands to reason, if we only give our children very little training, then they would more likely grow up doing more of the “departing.” But if we do our best to give them the best training possible, then we can have faith that though they may sometimes sway here and there as they grow up, if they are firmly grounded in God’s Word, they will not depart from it.

Look at the birds of the air…

“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” – Matthew 6:26

Homeschool project: Making a birdfeeder

Step 1: Gather the materials.

  • Slice of bread
  • cookie cutter
  • peanut butter
  • birdseed
  • piece of string
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Step 2: Use the cookie cutter to cut out a shape from the slice of bread.

Step 3: Spread some peanut butter onto the bread.

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Step 4: Sprinkle some birdseed on the peanut-butter-covered bread.

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Step 5: Tie a piece of string on the bread and hang up on a tree outside for the birds to enjoy!

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TA-DAH! Finished!

Making God’s Word Simple and Practical

Nehemiah 8:8, 12 NIV

8 “They read from the Book of the Law of God, making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.”

12 “Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.”
The reading of God’s Word brings about the fruit of joy when its meaning is made clear; God has given certain people in the church such as pastors and teachers the gift of exhortation so that the Scriptures may be explained and others may understand. Diligent study, prayer and meditation play a big part for those called to preach, and careful attention and an open and teachable heart a must for those who listen. But in all this, true knowledge and understanding — along with the wisdom on how to use what is learned — comes from the Holy Spirit.

BJU Bible Class scroll craft

BJU Bible Class scroll craft

We are blessed because we have the Word of God as a lamp to our feet and a light on our path (Psalm 119:105), but how can it be so if people complicate it and make doctrines and teachings that make it hard to understand? Let us therefore allow God’s Word to be what He intended it to be — a bright star that guides our way as we move away from the darkness of this world and into His glorious light!

As I grow in God’s grace each day, I’ve found that the best way for the Bible to be understood is to make it practical. Use every opportunity and circumstance to reflect and apply bible verses and allow it do its work in our lives. We try to learn and memorize scripture but it will only get to really shine its light on us when we find ourselves in a situation where we are able to actually apply it.

Learning God's Word thru crafts and coloring pages

Learning God’s Word thru crafts and coloring pages (BJU Bible Class crafts and Kids Church activities)

In our case, it could be as simple as going on what we initially assumed to be an uneventful and fairly short car trip to claim the iPhone5 that my husband won for me from a facebook contest (Yey! It’s really free! What a wonderful gift!) But, as all good trips go, we got lost. For three hours we drove through the night trying to find the office where to claim the phone. At first we were fine, singing along with really nice acoustic versions of Hillsong praise and worship music, but eventually, our nearly 1-year-and-a-half-old Sam started to get bored and so did 5-year-old Ate Allyra. So it became a lesson in patience and creativity, because we all tried to keep our cool while inventing a million and a half ways to keep the kids busy in the car. We also used the opportunity to teach about prayer, and since we were lost, the most logical bible story that came to mind was the parable of the lost sheep. I asked my daughter whom she thought would be able to find the lost sheep, which at that time meant US, and without hesitation, she replied, “The Good Shepherd!” So she led us in prayer and it went something like this:

“Father God, our Good Shepherd, please help us to be found and protect us. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.”

Simple, right? But it was truly heartwarming to hear our little one pray so innocently, and trusting our Father God, our Good Shepherd, so fully.

Indeed, there are so many spiritual applications to the parable of the lost sheep; it has been preached and taught in so many ways, but I believe that for our family, that particular “Word of God” became most “alive” for us that day. And of course, God is truly faithful, we eventually got found, claimed our free gift and went home.

As I love to claim and exclaim, “God is good, ALL THE TIME!” Be blessed!

Writing and Experience story

Writing and Experience story