How does one describe the voice of God? God speaks to us through His Word…a silent probing of the heart. He witnesses to us through His creation…as the heavens declare His majesty and the oceans resound with a steady applause. … Continue reading
Spring has sprung and it’s planting season…ready, set, grow! It’s the one time of the year where we run “to” the dirt and not “from” the dirt, and Home Depot wins out over Home Goods! At our house, we get … Continue reading
“They made the bronze basin and its bronze stand from the mirrors of the women who served…” Exodus 38:8 It doesn’t seem like much, but most of us women own a precious item often buried deep within the recesses of … Continue reading
Satisfaction. Everyone is searching for it. What does it look like? We try to find it in a lot of places: Spouses, children, jobs, money or material possessions, achievements, friends, sex, traveling, partying, even religion, and the list goes on. … Continue reading
A few weeks ago, my husband and I traveled to North Africa with the Manuel’s and Brian Zimmerman. This week, my mom returned from her second jaunt to Haiti with the Long Hollow Women. Both trips were full of relationships. … Continue reading
It’s not something you did that you can be proud of. Instead, we are God’s accomplishment, created in Christ Jesus to do good things. God planned for these good things to be the way that we live our lives. ~Ephesians … Continue reading
“In-operative words, non-working wands” (Matthew 12:36 TAB) “A man’s heart determines his speech” (Jesus…Matthew 12:34 TLB) “It’s not working Nana!” “Maybe it needs new batteries”…Words spoken by our two year old grandson. Such words of wisdom: recognition of a problem … Continue reading
Starting at a young age, our children are taught to celebrate their hearts. Our culture is full of references to the specialness of this part of us. It’s everywhere. And, I’m not just talking about things like the Valentine’s holiday, but the more subtle, “Do what makes you feel happy” expressions of our times.
So, in the midst of this, how do we teach our children to be weary of their own hearts? To understand that the heart is both the resting place of sin and the center of relationship with Christ?
Like a lot of things, it would be helpful to go back to the Garden and teach them the story of what happened there.
Eve was easily deceived by the enemy. She knew the truth of what God said, yet she was persuaded by the inner desire to be like God and experience all things, both the good and the bad. She feasted her eyes on the beautiful tree—which became her desire when she saw that it was “pleasing to the eyes”—and she gave in. (Genesis 3:6). She allowed physical and emotional impulses of the flesh to determine her steps. And so it all began.
From that moment on, the hearts of mankind have been problematic. They’ve been the breeding ground for all things evil and holy. Left unto itself, “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” (Jeremiah 17:9). From within, evil proceeds and defiles us. (Mark 7:20-23).
However, when we accept Christ’s role as Lord in our lives, we receive a new heart. With “new birth” in Jesus (John 3:3, 2 Corinthians 5:17), we become capable of purity. And the same is true of our children.
That’s not to say that they won’t battle the flesh. Certainly they will. However, we should disciple our children to guard their hearts above all else, “for it is the wellspring of life.” (Proverbs 4:23).
As our children accept Christ and profess Him as Lord, we should teach them the difference in the old versus new heart. We can use Paul’s words to the early Christians: “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God…. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts… and be thankful.” (Colossians 3:1-3, 15).
What are some ways you plan to show this to your child? How might we model and teach this to toddlers and teenagers alike?
“Thus says the Lord, your redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, ‘I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, who leads you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to My commandments! Then your well-being would have been like a river, and your righteousness like the waves of the sea.“
Easter is my favorite day. Life is fresh, nature is blossoming, and it seems as if beauty is awakening from a long slumber! More importantly, Easter is a day that declares the glory of our Risen Savior, Jesus Christ. I’ve realized recently, though, that we often celebrate half-heartedly. We easily go through the motions, but how often do we really take time to sit and attempt to grasp the sacrifice Jesus made for us? The title to this post is “Empty Tomb, Whole Hearts,” because the beautiful fact is, His grave is empty. Completely vacant. And our hearts are full of His spirit and love and grace.