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Living For God

I grew up loving baseball. I loved playing ball as well as following the pros. It wasn’t until a move to Minnesota as an adult that I had a chance to live in a city with a major league team. The Twins quickly became my favorite club. I watched their games, I learned the team, and I went to the ballpark. As I got to know them, I began to love them (I became a fan), and I began to see major league baseball through the eyes of the Minnesota Twins. If I’m honest, in a subtle way, it changed some of the rhythms and priorities of my life. Similarly, but in a much larger way, when we know God and develop a heart that loves Him, it changes the way that we live.

We have been discussing how as parents, we have a large responsibility to think about, care for, and engage our kids in matters of faith and God. Parents serve as the primary means, God’s perfect plan, for the generations to know and love Him. We have touched on the truth that our minds need to be consumed with the pursuit of pointing our kids toward knowing God with the purpose that their hearts would be turned toward loving Him. But our hope and our calling doesn’t end there. We are to also teach our kids how to live as a part of God’s kingdom. This is about actions that are driven from the heart.

If you have ever had to search for a new church, you have probably found that there are many differences in how people “do” church. What I mean is that there are different church cultures, different preferences, different expressions, and different emphases. Despite these differences the church is God’s people, living in genuine community with one another, growing in relationship with Him, and seeking to fulfill the Great Commission. In Scripture, we don’t get much direct instruction about how we are supposed to do that, but we do find some basic instructions and examples of how the Body of Christ is to live as a part of God’s Kingdom here on this earth.

  1. Gather
    The early church is seen regularly gathering for worship, prayer, the study of God’s Word, fellowship, and to help address one another’s needs. People are connected to one another in relationship for the purpose of building one another up in the Lord. It is vitally important that we be in community with other believers (God’s Design) and meet regularly.
  2. Grow
    Believers in Christ are meant to help sharpen each other’s understanding of God and to grow in our faith in Him. It is important for believers to continually open God’s Word, let it bring conviction, and apply its truth to our life. This molds and shapes us, bringing life-change through the work of the Holy Spirit, leading to living in a way that brings glory and honor to God.
  3. Give
    A life that is devoted to Jesus and seeks to live as a part of His kingdom will use their time, gifts, and resources to love and serve one another as an agent of His Kingdom. We don’t just focus on ourselves, but we live the life that Jesus modeled for us of humility, sacrifice, and love. This is seen in the lives of believers over and over again in the New Testament. We are called to give of our life as the hands and feet of Jesus.
  4. Go
    Our call is not to only be a disciple of Jesus, but to be a disciple who makes disciples. We are to be ‘Ambassadors for Christ’ in our community, our circles of influence, and to the ends of the earth. (2 Cor. 5; Acts 1:8) Our knowledge, love, and faith are not meant to be hoarded in a private manner, but to take the name of Jesus and the good news of salvation through Him to all we encounter.

 

This is a simple picture of what it looks like to be a fully devoted follower of Jesus. We don’t engage in these practices in hopes that our obedience and actions will earn God’s love, but out of a love for Jesus with a desire to bring Him glory and honor. We practice these things as a way of placing ourselves in a position for the Holy Spirit to work in us and use us fully unto His glory.

We can help our kids to begin these practices now! As they develop a heart that loves God, we can teach them that a natural response to Him is obedience to His commands and show them what that looks like. Paul called the Philippians (and all believers) to live our lives in a way that is “worthy of the gospel of Christ.” We need to show and teach our kids what that looks like.

At Providence, we want to help your kids to KNOW God, to help lead them to LOVE Him, and to teach them and provide opportunities to LIVE a life that is worthy of the gospel in His Kingdom. Together, as the church and the home, we can help lead kids to develop an authentic, firmly-rooted, resilient faith in Jesus that will continue for a lifetime.

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