Prayer for our Kids Day 7 – Justice
“God, help my children to love justice as You do and to ‘act justly’ in all they do” (Psalm 11:7; Micah 6:8).
Justice – something we all want, preach, encourage yet it is hard to live out. We live in a sinful world where white lies aren’t a big deal, where so many believe that it’s okay to rob from the rich to give to the poor. It’s more important to look out for yourself, even if it hurts others, right? Wrong. God is just and we are all called to act justly.
According to dictionary.com, justice is the quality of being just, rightfulness, lawfulness or righteousness. Those are all strong, powerful words. It’s easy to talk about them, much harder to live them out. They apply to every area of life. Living rightful or righteous affects each and every choice we make. How we talk and act, how we treat people, or talk about people (or maybe how we don’t talk about people).
When I start thinking about justice and what it looks like in my life and the importance of living justly I am so thankful for the gift and power of prayer. I am so thankful that justice isn’t something I am left to achieve on my own. Jesus came before us and died for our forgiveness. Through the Holy Spirit we have His presence in us, to help, and guide us. It is achievable through HIM.
Guest Post- Rachel Theobald
Even some pastors I know have said if they have trouble falling asleep they break out Leviticus.
I’ll admit left to itself, without any understanding of context, it can lack capturing our attention. Hollywood has so destroyed our ability to read literature any more.
Here is what must be known to read Leviticus:
*God is holy.
*God expects his people to be holy.
*God desire to live among his people but has high standards that must be maintained.
*God is serious about holiness.
Look at the word cloud above for the book of Leviticus. What word and whose name appears more than any other in the book? The Lord. He is the most important thing in the whole book. Not us and not our ideas.
Because God does have a pretty good idea about what it looks like to live with people in harmony. That lack of harmony is sin. Sin has consequences. The cost of those consequences is high and time consuming. Look at all they had to do to fix the error of their ways.
We have Jesus now. Our sins are forgiven at the mere awareness of our sin by the Holy Spirit and confession of that sin to Father. However, we still may have to deal with the consequences of our sin. Many times our decisions and sins get us in a real pickle. It destroys a whole bunch of stuff. That is why the saying, “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, cost you more than you are willing to pay, and keep you longer than you are willing to stay” reverberates in my memory. Sin is ugly. Sin stinks. Sin is messy. God hates sin and so should we.
Leviticus contains information given to the Israelites while they were camped in the wilderness by Mount Sinai: instructions regarding management of sacred space (the tabernacle), sacred status (God’s people), and sacred time (in the festivals). These were considered important for maintaining holiness for God’s presence, which was at the center of their lives. Sacred times must be identified, maintained by the priests, and observed. Sacred space must be guarded and its holiness preserved. The status of priests and people must be regulated by specific guidelines so they don’t desecrate God’s presence. God is holy, and Israel is expected to be holy so his presence can remain in their midst.
Walton, Strauss, Cooper. The Essential Bible Companion. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2006.
Praying for our Kids Day 4 – Honesty and Integrity
“May integrity and honesty be their virtue and their protection” (Psalm 25:21).
This one really hits home to me today. I woke up today in prayer about an area of my life where I knew I needed to practice both honesty and integrity. I did not want to. It would’ve been much easier to just avoid this certain situation. I was praying for wisdom to know how to handle things when I sat down to write the verse out on my prayer board. God sure has amazing ways of speaking to us, doesn’t he?
How wonderful that God not only spoke to me, but also reminded me of the importance to be praying for kids on issues that they will face the rest of their lives. How amazing that we have the opportunity to cover them in prayer and grace now when they are so willing to soak up His truths.
I am so thankful for the opportunity we have to go to church this Sunday, take communion, and be reminded of the blood of Christ which washed our sins away.
Be blessed today as you end the week strong, covered in Father’s love!
Guest post: Rachel Theobald
“Grant, Lord, that my children may learn to ‘live a life of love’, through the Spirit who dwells in them” (Ephesians 5:2; Galatians 5:22).
“Live a life of love.” What does that mean? Each person feels love in a different way, through words of affirmation, acts of service, receiving gifts, quality time or physical touch (http://www.5lovelanguages.com/) My prayer today is that Father reveals to me how each of my kids receive love so that I may show it in “their language”.
Ephesians 5:1-2 in the Message says, “Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He did not love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that.”
This verse reminds us that our kids learn proper behavior from us, their parents. The more I read today’s verses the more convicted I am to be in prayer and stay focused on Christ because it is through my example and prayer for them that they will learn to live in love and accept the Holy Spirit into their own lives.
In Galatians 5:22 Paul teaches the fruit of the Spirit being; LOVE, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Pastor Mark was talking about the importance of growing up and feeding our spirits whole food and not baby’s milk. What a great reminder as we start this week. And how fitting that he would talk about this the same week we pray these two verses over our kids.
Father is fighting for our kids. They are worth it. Let’s do our part as we continue to pray over them. Let’s keep fighting the good fight!
Guest Post: Rachel Theobald
As I finished up Genesis last night, I was reminded how messy humanity can be. The craziness of how different folks acted can take us off guard. Whether it is Abraham lying a couple of times about Sarah being his sister rather than his wife, the cave scene of Lot and his daughters, or the selling of a younger brother into slavery, there is no lack of wonder as to why this family is the one used to bring salvation and redemption to all of mankind.
Where the idea started that one has to be perfect to either go to church or begin the Christian walk is beyond me. If Father used this rag-tag hereditary line to share his story, just about all of us are tame in comparison. Some of the stories regarding Sodom are perplexing. And how twisted so many are by not having any moral guidance, left to their own devices and schemes. As one of our Youth Pastors said last night, “Man, how can this be in my Bible? Not in my Bible!”
There is a fantastic reminder of respect and honor, as well as the antithesis, every time I read Genesis 9. The ark has settled on dry land, the water recedes, and Noah plants a vineyard. For whatever reason Noah imbibes way too much and lay nakedly inebriated in his tent. His three sons have a decision to make- criticize their father or protect him. Two sons chose to protect while one son says something that shows disrespect and when Noah finds out about it is furious. So ticked that a curse is brought upon his lineage forever. And to this day the curse appears to be born out.
The CJB says he is ‘shamefully exposed.’ There will be times in our lives when some folks around us have made some decisions which shamefully expose them. Rather than further embarrass or bring more trouble on someone, let’s do what we can protect, love, respect, and honor those around us when mistakes are made. Rather than air them out for the world to see, let’s cover over a multitude of sins. I think it is something Jesus would do.
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Proverbs 15:1