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Deuteronomy 6

The Home

Your home is the number one influence in the life of your child. They average church has a child 1% of his time, the home has him 83% of his time and the school for the remaining 16%. This does not minimize the need for churches and schools, but it establishes the fact your home is 83% of your child’s world and you have only one time around to make it of maximum benefit.

Dr. Howard Hendricks

Responsibility to Teach Children

On three separate occasions, God told parents in Israel how to answer the serious questions of their sons and daughters (see Exodus 13:14, Deuteronomy 6:20, and Joshua 4:6,21). This would indicate that God wants us to take the time to answer our children when they ask us about spiritual matters. How we respond can either greatly help or terribly discourage them.

Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy told of an aunt who hurt him deeply when she didn’t take time to answer some questions that were troubling him. She stirred his emotions by telling him of Jesus’ crucifixion, but when he cried out, “Auntie, why did they torture Him?” she said simply, “They were wicked.” “But wasn’t He God?” Tolstoy asked. Instead of explaining that Jesus was indeed God, that He had become a man so He could die for our sins, she said, “Be still—it is 9 o’clock!” When he persisted, she retorted, ““Be quiet, I say, I’m going to the dining room to have tea.” This left young Tolstoy greatly agitated.

Commenting on this scene, Calvin Miller said, “Tolstoy found it incomprehensible that Christ had been brutalized and his aunt was not interested enough to stay a little past tea time and talk about it.”

Do we allow our own interests—a television program, a sporting event, a hobby—to keep us from taking time to listen, admonish, and instruct our children, or anyone who may ask us about God? If we pause long enough to explain His truth, He will use it to change lives. -H.V.L.

Lord, teach me how to love and live
That I may cheer each heart,
And to my fellowman in need
Some blessing rich impart.

- Anon.

Do all the good you can, in all the ways you can, for all the people you can, while you can.

Our Daily Bread, Monday, November 25.

Forgotten Wife

After stopping for gas in Montgomery, Alabama, Sam drove more than 5 hours before noticing he had left someone behind—his wife. So at the next town he asked the police to help get him in touch with her. Then Sam called his wife to tell her he was on his way back. He admitted with great embarrassment that he just hadn’t noticed her absence.

How Sam could forget his wife is beyond me. But wait! We’re not much different in our relationship to God. We actually fail to remember the One who created us and redeemed us. How is this possible? I don’t know. But we do forget. And it’s a constant struggle not to.

Man’s short attention span is no surprise to God. Speaking to Israel, He offered solutions in Deuteronomy 6. First, know the real issues of life and keep priorities straight (vv. 4,5). Second, take the Scriptures seriously. Become so familiar with them that they are a part of what you think and feel and do (v. 6). Third, talk about God to your children, and look for opportunities to tell them of His love (v. 7). Fourth, write reminders to yourself and put them where they can be easily seen (vv. 8,9). Fifth, realize that your need for God is not limited to times of obvious stress or danger. Enjoy with gratitude whatever health and happiness you have (vv. 10,11).

Can we put God out of our mind? I’m afraid so. That’s why we must acknowledge and obey Him continually. It’s the only way of keeping Him in mind. -M.R.D.II

King of my life I crown Thee now—
Thine shall the glory be;
Lest I forget Thy thorn-crowned brow,
Lead me to Calvary. -

- Hussey

Backsliding begins when knee-bending stops.

Our Daily Bread, Monday, February 24.