“Say What?!”-Hearing the Voice of God

“Whoever belongs to God hears what God says.”  -John 8:47

If there is one thing that is evident throughout all of Scripture, it is that God speaks to His children. Jesus said that those who belong to God hear what He says. One of the greatest joys of Christianity is hearing God speak. It can be one of the greatest difficulties as well. There is nothing so wonderful as having the Lord reveal or speak something directly to you. There is also nothing that can be as spiritually straining and have such a wide range of normal, as discerning God’s voice. Continue reading ““Say What?!”-Hearing the Voice of God”

Passing On Our Faith – Suggestions & Ideas

Before we share with you some specifics about the way we read through God’s Word together as a family, we want to be sure and note that every family is unique. What works well for one family may not work well for another. The way each family chooses to impress God’s Word on their hearts will be molded by that family’s schedule, season, children’s ages, and personality.  The important thing is that we immerse our children in the Scriptures. The logistics of how we do it can, and should, be very different.

We began having a daily time where we read God’s Word together as a family by just simply sitting down together and reading through a chapter of the Bible at a time. If an entire chapter seems like too much to start with, try a few verses at a time. The Psalms are a great place to find entire chapters that are only a few verses long.

We usually spend about 15-20 minutes between reading and discussion, but if it’s late and Mama Puerto wants those little ones to get to bed we have mastered the art of the 2-minute family devotion. Also, there are times it lasts longer, usually indicating that the Puertos have engaged in a controversy over something they read. We need 2 Tim. 2:14 stamped on our foreheads for crying out loud!

We have hit times of sickness or vacation, when our normal routine gets all out of wack and our devotion time right along with it. We just get right back to it as soon as we possibly can. However, we know that if we ever find ourselves consistently missing our times of reading God’s Word together, something has to change. There is nothing in the schedule that is more important than this time. We have the divine privilege of instilling God’s eternal truth into the hearts and minds of our children. For a short time they look to us for guidance and believe everything we say. We want to capitalize on this, and begin at infancy and continue on throughout their lives, to make them wise for salvation and ready to plunge into the work God has called them to do.

How to Get Started:

-Select a time and place that you can commit to every day.

-Pray that God would give you and your children a hunger and a thirst for His Word and a heart to love Him.

-Choose what you will read, gather everyone together, and get going.

Things to Remember:

-You will get resistance. Do not let it discourage or deter you. The evil one does not want your children to hear the Scriptures from infancy. Resist him and stand firm, drawing near to God, and He will draw near to you.

-It’s not as important what passage or book you read through or how many verses you read in a day. What matters is that you’re in God’s Word daily. Nothing is more important than your personal time in God’s Word each day and this time when you read God’s Word together as a family each day.

-Aides, like commentaries, studies, videos, and books, can be helpful and enriching for your family, but be careful of letting them take over or become the bulk of your time together. Let God’s living eternal Word always have the preeminence.

Things We Have Had to Push Through:

-Complaining and whining. “This is boring!”

-Continual distractions and disobedient behavior. “This is impossible.”

-Busy schedules and seasons.”We just don’t have time for this.”

-Discouragement and feeling like we were wasting our time. “This is pointless!”

Results You Will See if You Persevere and Continue to Immerse Your Children in God’s Word:

-Your children will begin to ask questions and give answers during this time together.

-Your children will be discipled in the essential truths of the faith.

-Your children will develop a love for God’s Word.

-Your children will learn to evaluate what they will do in life with Kingdom purposes in mind.

-You will learn together as a family how to hear God speak through His Word as you experience HIm speaking directly into situations your family is facing.

Some Suggestions for Busy Schedules or Seasons:

-Pray and ask God to show you how to make this work for your family’s unique makeup and season.

-Think outside the box.

-Consider utilizing technology ie. audio Bible in the car, apps, online resources.

-Don’t get caught up on what it needs to look like. Focus on making it happen.

Some of Our Family’s Favorites:

-“Experiencing God” by Henry Blackaby

-“The Adventure of Missionary Heroism” by John C. Lambert

-The Bible Project

-Our children’s favorite books to read through: Genesis, Judges, Daniel, Esther, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Psalms, and Proverbs.

-We enjoy memorizing passages verse by verse with hand motions. The hand motions make it fun for everyone. The little ones like getting animated and dramatic with the hand motions, giggling and laughing like hyenas. The older ones like to mock mom and dad for how ridiculous the hand motions we come up with are.

Please use the comment section of this blog post to share ways your family engages God’s Word daily and what some of your favorites are.

The One Thing We Need As Parents

by Grace Puerto

“…apart from me you can do nothing.”    -John 15:5

Several years ago I found myself in a stressful season as a mom, caring for six children. I began to face incredibly difficult behavior problems with two of our children. One of our children would soon be diagnosed with autism. I was bogged down with doctor and therapy appointments, and to top it all off, I was losing a lot of sleep each night.  I became overwhelmed trying to handle all these things. I no longer spent time with God daily like I had done before. I figured God would understand that I was tied up putting out fires and just didn’t have the time. I thought I could read a quick verse here or there and put on some praise music throughout the day and I’d be good. I was so wrong! I failed to realize that, in this busy and challenging season as a mom, I needed Jesus more than ever. I desperately needed His grace and presence.

Continue reading “The One Thing We Need As Parents”

When Hope Seems Lost

-Decades of a mother’s prayers are answered as her daughter, at age 43, is set free from alcohol and drug addiction and she begins to walk with the Lord.

-After years of wandering away from the Lord and living in sin, a son leads God’s people to worship Him and draw near to Him.

-A precious 3 year old suffers abuse. In her teenage years, God brings her healing.

-A father and mother remain silent in obedience to the Lord’s direction and pray fervently for their son who is pursuing a perilous relationship. After 18 long months of praying and trusting, the son breaks free and begins to seek the Lord.

These are all true stories. Stories of families who desired to see good results in their families and were obeying all they believed God had called them to do. And yet, for a time, they did not see the “crop” promised in Luke 8:15. Some had to wait a very long time to see kingdom fruit in their child’s life.

This blog post is for all the moms and dads who may read through Luke 8:15 and feel discouraged. Those who have been the good soil that this verse describes, and have listened to God’s Word, retained it and persevered in doing what He has called them to do, but haven’t seen the good results they were hoping for.

We serve a God who “gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.” (Romans 4:17)

God is faithful! He is able!! He does not call us or our children by who we were or what we do. He calls us by who He knows we will become.

In her book, Adamant, Lisa Bevere speaks of the new name that Christ calls us by stating, “…who we have been is in flux, but who we are becoming is eternal.”

God has an eternal purpose at work in our lives. He is not slow to answer our prayers or to fulfill His promises. We have to continue to obey what He has called us to do and believe that He will give life to those we thought dead.

In Mark chapter 5 Jairus comes to Jesus and says, “My little daughter is dying. Please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live.” (Mark 5:23) But the girl dies before Jesus arrives to heal her.  Jairus is told, “Your daughter is dead…Why bother the teacher anymore?” (Mark 5:35) But Jesus tells him, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.” (Mark 5:36) Jesus then goes in, takes the girl by the hand, and says to her, “Little girl, I say to you, get up!” (Mark 5:41) The very next verse testifies that, “Immediately the girl stood up and began to walk…”

The enemy will whisper to you, “Don’t bother praying or believing anymore. Your child is beyond healing. Beyond help. Beyond hope.”

Hear the voice of your Savior say, “Don’t be afraid; just believe.”

Jesus can raise the dead. He can heal the sick. He can bind up broken hearts. He can turn hearts of stone to hearts of flesh. He can redirect, redeem and make new.

Though who our children have been is in flux, who they are becoming is eternal. You may not be seeing results right now, but they are coming! Imagine yourself like Jairus, pleading with Jesus to help your child, then walking with Him and believing that even when it looks like all hope is lost, you need not fear. You have the God who resurrects the dead at your side. He sees who your child will become; His eternal purpose is at work in their life and yours.

The kingdom crop you seek, the God-honoring, live-giving results you desire; they are coming! Keep walking. Keep praying. Keep believing.

Father God, fill our hearts with faith to believe your promises even when it seems like all hope is lost. If it takes decades, Lord, we will continue to walk with you, seek your help, and believe. We surrender to your way and your timing. We trust You!