If you have been following the twelve month plan for Teaching Children to Live More Like Jesus, you have been busy working with your children on quite a few practical Christian habits and attributes. This month is probably the toughest, perhaps because I am still working through the subject myself in some ways.
One of the qualities Jesus displayed time and time again was that he went where God led him. Sometimes it was to dinner at someone’s house, sometimes it was to heal people. In the end, God’s Will led Jesus to die a painful death on the Cross. Jesus was obviously not thrilled about the idea of a painful death and separation from God even for a time, but ultimately Jesus went where God had led him.
Wow, that was lucky!” “What a wonderful coincidence!” “I guess that was her destiny.” You can’t go very long without hearing someone attribute an incident to luck, coincidence, chance or destiny. You probably have used similar expressions yourself from time to time, I know I have.
The problem with luck and chance is that it means you are often attributing something that was God’s handiwork to pure chance. Think about the last time you used the expression. Was it actually God working in your life? Was it God blessing you with some blessing you had not anticipated? Were you witnessing God’s plan for your life begin to take shape?
Animals are a great way to teach children about God. Every animal has so many unique gifts God has given them. Just the sheer variety and beauty give glory to God. The scriptures are right when they say that creation is a testimony to God. (Romans 1:20)
Yet, atheists will try to use God’s creation to disprove God’s existence. We recently were blessed to meet a woman whose mission is to use animals to teach children about God. I think she put it perfectly.
Poor Beriah! Joseph’s son Ephraim had two sons who were killed by the men of Gath. After their death, Ephraim had another son whom he named Beriah “because there had been misfortune in his family.” (I Chronicles 7:23 NIV) Can you imagine going through life knowing your name reminded your father of the death of your brothers? No small burden for poor Beriah!
Things might not have turned out so well for Beriah, but normally the naming of children in Israel was an exciting moment. The meaning of the name and the parent’s favorite Jewish heroes of faith, often influenced the choice. In fact, Jesus is actually the Armaic form of the name Joshua.
On Sunday, the adult Bible class I attended had more fun, excitement and pure joy happening in one place than I had seen in awhile. Our teacher was discussing the idea of dreaming big dreams for God and with God. He divided us into groups and handed each group a sheet of paper with a ministry from our Church written on it. We had several minutes to dream big dreams for that ministry. The only stipulation was that we could not censor the dreams as to whether or not they were “viable”.
We haven’t had a chance yet to see everyone’s dreams, but it seemed like every group was excited about their list. It was refreshing to dream big dreams without censorship.