by John Doyle
What does it mean ‘to leave a Godly heritage?’ Heritage can relate to many things, but for our purpose we will use the Oxford Dictionary definition which states; Heritage is “Valued qualities and cultural traditions that have been passed down from previous generations.”
Psalm 127: 3 “Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children are a reward from Him”
The 78th Psalm v 5-7 harmonises with many other scriptures. God’s word says ‘He established a law in Israel and commanded our forefathers to teach them to their children, even the children to be born, and they in turn will tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and not forget His deeds.’
A big question: Is this happening in your home and the homes of the people involved in the church? How do we treat, teach, protect and nurture our heritage and our rewards from God to continue into the future?
The family home is the most crucial and important learning environment for our children. It is here, in their early formative years, where the child will be most influenced – for better or for worse. They will learn, or not learn how to bond with those around them. Children learn language, positive and negative behaviour and how to interact with others in the home from their Parents first and foremost . Modern research confirms that the first five years of a child’s life is the most crucial and vital time to instill good attitudes and create healthy habits, especially regarding their spiritual growth and understanding.
To further explore what it means to leave a Godly heritage consider the instructions given to Moses before the Israelites went into the Promised Land. Consider how these instructions relate to us today.
My conviction is that these Scriptures set out God’s plan for families and show how to impart their faith to their children. The home is the place where children should be introduced to the Lord of Creation and the Saviour of the World.
Deuteronomy 6: 4-9, is known as the Shema (pronounced “Shem- ar”) and is worthy of our examination. These instructions for the family were given to Moses to be passed on. It is considered by devout Jews as the most critical and significant portion of the book of Deuteronomy. Jewish children are taught this as a prayer. Devout Jews recite it three times a day. Each Friday evening, as the Sabbath begins, in Jewish homes around the world, the father, and sometimes the mother, lay hands on the children’s heads and pray for them.
Deuteronomy 6: 4 – 9 “Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one” ‘You shall have no other gods before me’ states the First Commandment. The land into which the Jews were going was a land with a multitude of gods. Sadly this is the same as the society our children find themselves in today. We have the answers to help them make right decisions.
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”. An expert in the law tested Jesus with a question. “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus quoted this Scripture in Matthew 22:37. “Love the Lord your God with all your heart with all your soul and with all your mind ” Jesus then went on to say in verses 38-40 “This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Prophets in Gods Word lived by these two commandments.”
Our children are in great need of Godly role models in these days we are living. This is a great opportunity for parents, teachers, uncles and aunties and Grandparents to be those role models who demonstrate by word and action that they love the Lord with all their heart, all their soul and all their mind.
If I expect my children to pray, then they need to see me praying.
If I expect my children to love the Word of God. They need to see that in me and the importance of it.
If I expect my children to love the Lord their God with all their heart, with all their soul and with all their mind, guess where they will be looking? I think you know the answer to that.
“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts”. It would not be hard to believe that this verse is referring to the commandment above (verse 5) and the “Ten Commandments” given earlier in chapter five. The Lord tells us these words are to be in our heart. These are not just for head knowledge but are to be an outward demonstration and expression of our inner beliefs and convictions.
“Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up”. The word “impress” means to engrave. Not merely talking but living it out, which is much harder. We do this to impart our faith as opposed to imposing our faith on our children.
Who to impress – Our children.
What to impress – The Word of God.
Where to impress – Walking, lying down, getting up, and sitting and useing every opportunity.
When to impress – All the time. This is a “lifestyle” that should be evident in our everyday life.
We have a son Keith who Pastors a Church in Wisconsin, USA and is a wonderful Godly man. We have a daughter Jenni who loves the Lord and we so enjoy hearing her play piano and sing songs that Glorify the name of Jesus, my favourite song she wrote, sings and plays is *SOLD OUT*. Our daughter Kimmie in Heaven loved the children in the townships and so loved putting shoes on their feet and praying with them that they would walk in the footsteps of Jesus. Her last words before going to glory was HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY.
In the Love of the Lord Jesus, John and Barbara
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Our children are the only thing we take with us into Heaven!