Since This Is True, Why Wouldn’t You Generously Give?

ThanksLiving: 365 Days of Gratitude

When we give back a portion to God of what is rightfully his, he entrusts us with even more to give back. The more we give to God, the more God gives us to give. And when we enter that cycle of generous giving, we become a conduit of God’s blessings—both material and immaterial. It is true: you cannot out-give God.

Going Deep // Focus: 1 Chronicles 29:13-14

O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name! But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us!

Are you a generous giver? I am not talking about the amount that you give, or could give, I am referring to your heart, or the attitude you have toward giving financially to God’s work. Truly, when you read the whole of scripture, you cannot be anything other than generous when you understand this one eternal principle:

Everything in your possession is not really yours; it all comes from God. Giving generously from it simply is giving back to God what is rightfully his.

Now here is a corollary truth that makes giving back to God the smartest thing you could ever do: When we give back a portion to God of what is rightfully his, he entrusts us with even more to give back. The more we give to God, the more God gives us to give. And when we enter that cycle of generous giving, we become a conduit of God’s blessings—both material and immaterial. It is true: you cannot out-give God.

King David understood this. In 1 Chronicles 29, he is appealing to the congregation of Israel to do what he has done. He has joyfully made a generous contribution to the construction of the temple. David is on the bell lap of his life’s journey, and he is diligently making preparations for something he always wanted to do: build a grand house to God. But God had told David he wasn’t to be the one to build it; Solomon would be that guy. However, David could certainly make preparation for it. And boy did he! Just read the chapter to see what David had left in the bank, so to speak, for his son’s project.

Notice the king’s plea that the people follow his example of generous giving. In today’s church language, he is taking an offering like none other. But it is the verse I have selected that is the key to what David was requesting, and it is the key to whether or not you are going to give from a mindset of generosity. That mindset comes from a prayer; it is actually from something he said to God about God that unlocks the extreme generosity of giving:

O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name, but who am I and who are my people that we should be permitted to give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we only give you what is yours already! (Living Bible)

Since it all comes from God anyway, giving the portion that he prompts you to give back to him is a fundamental issue of faith and trust and obedience on your part. When you get that right, your generosity gives God a shot, through your offerings, to not only replenish what you release to him, but to open up the spigot so that heaven’s abundance literally overflows in your life.

Again, your giving activates a circular law of generosity. That law says that when you are generous with what God has provided, he will give you more so that you can give away more, and as you give away more, he will give you more to give away. And thus you have entered the cycle of generosity.

God measures giving by generosity of heart. The amount debited from your account doesn’t count—it is your attitude that makes you a candidate for this cycle. It is not rote obedience to some law of tithing that God is looking for from you, it is the overflow of the spirit of grace that reflects God loving ownership of you and all that you have. When you settle the issue of generosity, then the law of tithing and questions about how much to give become moot.

I cannot determine giving for you; no one can—it’s a matter of your heart. But if you get it wrong, you are going to miss out on the thrill of generous giving. Get it right, and you will become a pipeline for the abundance of heaven.

And who in their right mind wouldn’t want that!

Going Deeper With God: Settle the matter of who owns what you have—you or God. If you go with God, then rejoice the next time you give: you are worshiping him. And then get ready for the goodness of heaven to flow to you and through you.

Parental Intentionality—The Greatest Gift You Give To Your Child

ThanksLiving: 365 Days of Gratitude

A word-picture expresses a child’s God-given worth in a creative, compelling and unforgettable way, and it often becomes the prophetic momentum for them to actually become that vision. Do that for your child. Paint a picture of their special value and their significant future. Discern God’s thumbprint for their life and prophetically speak that into their spirit and you’ll provide them with a self-renewing blessing. Intentionally give them that blessing now and you will give your child an incredible destiny!

Going Deep // Focus: 1 Chronicles 28:8-10

David said to Solomon, “So now, with God as our witness, and in the sight of all Israel—the Lord’s assembly—I give you this charge. Be careful to obey all the commands of the Lord your God, so that you may continue to possess this good land and leave it to your children as a permanent inheritance. And Solomon, my son, learn to know the God of your ancestors intimately. Worship and serve him with your whole heart and a willing mind. For the Lord sees every heart and knows every plan and thought. If you seek him, you will find him. But if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. So take this seriously. The Lord has chosen you to build a Temple as his sanctuary. Be strong, and do the work.”

Ultimately, your child’s walk with God will be their responsibility. When they are of age, they will choose how close they will be to God, or not. But along the way, as they are growing and developing under your stewardship, being a compelling example of full devotion to God and being unwaveringly intentional about passing your spirituality on to them is the best energy you can spend as a parent.

Unfortunately, too many Christian parents today, although they love their children and have the best of intentions regarding their kids spirituality, leave it up to others to shape their future relationship with God. King David didn’t do that, and neither should you. And what David is doing for Solomon in this chapter, although Solomon is an adult at this point—which also reminds us that if parenting is done well, the job of parent is never done—is envisioning for him a special future.

God has engineered your child with the seeds of success—and as their parent, it is your duty to see and prophetically speak that potential into your child’s spirit. Much of what a child needs to reach their potential is an adult who understands God’s thumbprint for them and helps them understand what that means by picturing it for them. Larry Crabb writes,

A vision we give to others of who and what they could become has power when it echoes what the spirit has already spoken into their souls.

Isn’t that what Father God does for his children? Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you—plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.” One of the laws of physics says that water cannot rise above its source. That’s true of our kids. If a parent pictures for a child low value, that child will find if difficult to rise above that image. William Appleton did a study of fathers and their daughters and found that the achievements of these women in adulthood were directly related to how much their fathers communicated value to them. The German poet Goethe said,

Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them to be what they are capable of becoming.

One of the ways you can envision a special future is through painting a picture of a life of significance. Notice how David did that in 1 Chronicles 28:10:

The Lord has chosen you to build a Temple as his sanctuary. Be strong, and do the work.

A word-picture expresses a child’s God-given worth in a creative, compelling and unforgettable way, and it often becomes the prophetic momentum for them to actually become that vision.

Do that for your child. Paint a picture of their special value and their significant future. Discern God’s thumbprint for their life and prophetically speak that into their spirit and you’ll provide them with a self-renewing blessing.

Intentionally give them that blessing now and you will give your child an incredible destiny!

Going Deeper With God: Ask God to give you his vision for your child’s future of significance. Then make sure you communicate that to them creatively and continually.

What’s Your P.I.P. — Your Personal Improvement Plan?

ThanksLiving: 365 Days of Gratitude

Do you currently have anyone in your life sharpening you? Do you have people on your Personal Development Team? Are there those who are willing to call you out in order to call you up? The Bible teaches that if you are going to win at life, if you are going to grow into Christ-like character, and if you are going to be a person of impact, it will not take place apart from the help of others—close friends that God will use to sharpen you.

Going Deep // Focus: 1 Chronicles 27:32-34

Jonathan, David’s uncle, was a wise counselor to the king, a man of great insight, and a scribe. Jehiel the Hacmonite was responsible for teaching the king’s sons. Ahithophel was the royal adviser. Hushai the Arkite was the king’s friend. Ahithophel was succeeded by Jehoiada son of Benaiah and by Abiathar. Joab was commander of the king’s army.

Jackie Robinson was the first African-American to play major league baseball. And he paid a heavy price for breaking the color barrier. He faced hatred everywhere he played; fastballs at his head; runners sliding into second base with their spikes up; racial slurs would be hurled from the opposing dugouts as well as the crowds.

One day in his home stadium in Brooklyn, he committed an error. The fans began to abuse him and Jackie just stood there at second base, humiliated. Then something dramatic happened. A southern white man who played shortstop, Pee Wee Reese, came over and stood next to him. He put his arm around Jackie and faced the crowd. The fans grew quiet. Robinson later said that one act of friendship, that arm around his shoulder saved his career. That’s a true friend!

That reminds me of the definition Henry Durbanville gave of a true friend. He said, “A friend is the first person who comes in when the whole world goes out.”

Friendship is one of the greatest gifts God has given us. You and I were not meant to do life alone. God has woven into the very fabric of who we are the need for community, to belong to a family. He has designed us so that we would thrive in relationship with others. That is why Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 famously says,

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.”

The Bible definitely calls us to choose friends who will in turn call out the best in us and challenge us to be all that God wants us to be—who will serve, if you will, on our Personal Development Team. We are told in one of the most famous verses on friendship, Proverbs 27:17 (Message),

“You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another.”

King David surrounded himself with people like that—Jonathan counseled him, Jehiel helped him with his family, Hushai was his close friend, Ahithophel (before he messed up) was his political advisor, Jehoiada provided a priestly influence and Joab protected him. These men helped David become and stay great!

Do you have anyone in your life sharpening you right now? Do you have people on your Personal Development Team? The Bible says you need people like that. If you are gong to win at life, if you are going to grow into the character of Christ, it will not take place apart from people—close friends that God will use to sharpen you.

I hope you have someone like that, or will get someone like that, because there’s not a one of us who should go through life without that kind of friend.

Going Deeper With God: Perhaps you would say, “But I can’t seem to find friends like you’ve described, so where do I begin?” First, you are not alone in your experience. Many people would say the same, so don’t feel that you are not worthy of close friends. Second, ask God. He made you for friendships, so he can provide them. Seriously, just ask and keep asking, because I just happen to believe that God still answers prayer. And third, make sure you are the kind of friend to others that you would want to have. As someone has humorously but correctly said, “the best vitamin for friendships is B-1.”

The Sacred Duty of Serving Behind the Scenes

ThanksLiving: 365 Days of Gratitude

It’s unlikely that you will ever hear a sermon where the long lists of names in the Bible are given any mention, but don’t forget that by their inclusion in scripture they have been “given their props” in God’s eternal record. Furthermore they have been listed for us as a reminder that it takes a team to do the work of the Kingdom. For sure, there are leading characters on every Kingdom team, but it’s still a team, made up mostly of unnamed, unsung heroes who are typically forgotten—except by God. God never forgets! He appreciates the contributions of each and every one—even the lesser lights—and for them, he has stored up indescribable recognition and incomparable reward in the Kingdom to come.

Going Deep // Focus: 1 Chronicles 26:6-8, 12-13

Obed-edom’s son Shemaiah had sons with great ability who earned positions of great authority in the clan. Their names were Othni, Rephael, Obed, and Elzabad. Their relatives, Elihu and Semakiah, were also very capable men. All of these descendants of Obed-edom, including their sons and grandsons—sixty-two of them in all—were very capable men, well qualified for their work….These divisions of the gatekeepers were named for their family leaders, and like the other Levites, they served at the house of the Lord. They were assigned by families for guard duty at the various gates, without regard to age or training, for it was all decided by means of sacred lots.

So just who was Obed-Edom, and Othni, Rephael, Obed, and Elzabad, and the other sixty-two of their clan? We don’t really know, except that they were gatekeepers in the house of the Lord—the “tent” that King David set up in Jerusalem to centralize Israel’s worship of Almighty God.

We don’t know much about Obed-Edom or any of the other people the chronicler names in this chapter. And this isn’t the first time he has treated us to such a list. He is famous for that, which is why his book is called Chronicles. But why force us to read all these mostly meaningless names?

Simply this: Both the chronicler and King David, who supplied these names, knew very well that the work of administrating the country, and running the house of God, couldn’t have done it without the help of a lot of loyal and skilled people. If David were accepting an Oscar, he would be up there for thirty minutes listing off all the people he would like to thank—these names and many others mentioned in this book.

It is highly likely that you will never hear a sermon or attend a Bible study where these names are given any mention, but don’t forget that they have been given their props in the eternal Word of God. My point is, it takes a team to do the work of the Kingdom. For sure, there are leading characters on the Kingdom team, but it’s still a team, mostly of unnamed, unsung heroes who are typically forgotten—except by God.

God never forgets. He appreciates the contributions of each and every one—even the lesser lights. And he has stored up indescribable recognition and rewards for them in the Kingdom to come. And the chronicler’s mention of them here is an important reminder to us of their contribution to their efforts and of their value to God.

Maybe you are one of those unnamed, unsung heroes who goes unnoticed by everyone else, but your faithfulness is noticed by God. Perhaps you are an Obed-Edom, or Othni, Rephael, Obed, and Elzabad, or even one the other sixty-two of their clan who didn’t even get their name in the movie credits that roll on the film long after the audience has left the theater, and you wonder if you really matter. My response to you is, “Yes, you matter. We wouldn’t be effective in building God’s Kingdom without you! It takes a team—and no matter what you do, you are an integral part of that team!”

But more important than my acknowledgement is God’s. He has written your name in a book, too—one that’s even better than 1 Chronicles. It’s the Book of Life. And God himself will celebrate your name all eternity long. How’s that for recognition.

So just be faithful doing what you’re doing. Your day is coming!

Going Deeper With God: Offer this prayer of gratitude to the Lord for the unsung heroes with which he has blessed your life: “Lord, I thank you for all of the unsung heroes who have quietly but faithfully built your Kingdom throughout my life. [Name some of them.] They are now gone, and have mostly been forgotten on this planet, but they are not forgotten by you. They have joined the unending list of others long gone but not forgotten by you. They are the spiritual fathers and mothers of others who now serve in your eternal kingdom quietly but faithfully. Father, bless each one. Wrap your arms around them and remind them again that you noticed. And say ‘thank you’ for me.”

Not A Lot About Lots

ThanksLiving: 365 Days of Gratitude

How great is it that you no longer have to put decisions for your life in the hands of a small group of leaders who roll the dice to see which way to send you! Not that you should exclude spiritual leaders from key decisions, but God has deposited his very Living Spirit in you, and he expects you to engage him in matters great and small. God will speak to you and direct you if you will nurture that relationship. And that, my friend, says a lot about what God thinks of you.

Going Deep // Focus: 1 Chronicles 24:30-31

These were the descendants of Levi in their various families. Like the descendants of Aaron, they were assigned to their duties by means of sacred lots, without regard to age or rank. Lots were drawn in the presence of King David, Zadok, Ahimelech, and the family leaders of the priests and the Levites.

This particular historical section of scripture describes in great detail how King David brilliantly organized Israel’s worship. Hundreds of years prior, Moses provided the blueprints for the physical construction of the tabernacle—the tent of meeting—as well as the details of how worship would take place through a system of sacrifices and offerings administered by priest and Levites. Now that centuries had passed, Israel’s place of worship was transitioning to a permanent home in Jerusalem (the tabernacle was in Gideon, but would later be replaced by Solomon’s temple), and the number of priests and Levites had grown exponentially, so a refined and expanded system was critically necessary.

And King David, leader extraordinaire, singer and songwriter, and passionate worshiper of Yahweh, set to work reforming Israel’s worship. One of the things he needed to reorganize was the rotation of the thousands of priests and Levites who existed, literally, to physically serve in the temple. His challenge was how to squeeze in so many of these ministers of worship. So in fairness to all, his senior leadership team casts lots.

Casting lots? How could such an arbitrary activity be fair? Wasn’t this practice, which is used in more than one place in scripture, nothing more than depending on randomness to provide direction? Why would the God of Israel, who demanded strict obedience to his law, which he had made patently clear, allow this luck-of-the-draw process for determining important matters?

We don’t know for sure, but we do know that God is perfect in all his ways. We also know, in a general sense, that what is explained in scripture is not necessarily the equivalent of what God excuses. Given that, we can make some educated guesses about the casting of lots. Here is what the Quest Study Bible says about the process in it’s commentary on Proverbs 18:18:

How did God work through such an arbitrary process? Casting lots was a means used to settle disputed questions. In the absence of clear moral justification for deciding one way or another, this ancient equivalent of “flipping a coin” resolved the matter quickly and decisively. Though the means might appear arbitrary, participants fully believed God was involved: the lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord (Proverbs 16:33). God could certainly have directed the results of any such process.

The Israelites were fully committed to the belief that God controlled everything, even their methodologies for discerning his will. That is why you find several instances of casting lots in scripture, where a variety of instruments for finding out what God thought regarding an important matter are employed—sticks, marked pebbles and the Urim and Thummim. (Exodus 28:30)

Sounds weird, and a bit superstitious, but keep in mind that God never condemned the practice, and he seemed to actually sanction it. (Leviticus 16:8, Proverbs 18:8) Keep in mind also that the final recorded instance of lot casting was in the New Testament (Acts 1:16), where the Apostles used it to determine who would take Judas’s slot on the team of Apostolic leaders. Following that final instance, the Holy Spirit fell on the believers, and from that point on, they had an immediate and sure link to the mind of God. Going forward, God expected his people to discern his will from Spirit-directed prayer used in conjunction with wise counsel of the spiritually mature and the preaching of the Word.

Now what does that mean for you today? In a general sense, how great is it that you no longer have to put decisions for your life in the hands of a small group of leaders who roll the dice to see which way to send you! Not that you should exclude spiritual leaders from key decisions, but God has deposited his very Living Spirit in you, and he expects you to engage him in matters great and small. God will speak to you and direct you if you will nurture that relationship. And that, my friend, says a lot about what God thinks of you.

In a narrower sense, as it relates to this passage, casting lots to determine the rotation of temple workers showed how much God cared about details that might otherwise have seemed irrelevant to the hundreds of thousands of Israelites who were neither priests nor Levites. Why would they even care? But God wanted to make sure everybody within the Levitical calling got a chance to serve. What that shows us is that God is engaged in our lives, even in the smallest details, and he is fair. And a God who is engaged, and fair is a good God—and that is the same God who is involved in your life even as we speak.

We don’t know a lot about lots, but we do know that God cares a lot about us!

Going Deeper With God: Speaking of discerning God’s will for our lives, take some time today to refresh your understanding of one of the clearest passages in the Bible on this matter, Proverbs 3:5-6.

Make Music In Your Heart

ThanksLiving: 365 Days of Gratitude

Might I suggest that maybe you, too, have a song in your heart? In fact, if you truly appreciate what Jesus has done for you, you should. So why not make music in your heart, at least to the Lord? Perhaps you should even begin to record your songs. You see, what is in your heart—the love and gratitude that is there toward God—is a song in unrecorded form. No one other than God and you may read it, but the God part of that combination is reason enough for you to write it. And who knows, but maybe at some point in your life, or after your life ends, others may pick up what you have done and be inspired to make music in their own heart with the song that God has put there.

Going Deep // Focus: 1 Chronicles 23:1-5

When David was old and full of years, he made his son Solomon king over Israel. He also gathered together all the leaders of Israel, as well as the priests and Levites. The Levites thirty years old or more were counted, and the total number of men was thirty-eight thousand. David said, “Of these, twenty-four thousand are to be in charge of the work of the temple of the Lord and six thousand are to be officials and judges. Four thousand are to be gatekeepers and four thousand are to praise the Lord with the musical instruments I have provided for that purpose.”

David was quite the renaissance man, and that was way before the Renaissance Age. His skill, knowledge and artistry were well known among his peers, and his renown for matters of leadership, warcraft, musicianship and spirituality continue even to this day. No wonder he was and is the most loved king in the Bible.

Among David’s many achievements, none is greater than the contribution he made to the songbook of the human race, the Psalms. David was a songwriter par excellence, and a choreographer of immense creativity—he was able to direct skilled musicians in putting together the worship services of the temple—and a skilled craftsman of fine musical instruments. David’s all around artistic accomplishments are unmatched, even to this day.

That is mostly because David had a song in his heart. Music was not something that was manufactured; it was organic to him. When he was just a boy, he began playing a harp, writing songs, and performing to the flock of sheep over which his father had given him charge. David’s worship bubbled out from his core to the Lord, and over much time, in long stretches of solitude, refined by circumstances in which he met God’s deliverance, the sweet singer of Israel honed his craft. He became greater and greater as a singer, songwriter and musician. And while we will never truly know the expanse of David’s artistry, we do have the book of Psalms that surely impresses us with the brilliance of this man!

So other than great appreciation for the multifaceted talents of David, what should this mean to you? How should you apply this to your life? Might I suggest that maybe you, too, have a song in your heart? In fact, if you truly appreciate what Jesus has done for you, you should. So why not make music in your heart, at least to the Lord? The Apostle Paul says that is actually a function of the Spirit-filled life:

Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:18-20)

So with the Spirit’s help, at the very least, why not start with writing down your song? A song? Yes, what is in your heart—the love and gratitude that is there toward God—is a song in unrecorded form. So record it; write it down. Every day, or once a week, or at some regular interval, commit to writing down you thoughts in journal form. No one other than God and you may read it, but the God part of that combination is reason enough for you to write it. And who knows, but maybe at some point in your life, or after your life ends, others may pick up what you have done and be inspired to make music in their own heart with the song that God has put there.

What might seem like a silly activity could actually be what inspires even more worship to the God who truly deserves much more than what we have given.

Going Deeper With God: Today, record your first song. Hey, at least it’s a start!

Don’t Surrender Your Child’s Faith To Chance

ThanksLiving: 365 Days of Gratitude

Christian parents make a grave mistake when they take a hands-off approach to passing on their faith. “We will let our child decided for herself” is akin to a death sentence to that child’s potential walk with God. According to Proverbs 22:6, parents have a calling to direct their children in the way they should go, so that when they are of age, they won’t detour from it. Better than your own earthly accomplishments is passing the baton well to the next generation. It is your sacred duty, so do it well, for it will be an eternal accomplishment!

Going Deep // Focus: 1 Chronicles 22:11-13

“Now, my son, may the Lord be with you and give you success as you follow his directions in building the Temple of the Lord your God. And may the Lord give you wisdom and understanding, that you may obey the Law of the Lord your God as you rule over Israel. For you will be successful if you carefully obey the decrees and regulations that the Lord gave to Israel through Moses. Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or lose heart!

David didn’t leave Solomon’s path to faith in God up to chance, nor did he let his son alone decide this important matter for himself. Christian parents make a grave mistake when they take a hands-off approach to passing on their faith. “We will let our child decided for herself” is akin to a death sentence to that child’s potential walk with God. According to Proverbs 22:6, all parents have a calling to direct their children in the way they should go, so that when they are of age, they won’t detour from it.

Train up a child in the way he should go,
And when he is old he will not depart from it.

David was the paragon of baton passing for parents of faith. He clearly knew God’s will for Solomon’s life and boldly spoke that prophetic vision for his son’s future into his heart. David wasn’t a unique parent in his ability to discern that about Solomon, he was simply being a good steward of the child that God gave him. And that should be the case with all parents. It doesn’t require special prophetic abilities, but it does take diligent parenting—staying close to God and the child for the purpose of discerning God’s path for that child.

The setting for this story is David’s instructions to the young Solomon on the duty he would have to build a glorious temple to the Lord that would not only be a fitting house for the King of kings, but would wow the world as they were attracted to God by the uncommon blessings that had been poured out upon the nation of Israel. This building, in David’s own words, was to be “a magnificent structure, famous and glorious throughout the world.” (1 Chronicles 22:5) This would be an impossible task for a lesser person, but Solomon was up to it, according to the prophetic future David spoke forth for Solomon. And in the father’s instructions to the son, we find several universal and timeless truths that will not only lead to success before God and men in the building project, but throughout his entire life:

  1. Success comes from the Lord: “my son, may the Lord be with you and give you success.” (1 Chronicles 22:11) That is the starting point for a life of achievement and impact. Success begins with God, is for God and is rife through and through with God.
  2. God gives success as we are fully submitted to him: “the Lord be with you and give you success as you follow his directions.” (1 Chronicles 22:11) God is not obligated to bless the disobedient, no matter what we are doing for him. As David’s mentor, Samuel famously said, “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.” (I Samuel 15:22) Above all else, a parent should instruct their child that love for God is proven through obedience to his Word.
  3. With God at the center of lives and full obedience to him the passion of our heart, he will supply us with divine wisdom and understanding to do life well: “And may the Lord give you wisdom and understanding, that you may obey the Law of the Lord your God as you rule over Israel.” (1 Chronicles 22:12) Knowing and applying God’s Word takes discernment and skill. And even discernment and skill are not a human invention. They require human discipline, but they come from the Lord, and must we seek them, align ourselves to receive them, and ruthlessly, consistently apply them to daily living.
  4. At the end of the day, it will take boldness and inner resolve to wholeheartedly follow God: “Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid or lose heart!” (1 Chronicles 22:13) The way of faith will be fought at every step. It will not be successfully trod by the faint of heart, but by the courageous and determined soul. Most parents believe that boldness is a personality train, but in truth, a mom and dad must train the child to be strong and courageous, to fight for what is right, and to persevere through difficulty. The example of the parent who uses real life expressions of boldness as teachable moments with the child is the best way to inculcate courage. Be strong and courageous, the Lord tells us, and he will give us success wherever we go. (Joshua 1:9)

If you are a parent—or a mentor or you have some influence with a child—God’s calling on your life is to pass your faith on in such a way that the child has a running start at succeeding in life. Better than your own earthly accomplishments is passing the baton well to the next generation. Billy Graham is right,

The greatest legacy one can pass on to one’s children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one’s life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.

Pass your faith on to the child that God has placed within your sphere of influence, for that is an eternal accomplishment!

Going Deeper With God: If you have a child, or any other person who is under your influence, have a heart to heart talk with them as soon as possible about what has been said in this devotional.