Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Dinner Devotions: Give Your Loved Ones to Me

August 23, 2014

A couple of weeks ago we took the girls to Barnes and Nobles to spend gift cards they had received for their birthdays. Previous trips were not without their scene-making-full-out-fuss-tantrums...and that was just my wife. I kid. But with another year of growth where our daughters have had practice being in social environments, we were ready to tackle the big bookstore once again. And as much as you are probably expecting me to write about some outrageous debacle of an outing and as much as I actually wish our outing was worth writing about in that sense...it was a pretty normal family trip.

We did however, make a purchase as a family that I hope will aid in the spiritual and personal growth for our girls, our family as a whole as well as strengthening and sharpening our skills as parents.

The book we chose is called Jesus Calling: 365 Devotions for Kids by Sarah Young. Angie and I decided that a good time to read our devotions each day would be at the dinner-table where we are all gathered. She and I would alternate nights when we would read the devotions before we say our meal-time prayer.

Tonight's title was Give Your Loved Ones to Me. It focused on God's greatest commandment - love Him. The Bible basically goes on to say not to just love, but love with every  fiber. Not every fiber you can muster, but simply every fiber in your heart, in your mind and in your soul...no excuses. Anything less is a life left unfulfilled to its full and complete potential and capacity. It's asking a lot though. Isn't it? Yes, it makes sense because it's in our blood as Christians. We've heard it all of our lives. We've spoken it all of our lives. As it should be. But, hearing and saying aren't...doing. And I'll stop there because you may be beginning to think that I'm on a sermon-soapbox. That's not my point here. My point - or question - is are we being (I'm including myself here) being spiritually lazy. While claiming to love God without the action to support it, aren't we just spouting off Biblical fact?

The devotion this particular night also talked about loving your neighbor...and no, that doesn't mean if you're the lone house out away from civilization that you're off the hook. Nor does it mean that if you've befriended the families on either side of your townhouse that your job is complete. What have you (myself included) done lately to show (what action have your performed?) your belief in His second commandment?

I would like to propose something to you and I'm hoping it creates some good conversation, inspires a new blog entry, but most importantly I hope it ignites a fire in you to want to grow or continue to grow in your spiritual walk. I would to hear from you. In the comment section provided, please share with me and fellow readers one of or all of the following: What have you done to show you love God 110% and How have you shown you love your neighbor (which includes all of humankind not just the people living beside you)? 

I will go first.

Loving God: I am proud to say that even though it took twelve years, my wife and I have begun praying together each night after we say goodnight to our girls. It's been a couple of months already and have only missed a few nights here and there. This, I feel, shows God we love Him. By starting devotions each night at dinner-time, shows God that we love Him so much we are teaching our children about Him and encouraging their spiritual growth. Something that I would still like to do is along with praying with my wife is to add a devotional segment specifically for spouses.

Loving my neighbor: My brother's wife's sister's husband (are you with me?) is not someone that I talk to much at all, but is a brother in Christ nonetheless. But thanks to social media, it was easy for me to send him a quick message saying that I'm praying for he and his family while their daughter was ill. He was appreciative and I hope he heard those prayers and felt a sense of comfort through the difficult time of wondering what was going wrong with her body. I don't know about you, but when someone tells me they are praying for me, saying it means a lot is an understatement. Also, not to steal anybody's answer, but I think the Ice Bucket Challenge was a great way to show love for you neighbor.

Please share your thoughts.

Dream Out Loud
Ryan

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