It Starts At Home - Encouragement for Today - September 11, 2019

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September 11, 2019

It Starts At Home
RUTH CHOU SIMONS

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“And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.” Deuteronomy 6:6 (ESV)

Given a choice, I’d rather go to a faraway country than clean out my pantry. I’d rather dig wells for other people, seeing progress and visible fruit, than work through math problems again with my child. Truth be told, sometimes I esteem the value of ministry to others over the often unseen ministry within my own home.

“Send me, Lord!” — as long as it’s not to the hard soil of difficult extended family relationships, or to the unnoticed work of sowing truth within the walls of my own home.

Recognizing that my home is a mission field — equal to a remote land or culture — changes the way I think about the people and places before me and why God has placed me there.

When I became a mom, I marveled that babies didn’t come with owner’s manuals. As parents, we look for blueprints to ensure success — a method, paradigm or routine that will make it easier. We wonder why we must repeat things over and over, why it feels so unrewarding at times, and whether or not we’re even making a difference.

God went to great lengths to instruct His children about instructing their children. He helped the Israelites make a connection we need, too:

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:4-9, ESV).

What we choose to repeat at home, practice as a family, and speak about directly affects our knowledge of the presence of God and our ability to recall God’s faithful works. God’s greatness and redemption story don’t automatically appear in our families. They’re made known in and through us by deliberate praise and practice.

God instructed His people to persevere in their work at home while keeping their eyes on their future home (as seen in Deuteronomy 6:10-12). They were to recount and rehearse the faithfulness of God in every way possible with those in their care so future generations would remember to give God the glory when He brought their journey to completion.

When we point to Jesus with our praise and practice, we make it known that it is God who saves and rescues us from our heaviest burdens.

Mother Teresa famously said, “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”

One of the most loving things we can do as parents is to love our children with the full truth of the gospel — not a watered-down story, a feel-good pep talk, or a behavior-manipulating gospel of self-help. That’s not the good news of grace. Jesus loved and saved us while we were His enemies, paid the ultimate price to pluck us out of slavery to sin, and made us welcome in His presence. This is the gospel.

When we speak of this amazing grace in the ordinary routines of our days, we take the good news of the gospel with us to car lines, dinner prep, laundry and even errands during rush hour — which may as well be the ends of the earth. We are missionaries to our people, right where we are … from the first moments of the day to the moment we turn off the lights at night.

Dear Heavenly Father, You have called me to fix my eyes on You and to deliberately teach my children the truth of who You are. Help me faithfully rehearse the truth of the gospel to myself and to my family. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

TRUTH FOR TODAY:
Proverbs 14:26, “Those who fear the LORD are secure; he will be a refuge for their children.” (NLT)

Romans 2:4, “Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” (NLT)

RELATED RESOURCES:
If you’re looking for helpful hints and tips to live out God’s grace in your family life, you’ll appreciate Ruth Chou Simons’ new release, Beholding and Becoming: The Art of Everyday Worship — a book to encourage you to behold the One who created all things as His transforming grace turns your “everyday ordinary” into a holy place of becoming.

CONNECT:
Learn more about Ruth’s heart, books and art at her website, ruthchousimons.com.

Enter to WIN your very own copy of Beholding and Becoming by Ruth Chou Simons. In celebration of this book, Harvest House is giving away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and notify each one in the comments section by Monday, September 16, 2019.}

REFLECT AND RESPOND:
What’s one way you can rehearse the truth of God’s Word with your family?

© 2019 by Ruth Chou Simons. All rights reserved.

Proverbs 31 Ministries thanks Harvest House Publishers for their sponsorship of today’s devotion.

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Matthews, NC 28105
www.Proverbs31.org

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