Being a Gospel-Grounded Family

Hey Heartland Family! We cannot express how truly grateful we are for our new faith family here at Heartland. The scripture that comes to mind when we think about you comes from Colossians 1:3-4:  “We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints…” Thank you for loving us so well because of your first love being found in Christ.  

I want to encourage each of you today, as you spend time with your family (and friends), to make the most of your time. Although this article is primarily aimed at families with children, the content can still be applied with other family, friends, neighbors, etc. Our families are our primary mission field. God has entrusted children to the watchful care of their parents. Let’s take a look at one of my favorite passages involving family, faith and an action plan for living a life devoted to God:

“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)

The book of Deuteronomy contains Moses’ final address to the Israelites before they would cross over into the Promised Land. In addition to the containment of laws, Deuteronomy is focused on reminding the people of God. It reminded the people to not forget the bondage they were released from, to not forget the freedom that God had granted them, and to not forget that the Lord must always be at the center of everything they do moving forward. The highlighted passage for today (Deut. 6:4-9) is a great reminder for us in how to practice our walk with Christ. I love the exhortation in verse 4 to hear and know that the Lord our God is one. Verse 5 hones in on loving the Lord your God with ALL your heart, soul and might. This isn’t a half-hearted approach to the Christian faith. This is an all-in, completely sold out embrace of God and Who He is. Verse 6 is a wonderful reminder that God’s Word must ALWAYS be on our heart. We have the pleasure and privilege to hear and know God’s Word for our own hearts, and verses 7-9 are the evidence of our lives being grounded completely on The Rock. We have the great responsibility and privilege of teaching God’s Word to our own children, in our homes, out and about, when we are resting, and when we are getting up to start a brand new day. We are called to live a life that is immersed in God’s Word and to also share the hope we have in Jesus Christ with our families, friends and neighbors over a lifetime.  

I don’t know about you guys but this passage produces a healthy conviction in my heart. I wish I could tell you that I ALWAYS teach and share scriptural truths with my kid’s in all circumstances, but I don’t. I wish I could tell you that I ALWAYS think of God’s Word and speak with Him in every moment of the day, but I don’t. God’s grace provides a means for us to make mistakes and still plod forward in our faith as we learn, adapt and lean into His strength more and more. As we rest in His strength we find ourselves relying less and less on our former selves to produce failed attempts at “doing good” in our own strength. I’m grateful that the Lord is producing an increasing desire to rest in His strength as I get older and listen more to Him. Church, be encouraged as we get to experience first hand discipling from the Holy Spirit when we interact with the Lord daily on a personal level. As we spend more and more time with the Lord, we will inevitably share more and more with our loved ones from God’s Word. When we teach His Word, we can do so selflessly because we are pointing to Him, not to ourselves. I hope and pray that you each have a wonderful day. I am grateful to do life with you all on this journey.

Grace and Peace,

Jake Waits