Russ Ray

Trying to become more like Jesus

First five – Deuteronomy

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About the day you stood in the presence of the LORD your God at Mount Sinai, when he said to me, “Assemble the people. I want them to hear what I have to say, so that they will learn to obey me as long as they live and so that they will teach their children to do the same.”—Deuteronomy 4:10 (GNT)

One of the great things about my Bible plan is that I’ve been able to spend some of my time reading to the kids from the assignments in that plan. Tonight, I read to them from Deuteronomy, which probably seems like an absolutely horrendous idea, but the beginning of the book is basically a recap of Exodus to Numbers.

I tried explaining to them what the Pentateuch was, which I think went over their heads, but then I told them it’s the first five books of the Bible and the Israelites carried it around in the ark (they know what that is), and I might or might not have also thrown in a reference to Raiders of the Lost Ark too (they absolutely know who Lego Indiana Jones is).

In two chapters of Deuteronomy, it sets the stage for the formation of the nation of Israel. It teaches the future generation the mistakes that the previous generation made to get them on the right path and prepare them to take over the nation. And they did… and they also made new mistakes.

Being a parent scares me sometimes. You’re supposed to have your stuff together and have it all figured out so you can help your kids get off on the right foot. But, I don’t have it all together. I don’t have it all figured out. So what use am I to them?

Even worse, my kids look up to me, even when I’m an absolute failure. And they still love me in spite of that. Do I really want to upset that by telling them the mistakes I’ve made?

These are the same reactions I have when I’m confronted with the reality of what Jesus did for me. He knows I don’t have it all together, so He’s there with his hand out to me for me to grab onto. And even when I let go to do what I want to do instead, He doesn’t say “I told you so” when I come back. He loves me even when I’m an absolute failure.

My kids sin (definitely), but when I still see these qualities in them, I know that Jesus is real. After all, He said that we have to have a faith like a child. It’s played out for me day after day.

I think then that the main lesson to impart to the kids is to keep your ears open to the Word of God (so that when you do stray you won’t be too far away to hear Him calling you) and keep your eyes open for ways to bring the love of Christ to others (unless, of course, some idiot decides to open the ark).

How do you handle your own authenticity with your kids?

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