Judges 1:1 says, After the death of Joshua, the people of Israel inquired of the Lord, “Who shall go up first for us agains the Canaanites, to fight against them?” I love this passage because it reminds me that we all need leaders. Moses lead the children of Isreal out of Egypt. His assistant, Joshua lead them into the Promised Land. The problem was that Moses had trained a leader to take his place. Joshua did not. So, when Joshua died, the people said, “Who will lead us? Who will go first in battle?”
Go First! – The Manger Build Devotion for Sunday, December 23 from Mike Young on Vimeo.
Well dad, your family may be in this position. They may be asking “Who will lead us? Who will go first for us?” I think its time for all of us to step into this responsibility. And I can think of no better way or place for you to lead your family that in demonstrating your commitment to God by leading them in and to worship. Today is Sunday. A day set aside to worship and rest. So let’s get these in the right order. You can rest, but after you go to worship.
Here’s what this looks like. Dad, lead the charge to church. Make sure you are ready and help wherever needed to get everyone else ready and out the door. Demonstrate your commitment to worship by engaging the message. Bring your Bible. Open it to the sermon text. Follow along. Take notes. Be attentive and expect a blessing. I’m amazed by how my children follow my example in both good and bad behaviors. Participating in worship is a great example for them to follow.
When you get back home, gather the family around the manger and unpack your worship experience. Talk about the music, the fellowship, the prayer, the Bible passages, the sermon and the offering. Get everyone to react to the experience. One of my rules is that we don’t complain. I would encourage you to not let your crew start complaining. The best way to do that is to not complain yourself. Here’s the deal, expect the worship experience to stir your heart. Pray that some aspect of the worship experience will stir your heart. Go with a humble spirit and I think you’ll hear from God.
Remind your children that God wants us to meet together with other Christ followers for encouragement and sharpening. Here’s what Hebrews 10:24-25 has to say: And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
Men, you can have conversations right now with your children about how important it is to be connected to a local church. Tell your own story of being connected (or not) to a local church and remind them to make this a priority throughout their lives, no matter where God might take them. End your time together by leading your family in prayer, thanking God for your church, praying for your pastors and praying that your children will always be drawn to worship with other believers in a local church founded on the Word of God.