Feed the Sheep

How many times did you watch a game on T.V. this last week? How many times did you work on projects around the house? How many times have you surfed the web, checked your email, watched a video on Youtube, or spent time on your favorite social media platform just in the last week? If I asked you how many times you ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner this past week you would think it silly to even ask, because of course you eat all the time. But if asked how many times you’ve led your family in devotions, including Bible reading, prayer, and singing, that innocent smile might disappear, because the answer would be “zero.”

How is it that so many self-professing Christian families faithfully go to church on Sunday, and may even be a part of some ministry but yet during the regular week do not worship the Lord as a family? There might be several reasons why.  It could be that we’ve been trained to think of worship as something that we go to a building to experience at the feet of seminary trained professionals; everything from the choreographed worship, to the preaching, to the Sunday school programs. It’s just what we do, and what we’ve been commanded to do (Heb. 10:24-25).

But seldom are we exhorted to seek the Lord as a family, apart from the creative vision, activities, and ministries, of the pastor and church staff. It’s almost as if we’re expected to remain dependent on our church leaders for spiritual growth and action, once or twice a week. But has not the Spirit given different gifts to all believers? (1 Cor. 12) And when we come together are we not supposed to practice those gifts for the edification of others? (1 Cor. 14:26) Our worship and devotion is not to be restricted to the confines of church activity, a few days a week.

When we look at Psalm 78, Deuteronomy 6:5-7, Ephesians 5 and other verses we see that the spiritual training of children is solely the responsibility of parents. Parents, and not church staff or Christian school teachers, are to teach children the words of God, and show them how to apply them to every area of life, every day of the week, and at all times of the day. Just look for opportunities to point them to Christ. Start the life-changing habit of daily family devotions. We cannot lay the blame on the local church. We all have a responsibility to search the scriptures for ourselves and do what God commands. He commands us to teach our children the words of God, to shepherd their hearts, and point them to Christ.

So the next time you sit down at your computer to surf the web, or you head to the fridge for snacks for the big game, try to remember if you have been faithful in discipling your children and feeding them the bread of life, and training in the things of God. Have you plowed the ground of their hearts through meaningful conversation throughout the week? Have you watered the ground of their hearts with the words of God, and fervently sough the Lord to breath life in your children through Spirit-filled prayer? Have you been a good shepherd? Feeding the sheep of God?

Photo credit: castgen via Foter.com / CC BY-NC

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