We try to teach our children to love God, and to always put Him first. BUT, we don't really do that! Talking the talk, but not really walking the walk on what we're "preaching" to them. We tend to put more focus on going to "church" than actually being the church. We have seen this over the years that this is the overall focus of most believers. We busy ourselves with "church" events and activities that take all of our time, so we therefore don't have time to actually minister to others. To do so, we would have to take away time with our family, which we believe is NOT how God wants this done. HE wants and deserves to be first in our lives.
"Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need."
--Matthew 6:33 NLT
It seems that believers take this time of year to try and cram into one month what we should be doing all year...helping the needy, ministering to widows & shut-ins, inviting lost family & friends to a worship service, fellowshipping together, etc. I'm definitely NOT saying that these things are bad and that we shouldn't do them, it's just that this should be done year round. We try to spend the holidays with family and enjoy that time together, but there is always so much other "stuff" going on that it makes family time seem like a hassle. To be honest, when we finally get time at home we don't want to run to another place, even if it is to be with family. I am convinced that this is not the way it should be.
With Eric being a pastor, our children have always been at "church" A LOT! We desire and feel a strong calling from God to quit busying ourselves with activities and events and really teach our boys how to be the hands and feet of Jesus! Getting out of our comfortable four walls and taking Jesus to the people, instead of expecting people to come into a place where they don't belong. Unbelievers shouldn't feel comfortable or even desire to enter to the church building. When we gather together as believers we are to "worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs."--Psalm 100:2 If you don't already have a personal relationship with Jesus how are you able to worship Him? Our world needs to see the Church, which is the people, everyday living for Him, not just on Sundays and an occasional Wednesday evening. "Live wisely among those that are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity." --Colossians 4:5
Jacob, our youngest, always keeps us laughing and guessing at what he will say next. This weekend he summed this up perfectly by saying, "I hate going to church! I really like Jesus 'cause He's nice, but I really hate church!" (side note: Hate, is his new favorite word. He hates naps, hates to eat, hates to wear clothes, hates to do anything that he doesn't first choose to do himself!) :)
Him saying that reminded me of what a poor job we are doing at teaching our boys what we've been so convicted about. At only three years old, he has already gotten a misconception of what the church really is. We have once again allowed ourselves to become busy with stuff, not just this month, but for a while now. I pray that God will help us and everyone else to see that most of the "stuff" we do doesn't impress Him at all. Showing and sharing Christ with others it what pleases Him.
Let's slow down for a moment refocus on Him, and what He has called each of us individually to do. "We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps."--Proverbs 16:9 What steps does He have for me and you??