1/10/06

Encouragement for Today

 

“Have You Ever Felt That Way?” – Part 1

Melissa Taylor, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

 

Key Verse:

Mark 4:24, “And be sure to pay attention to what you hear.  The more you do this, the more you will understand – and even more, besides.”  (NLT)

 

Devotion:

Last night, as I was tucking my eight-year-old son in bed, he asked me a question.  This is a typical part of his bedtime routine, as the more questions he asks, the longer I linger in his room.  Usually the questions are something like, “Mommy, how cold will it be tomorrow?” or “Mommy, did you watch Sponge Bob when you were little?” or “Can we please read one more story?” Those are easy to answer and admittedly I like them that way.  Not last night’s question.  As I was walking out of Dylan’s room, he asked, “Mommy, I know there are other religions and it makes me wonder which one is right.  Have you ever felt that way?”

 

When a loaded question like that comes directed at you from your sweet child who you are trying your best to mold, shape, guide, direct, and raise to be wise, loving, caring CHRISTIAN, it makes you stop and think before you answer!  Never in my life have I wanted an answer to simply flow out of my mouth that would satisfy the curiosity of my boy like I did at that moment.  I wanted to call in his dad for back up, only his dad was at football practice with our older son.  It was just me (and God).

 

I turned around and explained to Dylan, that yes indeed, I had wondered that.  In our world there are many confusing messages, as well as religions.  Many of them sound really good, and often right.  “So how do you know then, Mom?” he asked.  “How do you know that our God is the right God?  How do you KNOW that Jesus was His Son?”

 

It’s amazing to me how God prepares us for questions like these, even when we don’t realize He’s doing it.  My Bible study group is studying Romans right now.  Paul wrote his letter to the church in Rome because Rome was such a secular and religious city.  While few worshiped the living God of Scripture, they worshiped many gods.  There were many religious choices and practices in Rome, just as there are today.  I knew it was important for me to share Scripture with Dylan, but I also knew the mind of an eight-year-old.  He needed more.  He needed personal…a “but how do you know Mommy” answer.

 

I shared my life with Dylan last night like I never had before.  Personal stories (age appropriate, of course – there’s more, but that’s for later!) of how God had transformed my life and my heart – that’s what I told Dylan.  How through Him, I could love the unlovable, weather the fiercest storm, face my life knowing I was accepted, forgiven, and dearly loved.  I shared how I didn’t have to do anything to earn God’s love and how God doesn’t keep score for us.  We talked about Jesus and how much He must love us to die for us.  No one else would do that. I also encouraged him to ask his brothers and his dad how they knew God was real.

 

Dylan asked Jesus into his heart two years ago.  He was sure, excited, and did so by his own desire.  He loves Jesus with all his heart.  I don’t want him to question if He’s real or not.  In this life, however, there will be many distractions, temptations and ways offered to us.  Many will sound too good to be true (which they are).  Many will tell us we possess all we need through our “inner strength,” our “spirit-energy,” our “higher self,” or the “intelligence of the universe.”  AAAHHHHHH!!!!!!  Words like that make me crazy, which is why in tomorrow’s devotion I’ll address more on this topic. 

 

In closing for today though, think about Dylan’s parting question last night and how you would answer it if someone asked you, “I know there are other religions and it makes me wonder which one is right.  Have you ever felt that way?”

 

My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, help me to discern what is right and true.  Please help me to understand my faith enough to share it with others.  In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Application Steps:

Write down your answer to Dylan’s question.  Be prepared to share it with someone in your life.

 

Reflection Points:

Does my life reflect what I believe? 

 

Do I know what I believe enough to tell someone else about it?

 

Have I been distracted or tempted away from God lately?  If so, what should I do about it?

 

Power Verses:

John 15:26, “But I will send you the Counselor - the Spirit of truth.  He will come to you from the Father and will tell you about me.” (NLT)

 

John 18:37b, “You are right in saying I am a king.  In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.  Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (NIV)

 

John 18:38a, “What is truth?”  Pilate asked. (NIV)

 

John 8:32, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (NLT)

 

Romans 5:7-8, “Now, no one is likely to die for a good person, though someone might be willing to die for a person who is especially good.  But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” (NLT)

 

Additional Resources:

Who Holds the Key to Your Heart, by Lysa TerKeurst

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/newresources_whoHoldsKey.htm

 

Do You Know Him?

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/knowHim.htm

 

P31 Woman Magazine

http://proverbs31.gospelcom.net/woman.htm