Day 27:  Justice, Mercy, and Humility

Lord, You have shown us what is good and what You require:  To do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with You, our God.  May these children display these truths in their lives now, and forever.         Micah 6:8    In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

If this is what God requires, as the scripture says, we may need to break it down just a bit to make sure we understand it.

To do justly … The generation just behind me is doing a good job of promoting social justice.  From orphan care, to sex trafficking, to water projects, the awareness of need is made available more than ever.  The Internet has brought the needs of the world to our doorsteps.   And this is good and right.  The one thing we need to be aware of is to make sure our causes line up with scripture.  Pick best over good, eternal over temporary.

To love mercy … God wants us to be a champion of justice, and stand up for those who cannot stand up for themselves.  He also wants us to live a life of mercy.  What is mercy?  Not getting what we deserve.  Mercy is a lot like compassion mixed with forgiveness.  God extends it to us and we should extend it to others.  And we should love it, seek after it, look for opportunities to extend mercy to those around us.

Finally, what does walking humbly with God look like?  This is the picture in my mind:  When my daughter, Sally, was little, she always wanted to hold my hand when we walked together. There, holding hands, standing closely together, she talked, laughed, and sang with me.  She often said, “Mama, I LOVE spending time with you!”  or “Did you know I love you sooo much?!” Big words and thoughts for a three-year-old, but that was (and still is) my Sally!  When she is with me, she is really with me.  To me, that is walking humbly.  Being humble does not mean that we think badly of ourselves, it means we rarely think of ourselves.  To walk humbly with God means that we rarely think of ourselves because our minds are too busy thinking of Him, and thinking of how we can extend justice and mercy to others.


Day 26: Doers of the Word

Lord, may my children not just listen to Your truth, but act on Your truth.  May my children have a desire to look intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continue to do this, not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—so they will be blessed in what they do. (James 1:25)

It is easy to hear, harder to do.  And yet faith without works is dead—not because we are earning our salvation by our works–that is impossible.  It is by grace we have been saved, not from ourselves and our efforts.  And yet, faith and works go hand in hand.  Why?  Because true faith demands response. When we truly get a glimpse of Who God really is, and what He has done for us, we can’t help ourselves.  We must respond with good works and living truth. We must respond by becoming Doers of the Word.

The thing that trips us up is forgetfulness.  That is why scripture is filled with reminders.  That is why the Promise Land was filled with Stones of Remembrance.  We are a forgetful people and we must make conscience efforts to remember the truth that changes everything.  May it be so for us and for our children.


Day 25: Repetition

Lord, may my children never forget the lessons they have learned concerning Your love and Your commands.  May these lessons prolong their lives and bring them prosperity.  Write the message of love and faithfulness on the tablet of their hearts so they may win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man.  Proverbs 3:1-4   In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

One way to overcome forgetfulness is repetition.

Over and over and over

teach and review

and model and review

and talk about and review

and sing about and review the truths found in the Word of God.

For younger children, this can be achieved through scripture songs and games; for older children through conversations.  One great blessing in my life started on New Year’s Day in 2016.  Inspired by my friend, Allen, my three oldest children agreed to read through the Bible in 180 days with me.  Okay, I admit, the challenge was supposed to be 90 days, but that was unrealistic for us, so we doubled the time.  That meant 8 chapters a day.  We didn’t take notes, or even try to study it.  We just read.  And boy, did we learn a lot!  The Holy Spirit pointed out things I had never seen before.  And best of all, I had great, adult conversations with my children. They pointed out things that I had never seen before, and we discovered together that the Old Testament is Christ concealed, and the New Testament is Christ revealed.

Ever since my oldest child started school, I have sent them to school with a scriptures in their pocket.  It started out as a handwritten note, but I soon got smart and typed out a LONG list of scriptures I wanted them to know and remember.  I print out the scripture list, cut them into strips, and send a strip with each child, each day.  I am sure there are some days they read them and some days they don’t.  But at the very least, after many years of this daily routine, they understand the value of DAILY seeking God and His truth.   And this daily routine reminds me of His Truth as well.  I know and believe that His Word will not return void in their lives.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

                                                                        Deuteronomy 6:5-9


Day 24: Fear and Faith

Lord, help these children to know that You will never leave them, nor forsake them.  When they are afraid, may they trust in You.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.                 Deuteronomy 31:6; Psalm 56:3

One thing we try to explain to our children is that everyone will let them down sometimes.  As parents, we will fail our children occasionally.  We won’t mean to, but it will happen.  A broken promise, a bad reaction, a emotional need unmet and unnoticed.  Even the best, most diligent parents will drop the ball at some point.  Therefore, it is very important to point our children from the earliest age to the One who will not let them down.  Point them to the Perfect Parent, who will never leave them nor forsake them.

How do we counsel them through their fears?  The best way I know is to teach them key scripture verses related to fear.  The Bible is full of them.  And the common theme?  “Do not be afraid.”  Rumor has it that there are 365 references in the Bible with this message—one for every day of the year.

Examples of these “fear-less” verses include the following:

I will lie down and sleep in peace, for You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7

So we say with confidence: “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:6

We have helped our children memorize these verses and have instructed them in the power of confessing this truth aloud.  I have to do this myself sometimes.  So, if you see me on the road, seeming to talk to myself, don’t worry.  I may just be reciting the truth that I know but sometimes forget!

Day 23: Favor with God and Man


Lord, may these children grow in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus, both now and throughout their lives. May they grow in wisdom and in stature and in favor with You and with man. II Peter 3:18; Luke 2:52          In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I first found these verses to pray when my niece, Wesley, was born.  She was the first baby of the family and we all were overwhelmed with love.  I left soon after she was born to go do mission work in Costa Rica.  In the months that I lived in Costa Rica, I missed my family so very much, especially my new niece Wesley.  However, I knew enough about prayer to know that redeeming the time away through prayer was the most positive thing I could do when I missed them.  So, every day as I rode the public bus to work, I prayed these prayers for Wesley.   Now, 31 years later, I see how God abundantly answered my prayers for her, as well as the prayers of her parents.  She is a beautiful, godly woman, who has indeed grown in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus.

One point about these verses is the word “grow”.  To grow means to develop, to progress, to cultivate.  It means to “to become larger or greater over a period of time.”  We need to realize that when we pray this prayer for our children, we are reaching into the future on their behalf.  We won’t see it all at once, but over time we will realize the fruit of growth and maturity in their relationship with Christ.

It was said of Jesus, as well as of the prophet Samuel when he was a boy, that he grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man.  That is what I want for my kids, too.  This prayer is the perfect combination.  Favor with man alone is shallow.  It can become a popularity contest.  Favor with God and man means influence in godliness. It means friendships which glorify God, not those which rebel against him.