March 22, 2020

A Family Devotion

Today I had a chance to do something that I don’t usually get to do: 1) eat breakfast (except on 3rd Floor Potluck Extravaganza Sundays) and 2) spend time with my family on a Sunday morning. It was really a great experience. My wife and I gathered the family in the living room for a family devotion time. I hate that social distancing has us all isolated, but I’m so thankful for our RightNow Media account. We used a Google Chromecast to stream RightNow from my mobile phone straight to our TV (I believe it’s called casting).

There are plenty of other options as well. Roku has a RightNow Media channel (this is what we use at the church). Apple TV also has a channel for RightNow Media. Truly there are many, many ways to stream content from RightNow Media. Enough of that; back to the time with family.

We warmed up with Phil Vischer’s series on the Book of Philippians. Phil walks through the entire book a few verses at time. I think there’s about 15 sessions. My kids used to love the Veggie Tales, but they groaned when the video started. The first episode asked the question, “Where does my joy come from?” With the help of some animated friends, Phil unpacks what it means to live with joy both in times of happiness and in times of sadness. I thought the video was good, and my kids did pay attention. Here’s a bit of trivia from the video—How many times do we find the word “fun” in the Bible (NIV)? The answer. Once.

Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.”

Acts 2:13 (NIV)

At the end of the video there’s a review and we all passed the test. If you find yourself with some extra time like I did, I highly recommend this video series (especially if you have kids). Also there are downloadable session guides with questions for review.

In my Sunday School class we have been studying the book of Psalms. We just completed Psalm 116 last week. I’ve always wanted to go through Psalm 119, but it’s so long (the longest chapter in the Bible—176 verses, 8 times 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet). There’s great news. Matt Chandler has a series on Psalm 119. There are 10 sessions (videos between 9–19 minutes) and a downloadable discussion guide to aid the study. The first session spoke about being blessed. Spoiler. The scripture says the blessed are those whose actions are blameless. Those who obey the law of the Lord. Too bad we all fall short of that, but fortunately, the passage also answers the question…

How can a young man keep his way pure?

Psalm 119:9a

We do this by living according to God’s word and by seeking Him with all our heart. Really we don’t do this all that well, so we made a commitment this morning to work on that. We’re going to follow the pattern of Israel’s kings and write for ourselves a copy of this Psalm. We’re going to pray and ask that God would give us an accurate view of ourselves so that we can move forward in genuine confession and repentance. We’re going commit to memory some of these verses and ask God to call them to mind for us in times when we are tempted to hide from the truth.

God’s not surprised about what’s happened in our nation. We don’t need to fear; we just need to take the opportunity to walk with Him. What are your priorities? How have you been spending your time? This may be a perfect opportunity for you to make some new habits, better habits.