Heartprints

Inculcate as You Meditate

God commands us to meditate on His Word. In the New King James Version Joshua 1:8 reads, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Who among us doesn’t want the children under our care to prosper and have good success? Of course, we all do. Yet God carefully lays out for us in this verse a road map to success and yet few of us make this the center of our teaching. We must articulate how we meditate if we would have our children learn the art of meditation.

For example, many parents and teachers teach their children to say the Lord’s prayer. It is beautiful to hear a family or a classroom of children recite the Lord’s prayer together. Yet how much more beneficial it would be to them all if instead of just reciting the prayer we would meditate and use this as a tool to teach us how to pray.

In meditating on the meanings of the words in this prayer, we get insight into how God would have us pray. As we think about, meditate on the meaning, and then follow through by teaching our children to meditate and think about the meanings of the words we instill in them a desire to read God’s Word in the same manner. It is not enough to just read the words. We need to wrestle with the meaning intended by the words we read.

“Our,” is the first word in the Lord’s prayer. It is so powerful. It teaches us that God intends for us to be party of a community. We are not alone in our walk with the Lord. Jesus is teaching the prayer so He is a part of the “our”. He is sharing His Father with us. Our, tells me that I need others to have a full and complete relationship with my Father in Heaven.

That is just the first word. And I am sure I have just skimmed the meaning of it. How deep we can go in our teaching if we will first wrestle with the lessons we want to teach, letting them go deep to change us by the very words God chooses to say to us.

Another example of meditating on the stories that we teach is the lesson of Creation. How many of those teaching Genesis 1 get so caught up in whether it was a 24 hour day or not that they miss the hidden truth nuggets that God intended us to glean from the chapter?

Genesis 1:1 (NET) says, “In the beginning[ God created the heavens and the earth.  There is so much in just the first verse that we could spend a whole class just exclaiming the wonder of it.

Breaking the verse up in parts will help to examine it more closely. ‘In the beginning,” tells me that there was a beginning to everything that I see around me. It tells me that no one I can see or touch was there when it all began. I need the creator who was there before the beginning to tell me all about it.  How fun to explore that thought with a room full of eager minds. How careful we are, to teach our children to look deep in God’s Word for glimpses of Who He is, what He is like, and what His Word says about us, will make all the difference in the world to their attitude about God’s Word.

In a world of instant everything it is easy to skim through God’s Word and lose the skill of meditation. I have been challenged by the great saints of old to sharpen this skill and practice it daily. I hope you will too.

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Suzi Ciliberti

Suzi Ciliberti works for Christar, a Missions Agency that plants churches among least-reached Asians worldwide. She served in Japan for two years as a single missionary and another nine with her husband and two children, then the family returned to the states. She and her husband have been serving in the US Mobilization Center since 2000. As a part of the Member Care Department, Suzi is consultant to families with children. She has been working as a children’s teacher since she was 17 and began her training under Child Evangelism Fellowship. She has taught in the church, as a school teacher for two years in a Christian elementary school, and as a speaker for adults training to work with children. She has also trained children, who are a part of families that work overseas, in their identity in Christ. She brings 44 years of teaching experience to her work. She loves creative writing as well as teaching and has found great fulfillment in combining the two as she blogs for Heartprints. She finds it a great privilege and joy to serve the Lord and His people. One of her favorite verses is Deuteronomy 4:10b, "Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children."

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