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Know your Bible - Issue 313
September 06, 2013
Hi there! ....

Last weekend the boys went to Darwin with Peter for a Taekwondo Championship. They flew up a little earlier so they could have some fun time together at one of the water parks. Back home here, Naomi headed off to a sleepover with the girls from her Bible study group as one of them are leaving town. This kept her away Friday afternoon till Saturday night. And Jessica is over in Africa at the moment. Which left me home alone! At first I wasn’t sure about how I would handle my ‘free’ time. It sounds odd, I miss having the house to myself and just pottering, and yet given the opportunity I was thrown for a loop! But I settled down, and found myself enjoying my solitude. I read, watched a movie and scrapbooked! It was a nice break but I was glad to have everyone back home by Sunday afternoon.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned Jessica’s adventure of not. She has headed off to Uganda for 4 weeks, visiting some friends (ex-kununurra-ians) who are working as missionaries over there for a year. She travelled very well – sleeping for 7.5 hours on the plane (who does that!!) Since she’s been there she has helped out at the International School, a homeschool co-op, helped her hosts with a play-date visit from carers and orphans from the nearby orphanage, she’s spending time with the kids from her host family reading and discussing Little Pilgrims Progress, she’s had fun basket-weaving and going to a kids concert. She is doing very well and we look forward to continuing to hear of her experiences.

Live life with your kids!

If you are a new Australian reader I would appreciate you reading this special request.

Know Your Bible

Today, in Australia, we have our Federal election. And like in any election, there has been a media frenzy and a lot of hoo-ha going on. One of the things that has caused a lot of debate in some Christian circles has been an incident where the current Prime Minister misquoted the Scriptures in his response to a hotly-debated question. Not only was his tone disrespectful towards a fellow Christian but as it turned out, he was quoting Aristotle not the Bible.

Now, political issues aside – this is a very undesirable position for anyone who professes to love God. We need to know God’s word. We need to know how it applies to every situation we are in. We may never face a media based interview, but as we live life and interact with people we need to know what God says.

There are a few such sayings that we culturally attribute to the Bible but really – the Bible doesn’t say these things at all:

“God helps those who help themselves”. Not only is this not found in the Bible, it is not a biblical thought – God helps the weak – Psalm 146 This saying actually originates from one of Aesop’s Fables.

“Cleanliness is next to Godliness”. Not in the Bible. Though many of the rules given to the Israelites involved keeping clean, the Bible actually says we can do nothing to make ourselves clean enough for God. We need Jesus.

“Money is the root of all evil”. This is a misquote – the Bible says “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.” 1 Tim 6:10. The correct quote would be – the love of money…

“Love the sinner – Hate the sin” This quip may well be a biblical sentiment, but it isn’t actually written in the Bible – it was said by Mahatma Gandhi.

We need to know our Bible.

The Bible has influenced the western world: our understanding of the individual and of government, of law and education has come from our understanding of the teachings in the Bible. The Bible has influenced much of our great art and is woven into the stories we are familiar with. And though I’ve listed a few misquotes there are plenty of every day sayings that are taken from the Bible:

  • Writing on the wall – Daniel 5:5
  • Blind leading the blind – Matthew 15:14
  • My brother’s keeper – Genesis 4:9
  • Out of the mouth of babes – Psalm 8:2

These are just the ones that come to my mind, and yet Ruth Beechick quotes in her book, A Biblical Home Education, that “Researcher E.D. Hirsch, Jr. wrote, ‘No one in the English speaking world can be considered literate without a basic knowledge of the Bible’ “ He came to this conclusion because of the huge number of phrases and words woven into our everyday language taken from the Bible.

The problem is that because we don’t know our Bibles, we are accepting misquotes as much as we are accepting the quotes – as a society we can’t tell the difference! Christians though need to be in the know.

When my children hear such a quote I want each of them to be able to discern whether it is correctly quoted and correctly interpreted or applied. Whether the person speaking is a person in a high position of authority, whether it is the media, a person in the church (sad to say but they need to discern here too), or a person who they love dearly – they need to know what the Bible says, and what it means.

Not all of my children will be defenders of the faith in a public way (Joshua might) but each of them will need to defend their faith (their faith, not mine) to someone someday. I need to prepare them now. This goes beyond just knowing how to share their testimony. It means being able to discuss with people why they hold certain beliefs, why they live a certain way. They don’t need to be persuasive, they just need to be clear and articulate in what they believe.

1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

Teaching these things to our kids can be a scary thing because we as parents may not feel we understand God’s word fully – and to be honest, none of us ever will. But if you have a desire to grow in your understanding of what God says, then you can take your children with you as you discover God’s Word. Learn together. Don’t let your ignorance, be the foundation for your children’s ignorance.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7: These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.

Are you reading God’s word?
Are you talking about God’s word?
Are you looking at life through the lens of God’s word?
Are you teaching your children what God’s word says, and what it means?
Or is it just a book you read whenever.

We need to give our children the habit of referring to the Word of God.

During the week I blog at Live Life with Your Kids! This week I've written:

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Blending Life with Lessons e-book - Does your everyday life challenge your homeschool ideas? This is my journey as I discover that it is possible to disciple my children in today's busy lifestyle.

Heart Focus Parenting book/e-book - A heart focused parent will keep their attention on their child's heart for God, instead of on external behaviours.

Restoring the Heart, Mind and Soul of Christmas Do your Christmas celebrations line up with what you believe? Do your celebrations help your children learn more about Jesus?

This e-book is based on a workshop I held for a couple of years to help families see that Christmas can be a significant tradition in our family life. If we are intentional about how our family celebrates we have the opportunity to use this time to teach our children about Jesus, and his love for each one of us.

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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Live life with your Kids newsletter is about being a deliberate parent, about enjoying family life and using the opportunities that happen to teach and train your children in righteousness (right living with God). I hope that you will find regular encouragement as you live life with your kids!

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