RELATED VERSE: THY KINGDOM COME, THY WILL BE DONE, ON EARTH AS IT IS IN HEAVEN
A Letter to Read/Use As A Guide With Your Children
I want to make something very clear to you. If you have obtained all these things I have just written to you in my previous letters:
An obedient heart,
A steadfast heart,
A compassionate heart,
And a prayerful heart,
But do not have a heart full of love, then your efforts have all been done in vain.
Remember the good Samaritan? If he had done everything exactly the same—picked up the dying man, cared for him, taken him to an inn, and paid for his stay— but did it out of duty, and not out of love for both God and man, this merciful act would have meant nothing to our Heavenly Father. Yes, the sick man would still have gotten well, but the point of the story (and of our lives) is to develop a love for our God, as well as for our neighbor.
Also, if you pray beautiful prayers using big, wonderful words, making it sound “impressive” to God or others, but there is no love in your heart towards Him, did you know your prayer will actually sound like clanging cymbals in His ears?
Please understand children, God is not merely interested in your compassionate acts, or your generous services. His focus is on the heart of love which produces these things. And He does not want your time, your energy, or your money. He wants to see a heart of love which compels you to give of these things freely and cheerfully. Again, I tell you, sweet ones, He is not interested in this diligent work for His kingdom or these fancy prayers that lift up His Name, if there is not a true love for Him which moves you to say and do these things. Cease striving for all of this if there is not a genuine love for your Heavenly Father first. Your ambition in life is to know God, to know of His love, and then to give this love away to others. Stop and ask Him to pour His pure love deep inside your heart. His love is like no other. His love is the greatest of all these things. “It is the perfect bond of unity” (Col. 3:14). After, and only after, you have obtained this love from Him and for Him, can you then go forward – living for the One who has this kind of love for you.
Teaching Tools/Activities For Your Children
1. Serve your children a cold bowl of soup for lunch. Wait for their expression and questioning.
2. Explain there is nothing wrong with the soup; all the ingredients are there. However, it does not taste nearly as appetizing because of the lack of warmth. Compare the “lack of warmth” to the “lack of love” that sometimes might appear in our thoughts, actions, and attitudes.
3. Now, heat up your children’s soup, as well as your own, and enjoy it together. But, before doing so, pray: “God, please gently break open my humanly cold heart and warm it up with Your perfect love.” (Remind your children, the more willing you are to have a break in your heart, the more gentle this break will be!)
A Prayer To Pray Over Your Children
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank You for loving us perfectly. To think You have adopted us and called us Your very own– thank You! Dear God, I pray my children would meditate on Your love, understand it, and then wholeheartedly claim the breadth and length and height and depth of it. Your love never fails! Fill them up with this love, I pray. May nothing in this world quench it. My heart’s desire is for my children to receive Your “agape” love, and bask in it. May they realize they can obtain an endless supply of Your love by listening to your word and walking in Your ways. May they know You, dear Father, and know of Your love.
When they have “found” this love, I then pray they willfully desire to give this love to the hearts of others. I ask that my children would learn to love You, Lord Jesus, (and their neighbor), the way You first loved them — with all their heart, with all their soul, with all their mind, with all their strength. Help them to realize, all the other spiritual gifts You have given them will mean nothing if they are not preceded by Your love.
Encourage them, dear God, to run the race set before them, with the power of Your mighty love living inside of them. May they fix their eyes on Jesus, holding nothing back, dear Lord, but willfully living through faith in You. Thank You, Heavenly Father, for the consistency of Your character—never leaving, never forsaking, always abiding, always faithful. You are Love. May they glean from You, O Father, giver of ALL.
Scripture references in letter:
Ps. 127:1,2; Rom. 13:8-10; I John 3:16-18; Matt. 6:5-8; II Cor. 9:7; Rom. 5:5; I Cor. 13:1-8,13; Rom. 5:8; Ps. 18:1
Scripture references in prayer:
I John 3:1; 1 John 4:7-21; Deut. 6:5; Heb. 12:1-3; Eph. 5:1-2; Eph. 2:4-7