Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Deuteronomy 4:9
As we approach this weekend we want to say, “Happy Father’s Day!” We also want to turn back the calendar to make sure we address all the great Moms as well. Mother’s Day always follows the National Day of Prayer and is overshadowed by our praise reports of all that God did as we mobilized unified public prayer across America and the earth. We honor and appreciate parents today and every day!
Parents play a significant role in shaping not only their children’s lives but the future of the world. Both biological, step, adopted, and “spiritual” parents speak information and inspiration into our lives. Parents and various teachers, pastors, coaches, friends and family mentor and model behaviors that shape the way we think, feel, act and react. Many of our dreams and values come from the people who spend time with us, show us value and invest in our lives. Unfortunately, people left on their own to search for love and acceptance will sometimes end up under the roof or influence of those who do not respect God, His Word, and His ways.
God told His people repeatedly to first, “be careful to watch ourselves closely.” The New American Standard says, “Only give heed to yourself and keep your soul diligently.” Before we can parent or mentor another person, we need to make sure our own hearts and lips are pure. We not only remember what God has said, but also check to see if we are currently and consistently putting it into practice. Hurtful and even hate-filled history will be repeated if the people of God do not learn the hard lessons from the past and make every effort to do not only what is right, but what is righteous.
Remembering means reciting in our own mind and telling others. Events and lessons tend to fade and be forgotten when we don’t keep them up. The adage, “use it or lose it” is true for memory and muscle, as well as ministry and mentoring. Throughout Scripture God tells His people to remember what He has done and tell the next generation. Remembering His faithfulness builds our faith and trust in Him; it builds courage in crisis and is our strength in stressful situations. Praise brings hope in all days throughout all generations.
After we have checked to make sure we are aligned with God, we are assigned to tell others including the next generation. This “NOW generation,” as I like to call it, is filled with people young, old and in between who are eager to hear the Word and spread the love and message of Jesus across their campus, workplace, city, and around the world. We live TOGETHER for such a time as this! We fight our battles with and FOR one another.
Two current battles we face together are the pandemic and the problems of prejudice and injustice plaguing all of us right here and right now. We must stand and stay connected. We must gather the unique, creative, and innovative ways God has gifted us to come up with sustainable solutions and resolve NEVER to forget today and never to repeat the sins of the past. We do not ignore and rewrite history, but we redeem today and the future by humbling ourselves, praying, seeking His face and turning from our wicked ways – not making excuses or ignoring them thinking they will just go away. We fight for what we believe in! God has taught us and commanded us to remember His glory while we show and share His goodness. Will you pray with me now?
Lord, thank you for our parents and for the people that you put in our lives who have loved and mentored us like parents. I ask that you comfort those who have longed to be biological parents and do not have children of their own. Please connect them with people, young and old, who will share life and Your love in many ways and throughout their days. Prompt us to remember Your goodness and faithfulness as well as Your commands so that we may live righteous lives, pleasing and serving You. Let our lips be quick to give You praise and to share with others the lessons and love You have shown us throughout life. We have much still to learn; all imperfect but being perfected by You, our Heavenly Father. Let us lean in and listen with love and respect as we learn from You and one another.
National Day of Prayer Task Force