The Year of Jubilee

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Leviticus 25-27

“And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants. It shall be a jubilee for you, when each of you shall return to his property and each of you shall return to his clan.”

Leviticus 25:10 ESV

My parents bought the house I was raised in when my sister was three and I was an infant. They sold it when I got married. I hadn’t been back to visit my hometown and the house of my childhood since my grandmother died 15 years ago.

Some of my neighbor’s homes had a fresh layer of paint and the state capital building’s dome had a fresh layer of gold leaf, but underneath not much had changed.

The skywalks connecting the downtown buildings still shielded pedestrians from the Iowa cold.

Huge piles of snow still rested in the corners of parking lots.

The familiar Arby’s sign still stood beside East 14th street.

It was good to go back and remember what things used to look like, because it helped me remember how much things in my life have changed since I grew up in that big old white house.

  • God has blessed me with four children on earth and two more in heaven.
  • I’ve lived in five different houses and three different states.
  • I’ve written books and recorded videos and shared the gospel with hundreds of people.
  • I’ve traveled to China and Hungary and Russia and Mexico.
  • My oldest two children have gotten married.
  • My first grandchild has been born, and a second is on the way.
  • And more important than any of these incredible things, God has given me Himself. He has saved me and transformed me from an evangelical atheist to an evangelical Christian.
50 years

This year I celebrated my own year of Jubilee. Fifty trips around the sun. But this Jubilee year has been hard for me in many ways. This year I was diagnosed with kyphosis and osteoporosis. I began seeing a physical therapist to help my posture, and I suffered my first broken bone – a stress fracture in my right foot. In fact, as I write this, my foot rests securely in a black boot almost up to my knee.

But this Jubilee year has also been so very good. I’m learning that secret of contentment – that Jesus is my strength and that I need to rest in Him. I’m learning to lean on Jesus – rather than trying to do it all on my own. I’m learning to be faithful. I’m learning that my worth is not in what I do, but in who I am and who I belong to.

Have you celebrated your year of Jubilee? Jubilee or not, what would you like to learn this year? I’d love to hear from you. Please leave me a comment.

Heavenly Father, A Jubilee is no celebration without You. Help us to fix our eyes on You, the author and perfector of our faith. Help us to remember who we used to be – so that we can have hearts of gratitude for all that You have done. Help us, though, to remember who You ALWAYS are. Your grace was always with us. You are always good and You are always kind and Your goodness is everlasting. All my life You have been faithful. All my life You have been good. All my life I will sing of the mercies of God. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

King of my Heart / Goodness of God
by Caleb and Kelsey

Keep the Light Burning

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Leviticus 24

Earlier this week my family decided to go see the Blue Angels practice. We got up early and headed out, only to get stuck in a crazy traffic jam unlike anything I’ve seen before. After moving a mile in an hour, we decided we needed to make another plan. We turned left, away from the Navy base, and motored to the Walmart parking lot where we joined a dozen other wanna-be air show watchers.

The air show was scheduled to begin at 10:30, and sure enough at 10:30 we saw a couple planes in the air, but it was nothing particularly earth-shattering. After about 20 minutes of this, out in the heat on an asphalt parking lot, several members of our family decided they’d rather go get a cold drink and a snack from inside Walmart than wait in the parking lot with their heads craned toward the skies.

Minutes after they disappeared inside, the magic began. The planes started flying every which way, roaring through the blue skies.

And they missed it.

Command the people of Israel
to bring you pure oil from beaten olives for the lamp, that a light may be kept burning regularly….
Aaron shall arrange it from evening to morning before the LORD regularly.
It shall be a statute forever
throughout your generations.

Leviticus 24:2-3 ESV

I’m not good at doing things regularly or forever. I like to make plans. I like to start new projects. I struggle at maintaining the commitment once the novelty wears off. That’s one reason why I’m trying so hard to write here every day until I’ve blogged through the Bible.

But, friends, God commands us to be faithful, to keep our lamps burning, evening to morning, day after day, forever. He wants us to pass on our faith to the generations coming after us.

Do we have our eyes fixed on the skies, waiting for His return, and our hearts rooted in His Word that it can be that light to our path and lamp to our feet which He promised for us?

Or are we so busy shopping for cold Cokes and salty chips that we miss the real show?

“Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come home from the wedding feast, so that they may open the door to him at once when he comes and knocks.”

Luke 12:35-36 ESV

“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps.

As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’

Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’

But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut.

Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’

Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.

Matthew 25:1-13 ESV
Blue Angels over Walmart
Give Me Oil in My Lamp – Cedarmont Kids

Heavenly Father, You are always faithful. Always. You never change. You never grow tired or weak or weary. You never get bored and give up. You are the perfect example of steadfastness. Help us, Father, to be faithful like You. We can’t keep our lamps burning on our own. Give us the oil of Your Spirit and the living water of Your Word that we may be found faithful. And embolden us to share the good news with others, that they may enter the kingdom with us, to the praise of Your glorious might. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

Love God. Love people.

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Leviticus 17:1-19:18

Reading through chapter after chapter of unlawful practices and their consequences can feel irrelevant or confusing, but tucked square in the middle these chapters of Leviticus is this gem:

Love your neighbor as yourself:
I am the LORD.

Leviticus 19:18b ESV

What if we read all of Scripture through the lens Leviticus 19:18 – love your neighbor as yourself?

  • Make disciples of every nation. Love your neighbor as yourself.
  • Don’t steal. Love your neighbor as yourself.
  • Speak encouraging words. Love your neighbor as yourself.
  • Don’t lie. Love your neighbor as yourself.
  • Help the poor. Love your neighbor as yourself.
  • Don’t commit adultery. Love your neighbor as yourself.

Do you love God ? Is He your Lord?

Then you will love the people that He made, the people He created in His image.

Heavenly Father, help me to love others the way that You have loved me. Help me to love others as much as I love myself. Help me to do good to others even when they hurt my feelings – because that’s how I want to be treated. Help me to speak the truth and speak it with love. I can’t do it on my own, Lord. Please do it through me. In the name of Jesus, my Lord, Amen.

Well done, Good and Faithful Servant: Exodus 39 meets Matthew 25

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Exodus 38-39

“According to all that the LORD had commanded Moses, so the people of Israel had done all the work.
And Moses saw all the work, and behold, they had done it; as the LORD had commanded, so had they done it. Then Moses blessed them.”

Exodus 39:42-43 ESV

So the people have painstakingly carried out all the details of what the Lord had commanded through His servant, Moses. And when Moses saw their good work, he blessed them.

This reminds me of the parable of the talents that we read last month in Matthew 25. Both servants who invested well their talents – whether they had received two or five – were praised by their master with the very same words.

‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little;
I will set you over much.
Enter into the joy of your master.’

Matthew 25:23 ESV

Heavenly Father, help us to serve You with a cheerful, willing, eager heart. Strengthen us to give back to You out of the abundance that You have lavished on us. Help us, also, to be encouragers, to speak honest words of praise and blessing to those we meet – whether our children or our husband, or the cashier at the grocery store, make us quick to give honor where honor is due. In the name of Jesus we pray. Amen.

God is a Creative God

Read through the Bible in 2 Years: Exodus 30-31

This morning I took my youngest two children out for our annual “last day of school” donut breakfast. My youngest son is just finishing up his sophomore year of high school and my daughter just finished her freshman year in college. Where has the time gone? Will you please bear with me for just a moment as I take a trip down memory lane, looking back over 22 years of homeschooling?

My firstborn daughter was born creative … and bossy. Ever since she could speak, she’s been gathering children around her to tell them a story or make a craft or work on a project together.

My second child, a son who was adopted as an infant, has always been super verbal with a fantastic memory for all things movie, TV, sports, and music related. He actually spoke at a younger age than his siblings, despite being adopted from Russia as a six-month-old!

My third child – my little princess – has always been an incredibly thoughtful, caring child. She has a fantastic eye for details. She’s the first one to notice a new haircut or shirt.

My youngest child didn’t start talking until he was almost two-and-a-half, but he loves to learn. He’s my book-smart child, enjoying workbooks and math and school stuff.

If you follow my blog for long enough, you’ll notice several things that I’m especially passionate about with regards to my faith, things that jump out at me again and again as I read through the Scriptures.

  • God’s heart for the nations.
  • God’s perfect timing – that He is a “that very day” kind of God.
  • And God’s purpose for each person that He has uniquely created.

Well, here it is again. God has a unique purpose for Moses – to lead and speak – and He has an equally important, though completely different purpose for Bezalel and Oholiab – to craft the things which God has designed.

“See, I have called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with ability and intelligence, with knowledge and all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, to work in every craft. And behold, I have appointed with him Oholiab, the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. And I have given to all able men ability, that they may make all that I have commanded you.”

Exodus 31:2-6 ESV

“According to all that
I have commanded you,
they shall do.”

Exodus 31:11b ESV

Once again I am reminded that God has designed each person on earth intentionally. Moses, Bezalel, and Oholiab each have a purpose. Even though their purposes are very different, none of their roles are more or less important than another. If Moses doesn’t keep his end of the deal, then Bezalel and Oholiab won’t know what to do … but if Bezalel and Oholiab don’t implement what Moses says, then the tabernacle won’t get built.

Likewise, my four children have each been created for a special purpose.

Our school system tends to heap praise upon the book-smart kids, while overlooking the kind, thoughtful, detail-oriented ones. Our culture elevates the importance of the extroverted speakers and leaders, forgetting the essential roles of the quiet, hard-working, faithful followers.

Let me wrap up today with this word of encouragement: God has a purpose for each of you and each of your children.

Are you a quiet, creative type with an impeccable attention to detail? Use that gift! You’re an essential part of God’s body. Don’t be ashamed to stay behind the scenes and serve the body!

Are you a bold, leader type with a big-picture vision? Use that gift! You’re an essential part of God’s body. Don’t be ashamed to shine and lead and share!

Don’t be afraid to be
who God created you to be

Heavenly Father, Thank You so much for each of my children. Each of them has been fearfully and wonderfully made, intentionally woven together by Your perfect hand. You make no mistake. You don’t make junk. Help me as a mother to encourage each of my children to pursue their unique callings, not to be ashamed of who You made them to be. Please protect my family from the traps of comparison and favoritism, and help us all to enjoy the beautiful variety of Your creative plans and purposes. In the Name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.

If you’d like to learn more about God’s creative purposes in making each of His children “Unique and United,” I’d love to share more with you. Listen to part 1 and part 2. If you’re a member of a women’s ministry in your area, I’d love to share with you in person! Check out my “speaking ministry” page to contact me.

Aaron and his Sons

Read through the Bible in 2 Years: Exodus 29

Exodus 28, which I read yesterday, begins with these words to Moses. “Bring near to you Aaron, your brother, and his sons with him … Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar.”

Today, reading Exodus 29, I noticed that it was not only the priest, Aaron, but also his sons who were to be washed and consecrated in preparation for ministry to the Lord.

  • Aaron and his sons were to lay their hands on the head of the bull. (verse 10)
  • Aaron and his sons were to lay their hands on the heads of each of the rams. (verse 15, 19)
  • Moses was to spread blood on the right ears, thumbs, big toes, and garments of Aaron and his sons. (verse 20-21)
  • Aaron and his sons were to eat the flesh of the ram and the bread. (verse 32)

The Lord knew that the day would come when Aaron would pass into eternity, and He wanted Aaron’s sons to be prepared to carry on the office of priest.

Rather than using this time to talk about how much fathers ought to bring up their children “in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” like Ephesians 6:4 says … How about we talk about how we as women ought to bring up our children to follow the Lord?

Precious sisters, ladies, women of God, are we preparing our children for adulthood – or are we expecting someone else to do it?

Are we discipling our children in the ways of God so they are ready for the day that we are no longer just an arm’s length – or a phone call – away?

Are we looking well to the ways of our own household with the teaching of kindness on our tongues? (Proverbs 31:26-27)

Are we following the examples of Timothy’s grandmother Lois and mother Eunice making sure that our children are well-acquainted with the scriptures from his childhood? (2 Timothy 1:5, 3:15)

Are we being reverent older women, teaching what is good and so training the young women in our lives to love their husbands and children that the word of God may not be reviled? (Titus 2:3-5)

Let’s stop pointing fingers at our husbands and their shortcomings and start seeing our own need for an attitude adjustment. Our sons and daughters need us to train them up in the way they should go. It’s never too late.

Read the Bible with your children before they head to school today. Spend 5 minutes listening to them when they get off the bus today. Let them cook dinner with you today. Pray with them before they go to bed tonight. Start today. None of us are guaranteed tomorrow.

“Even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation,
your power to all those to come.”

Psalm 71:18

Heavenly Father, being a mother is a hard job. I can’t do it without You, Lord. Please give me the strength and wisdom I need to train up my children in the way that they should go. Help me to lock arms with them and do life side-by-side with them. Make my eyes and ears attentive to their needs. Give me a multi-generational vision, seeing my children as the next generation of leaders. Let me not grow weary of well doing. When my own children are grown with children of their own, help me to train the next generation of young women for Your glory, too. May I know that it’s never too late to do good! In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

When Your Heart Moves You to Give: Exodus 25 meets 2 Corinthians 9

Read through the Bible in 2 years: Exodus 25

“Speak to the people of Israel,
that they take for me a contribution.
From every man
whose heart moves him you shall receive the contribution for me.”

Exodus 25:2 ESV

The Lord had provided for the Israelite people by turning the hearts of the Egyptians to freely give to them. Now the Lord is asking the Israelites to freely contribute to Him. They had freely received and now they are being asked to freely give.

Sometimes … oftentimes …. it’s hard to give.

  • It’s hard to give our time.
  • It’s hard to give our stuff.
  • It’s hard to give our children.

We feel like these things belong to us, forgetting that everything that we have is a gift from God, our good Father, the giver of every good gift.

I was reminded of a beautiful passage in 2 Corinthians 9 when Paul was taking up a collection for some needy believers. Let’s take these words to heart – not merely listening to the Word, but doing what it says.

The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.

2 Corinthians 9:6-11 ESV

Heavenly Father, You have given to me so abundantly. I have more than I need. I have more food and more clothing and more home than I need. I have more free time than I need. You have blessed me with a husband who loves me and four incredible children as well as a son-in-law and a daughter-in-law and two little granddaughters. Thank you, Lord! I pray that I would be generous with all of these good gifts. Help me also to be generous with sharing my testimony and the Word that I have stored up as treasure in my heart. You have been so, so generous to me. Give me the strength to be generous toward others as a gift of gratitude to You. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

When God Calls You by Name

Read through the Bible in 2 Years: Exodus 14-15

The Israelites are finally fleeing Egypt after watching God repeatedly pouring out His judgment on the Egyptians. He has proven to them again and again that He makes a distinction between Egypt and Israel. (Exodus 11:7)

And yet, God has led His people right up to the edge of the Red Sea and Pharaoh’s army, including at least six hundred chariots, is on their heels.

“And the people of Israel cried out to the LORD. They said to Moses, “Is it because there are no graves in Egypt that you have taken us away to die in the wilderness? What have you done to us in bringing us out of Egypt? Is not this what we said to you in Egypt: ‘Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians’? For it would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the wilderness.””

Exodus 14:10b-12 ESV

Poor Moses. Doesn’t your heart just break for him? Leading is hard work. When the people following you are happy, that’s great, but what about when the “sheep are restless,” when they’re arguing and complaining and blaming you for everything.

But, God. God is growing Moses’s faith, too. Listen to how Moses replies to the Israelites.

“And Moses said to the people, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.””

Exodus 14:13-14 ESV

And He does.

And He uses Moses to do it. Moses is the Lord’s chosen vessel. Moses is who God has called to lift his arms that the Lord would drive back the sea that the Israelites could walk through on dry land … and to lower his arms that the water covered the chariots and the horsemen and the whole host of Pharaoh’s army. (Exodus 14:21, 26-29)

“Thus the LORD saved Israel that day from the hand of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians dead on the seashore. Israel saw the great power that the LORD used against the Egyptians, so the people feared the LORD, and they believed in the LORD and in his servant Moses.”

Exodus 14:30-31 ESV

I keep thinking about when Moses said, “Oh, my Lord, please send someone else.” (Exodus 4:13 ESV)

Friends, God had purpose for His servant, Moses, and God has purpose for You. The good works He has prepared for you may not look like Moses’s, but God has purpose for you nonetheless. (Ephesians 2:10)

And sometimes doing those very things that God wants you to do is going to result in persecution, ridicule, or disagreement.

  • Your boss might not like the high-standard of honesty and integrity that you are determined to maintain. Keep it anyway.
  • Your kids might not like what you’re telling them to do. Tell them anyway.
  • Your parents may not agree with you even when you speak in the most humble, loving. honest way. Be willing to risk it for Him.

God’s ways aren’t always easy. Sometimes being His vessel is incredibly joyous, exciting, and totally awesome, but sometimes being His vessel gets you thrown in a well or a prison. Either way, it’s an honor and a privilege to be a servant of the living God.

Let’s pray.

Heavenly Father, What an honor it is to be love and used by You. It is glorious to be Your workmanship, to know that the God who put the stars in place calls me by name. As You had special purposes for Moses, You have a special purpose for me. Please lead me and guide me. Give me the wisdom and hunger for righteousness that I need to follow You fully. I love You, Lord. I want to follow You on that straight and narrow path all the days of my life. In the Name of Jesus Christ, my Savior and my Lord, I pray. Amen.

The Lord uses His chosen leader, Moses, to part the Red Sea

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7:13-14 ESV)

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12 ESV)

“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person’s enemies will be those of his own household. Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:34-39 ESV)

With Your Sons and Daughters

Read through the Bible in 2 Years: Exodus 10-11

When I was a teenager I was afraid of little babies. I didn’t know how to handle them and I worried that I’d hurt them or something. I wanted to adopt all my children so I could get them when they were say about 2 or 3 years old, already potty trained and talking.

Now as a mom of four – including one who was adopted as a 6-month-old – I see the incredible value of the training that happens even in those first two years. Even the youngest child is learning how the world works. They are learning that their parents love them and take care of them – or not. They are learning that they are not the center of the world – or they are. They are learning to be patient, obedient, and quiet – or not.

I am certain that God has a plan and purpose in having new babies born helpless and needy. God could’ve designed new lives to begin already grown and wise, but He didn’t. God intentionally places children into families for the good of the children … and the parents.

So, it’s no surprise that Pharaoh doesn’t want the Hebrew children to go worship with their parents, and it’s no surprise that Moses insists that they must.

So Moses and Aaron were brought back to Pharaoh. And he said to them,
“Go, serve the LORD your God.
But which ones are to go?”

Moses said, “We will go with
our young and our old.
We will go with our sons and daughters and with our flocks and herds,
for we must hold a feast to the LORD.”

Exodus 10:8-9 ESV

Don’t underestimate the importance of taking your children to church, of leading them in worship at home, and of including them in your family holiday celebrations. Your toddlers and preschoolers are learning more than you may realize.

Heavenly Father, we pray that we would be faithful stewards of the children that You have entrusted to us. I pray that we would train them up in the way that they should go and that when they are old they will not depart from it. Help us as parents to have obedient hearts, obeying You rather than the world. Lord, You love children and You have placed them into families on purpose. Help us to include them in our family’s worship at home and at church. Help us not to underestimate what our children are learning and the eternal impact that these young ones can have for Your kingdom. In the name of Jesus Christ we pray, Amen.

My children reciting Psalm 139 from memory

Deuteronomy 31:10-13 ESV — And Moses commanded them, “At the end of every seven years, at the set time in the year of release, at the Feast of Booths, when all Israel comes to appear before the LORD your God at the place that he will choose, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as you live in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”

Psalm 148:12-13 ESV — Young men and maidens together, old men and children! Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his majesty is above earth and heaven.

Proverbs 22:6 ESV — Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 ESV — And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, 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.

Psalm 78:2-7 ESV — I will open my mouth in a parable; I will utter dark sayings from of old, things that we have heard and known, that our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and his might, and the wonders that he has done. He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers to teach to their children, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, and arise and tell them to their children, so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments;

Please, Lord, Send Someone Else!

Read through the Bible in 2 Years: Exodus 4

Have you ever felt inadequate? Incapable? Inept? Have you ever felt like there was no way you could accomplish the task that has been set before you? Maybe you feel that way right now.

Maybe you can relate all too well to Moses’s words,

“Oh, my Lord,
please send someone else.”

Exodus 4:13 ESV

As a new homeschooling mom, I struggled for years with those kinds of feelings. “God, I can’t do this! It’s too hard! I don’t know what I’m doing! I’m going to ruin them! They’d be better off at school!”

So, every spring I’d make an appointment to go visit the local Christian school, and my husband and I would reconsider sending our kids there. But every spring we instead chose to recommit ourselves to the task that the Lord had given us to disciple our children at home.

This spring marks my 21st year homeschooling. I’ve successfully graduated my oldest three children, and only my youngest one is still home. I no longer visit the local Christian school every year and I no longer struggle with those feelings of inadequacy when it comes to homeschooling my son.

The Lord has grown both my skills and my faith. And the Lord has proven Himself so very faithful to give my family what we need to complete the tasks that He has given to us.

But, friends, what if I had chosen to send my kids to school? What if I had complained and complained and complained and refused the task that the Lord had called me to? What then?

Well, here’s what I think — I think God would’ve sent someone else. Like God sent Aaron to help complete the job, God would’ve sent someone else to teach my children. My kids would’ve learned to read and write and spell under someone else’s instruction, and I would’ve missed the blessing of having discipled my kids hour after hour and day after day and year after year.

My children would’ve missed the blessings of figuring out how to get along with each other. My children would’ve missed the blessings of doing chores together and memorizing the Bible together and singing off key together. But they would’ve gotten through school somehow.

God would’ve made a way, because He is God, and my children are His workmanship.

Listen, friends, if you don’t tell that person at the grocery store about Jesus, God will send someone else. If you don’t share the gospel with that lady sitting next to you at your son’s Little League baseball game, God will send someone else. If you don’t raise your children to trust in Christ, God will send someone else. I’m walking proof of that.

  • Jonah tried to run, but God sent a whale to change his mind.
  • Pharaoh tried to kill all the Hebrew baby boys, but Moses was spared.
  • Saul tried to wipe out the Christians, but God chose to open his eyes and open his mouth and make him His mouthpiece for the gospel.

God’s purposes will stand. No purpose of His can be thwarted. (Job 42:2) You aren’t that important. You aren’t that powerful. You can’t stand in God’s way.

But, friends, the joys and blessings that you’ll miss!!! Oh, to look back on the fullness of the last 21 years! To remember how the Lord carried us. To see how the Lord worked in me and through me, growing me and growing my kids – I would’ve missed it. To see people that I’ve discipled grow in their faith, there’s nothing like it. I don’t want to miss fulfilling God’s calling … and neither do you!

So, friends, let me encourage you — don’t be like Moses, complaining that you can’t do it and begging God to send someone else.

Rather, remember the words of Mordecai to Esther,

“For if you keep silent at this time, relief and deliverance will rise for the Jews from another place, but you and your father’s house will perish. And who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this?”

Esther 4:14

Isaiah 14:27 ESV — For the LORD of hosts has purposed, and who will annul it? His hand is stretched out, and who will turn it back?

Daniel 4:35 ESV — all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”

Proverbs 19:21 ESV — Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.

Let’s pray.

Heavenly Father, What a blessing it is to have a purpose in this life. What a blessing it is to be Your workmanship and to know that You have prepared in advance good works for me to do and that I can walk in them by Your Spirit in me. What a blessing it is to be Your child and to serve you! I pray that I will be faithful to accomplish each of the tasks that You have given me to do. I pray that my eyes will be fixed on You, the one who is able to do more than I could ever ask or imagine, the God of the impossible. Help me not to trust in my own strength or my own abilities, but to trust in You who is able to do all things. It is in the mighty name of Jesus Christ that I pray, Amen.