The morning started like every other morning that week.
The kids were tired, and so were we. Parenting that week was rough, and being a kid in our home was probably harder.
Our morning was busy and our attention misplaced, but we had made a commitment to be in God’s Word together every day, so we quieted the grumbling, overlooked the mess, and gathered the kids around the table for 10 minutes of Bible time together.
I wasn’t looking forward to the time, I’m ashamed to admit. I felt preoccupied, and my frustrations bubbled just below the surface. But the simple commitment I made held me accountable, and I prayed for God to speak, not expecting He would – and shocked when He did.
The passage was a familiar one — when Jesus called His disciples in Mark 1:12-20, our #familiesintheWord passage for the day, but it was those first two verses that left a deep impression in the hearts of my children.
“The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. And he was in the wilderness forty days, being tempted by Satan. And he was with the wild animals, and the angels were ministering to him.” (Mark 1:12-13)
We started with a simple prayer, “Lord, speak to us by your Spirit through your Word,” read the passage, and asked a few rote questions, rushing a bit and trying to keep it easy :: Where was Jesus for forty days? What was one name mentioned in the verses we read? etc.
And then my husband made an observation.
It wasn’t planned or eloquent, and there was no agenda of eliciting a response. He simply stated what stood out to him: “I think it’s really cool that the angels were ministering to Jesus while He was in the wilderness” —
and the conversation exploded!
The kids asked about the word ministering. What does it mean? Why did Jesus need it? Why was Jesus (who is God!) tempted? How did He respond? We talked about what it means to be tempted and how hard it is to say no to temptation and gave realistic examples of when we’ve been tempted. We reflected on how even though Jesus was tempted, He didn’t sin. He’s the only One who lived who never sinned.
In those brief moments around our kitchen table, waiting for the bus and with a sink of dishes, we got to share the Gospel again. We talked about our temptations and our sin – and we talked about our Savior Jesus, who now gives us a Helper to overcome temptation, too.
All kinds of questions and observations and applications I didn’t plan, but God did.
Family devotions don’t have to be as hard as we think.
Take a passage, ask God to speak, and talk about what you read.
Every time might not be profound, but in cultivating the habit, you’re developing a reliance on the Scriptures and elevating God’s Word in your life.
God does speak. Are we listening?
This Sunday is Palm Sunday, the start of Holy Week, which ends with Resurrection Sunday – Easter! There is no better time than now to dive into God’s Word together. Grab the Bible reading plan (and accompanying family devotional if you’d like) and listen for God to speak.
Making the commitment with you,
Erika // erikadawson.com