Remember your first love

Posted on August 1, 2013 · Posted in Godward Orientation

Deuteronomy contains Moses’ farewell instructions to Israel. He had led them in the wilderness for 40 years. Moses knew that he would not be able to go with them into the Promised Land. He knew that the daily reminders of God’s presence, the manna, the cloud above, the clothes that would not wear out, would only be memories. So what does Moses urge for Israel? Here it is:

“But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren.” Deut. 4:9 NLT

So how do you hang on to these great truths and the comfort they bring? To begin with remember that what you have in Christ is far greater than all of the things the Israelites experienced. You have much to remember and pass on.

What was the direction of your life before Christ? How has God blessed you? Think about the spiritual mercies extended to you in Christ. How often do you think of the ongoing intercessory work of Christ in your behalf? Pray prayers of thanksgiving, specifically listing these items. Talk to your children about these mercies of God extended to you. Ask your spouse to join in prayer with you so that you would keep these mercies close to your heart. Pray that the wonder of Christ will live in the hearts of your grandchildren.

Doing this will not add more hours to the day or magically change the attitudes of your children. But it will remind you that God is there for you. It will remind you that Jesus knows and specifically intercedes for you in your weakness, even if you forget to ask him to do so. God is merciful to you. The Holy Spirit illumines you. As these realities become a daily part of your thinking, the things of God will be less likely to slip away. Your children will begin to see the wonder of God displayed in a parent who is blown away by the love of God. Your words can be pleasant. Your thoughts can be constructive. Christ is committed to help. Remember that he is your first love!

Jay Younts
John A. (Jay) Younts is the Shepherd Press blogger, and is a ruling elder serving at Redeemer Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Moore, South Carolina. He has written Everyday Talk, Everyday Talk About Sex & Marriage, Finding the Right Track, the In Touch With Paul stewardship series, and What About War. He has studied and taught about biblical childrearing for 30 years. He and his late wife Ruth have five adult children.