The purpose of this weekly blog entry, titled: Building a Legacy of Faith, is to share practical and biblical ideas with parents/grandparents who are passionate about intentionally passing down their faith in Christ to their children/grandchildren. I would also like to receive other tried and true spiritual formation ideas from parents and grandparents. These may be sent to my email address at: email@example.com and from time to time, I will publish some. Please mention in your email, consent to publish (with potential edits) of your submission.
Volume 1, Issue 3 (October 10, 2013)
Praise God Always!
“I will extol the LORD at all times; his praise will always be on my lips” (Psalm 34:1).
“Through Him then, let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that give thanks to His name. And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.…” (Hebrews 13:15).
When everything is going well in life, its easy to give God praise. Or at least it should be, right? I think most people, me included, probably find it more difficult to offer God praise when we find ourselves in the midst of hardships or suffering. But I truly believe this is when our praises are needed most. First, and foremost, our praises demonstrate a need to express genuine love and gratitude to our Heavenly Father. Secondly, it gives us an opportunity to demonstrate a genuine faith in God. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6).
Parent Challenge: Set an example to your children, by praising God always—in the good times, and the not so good. This teaches children to keep their eyes on Jesus no matter what comes their way (nice friends, getting good grades…..bullies on the playground, loss of a parent through death or divorce, etc.).
Speaking from experience, “When Jesus is the main focus of our praise, God embraces his children with love, inner peace, strength, and hope.”
Faith-Forward: (Simple ideas for passing down faith in Christ.)
Praise Jar. Decorate two glass jars (Mason Jars). In the middle of one glass Jar, write the words: Praise God Always! Psalm 34:1. On the other one, write the words: JESUS. Prepare (cut) a large amount of blank strips of paper (use a variety of sizes and colors) and put the strips of paper into the JESUS jar. Place jars in a room that is used daily (kitchen, dining room, family (TV) room, etc.). Explain to the children that everyone will be encouraged to give God praise every day; and as a family, you will be writing praises to God on the strips of paper, and then placing them in the Praise God Always! Jar. Share suggestions: I praise God for my best friend. God, you are awesome! Thank you for protecting our family from the storm. Dear Jesus, I’m really sad right now, but I want to praise you for always being here for me.
When the Praise jar is full, set aside a special family time to read (pray) through all the praises.
Prayers of Praise. Spend time praying prayers of praise each day. This can be a separate prayer, or it can be integrated into other daily prayers (mealtime, bedtime, etc.). Begin by sharing your own prayer of praise to God during a family prayer time.
Here’s a beautiful Psalm of praise to read together as a family.
A psalm of praise. Of David.
1 I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. 2 Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever.
3 Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. 4 One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. 5 They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty— and I will meditate on your wonderful works.[b] 6 They tell of the power of your awesome works— and I will proclaim your great deeds. 7 They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
8 The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.
9 The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. 10 All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you. 11 They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, 12 so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. 13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does.[c] 14 The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. 15 The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. 16 You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. 18 The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 19 He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. 20 The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.
21 My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.
My greatest passion is intentionally passing my faith in Christ down to the next generation, starting with our family. I’ve been married to Jeff since 1975. We have three adult children, two sons-in-law, and six grandchildren…our greatest joy in this life! I served alongside of my husband in pastoral ministry for twenty years. We currently offer resources and a speaking ministry to churches and families called Covenant Heirs. Our mission is to encourage and equip parents, grandparents, and others to intentionally live a life of faithfulness to God, with a family discipleship emphasis. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in learning more about us and our ministry.
Holding His Hand blog (2016) is dedicated to my mom, Audrey Lewis, who learned to trust in Jesus during her battle with cancer. This blog testifies to God's amazing love and provision in our lives.