By J. Jorg.
One of the most revealing commentaries on the spiritual status of families in America today is the heroes our children idolize.
The lifestyles of many of these heroes are in almost every respect contrary to that which we find taught in the Word of God. Yet they are influencing the way children respond in their homes, schools and churches. Young hearts and minds are being subtly sucked into the world's philosophies exemplified by their heroes.
The first step to directing children to right heroes is for adults to respect godly people and point out ungodly characteristics and habits in the lives of popular figures. Every hero worth emulating should be able to say with the apostle Paul, "Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ." (1 Cor. 11:1, NIV).
The second step is to introduce children to godly heroes in the Bible. A good listing is found in Hebrews 11. These people are great examples of living faith. Extra time can be spent studying the heroes in each week's Sunday School lesson. Instruct children both at home and in the classroom about the amazing works of God in the lives of these people. (See Psalm 78:1-8).
Another way to introduce children to godly heroes is through reading Christian biographies. Men like George Mueller, George Washington Carver and Jim Eliot, and women like Amy Carmichael, Fanny Crosby and Joni Eareckson Tada inspire Christians of all ages.
Plan opportunities for children to meet and associate with outstanding Christians alive today. These people may include pastors, missionaries, evangelists, Bible conference speakers, or maybe an older person in your church who walks with God and exhibits many of the qualities of Christ.
In any discussions of heroes there is always concern not to lift up people. The argument goes that men have shortcomings and may fail. The question, however, is not whether or not our children should have heroes. Youth of every generation will always find people after which to pattern their lives. The question is, who will their heroes be? Let's do all we can to help our children follow godly men and women of the past and present who will inspire them, too, to become "heroes of the faith."
The People as Curriculum
By Norma Cook Everist,
The Church As Learning Community, 2002.
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The Circuit Rider
George T. Ashley.
"He was thoroughly consecrated and devoted to his work. His sole equipment usually consisted of a horse, saddle and a pair of saddlebags – now a rare sight indeed- in which he placed most of his earthly possessions, usually consisting of but one change of clothing, a Bible, a hymnbook, and possibly a few tracts; and maybe a few books to sell. His home was on his horse and among the people whom he served.
Thus he went from place to place, from village to village, from settlement to settlement, from house to house, preaching every Sunday, sometimes two or three times; and almost every night in the week at one of the larger homes in the remote settlements; preaching to and praying with a mere handful of people; burying the dead when occasion called for it; holding prayer and giving admonition at every house at which he stopped. The circuit usually required a month to get around in this way; and then the circuit rider would at once start again.
The circuit riders met once a year in "Conference" to discuss their previous year's work, to lay plans for the next year's work to re-assign the preachers to their circuits and to discuss their many common and often perplexing problems. At that time, no circuit rider rode the same circuit more than one year in succession. Thus the various talents among them were widely distributed and shared among all the people.
With increasing population, better roads and better means of transportation, the circuits were gradually diminished in area from a preaching point almost every day in the month down to a circuit of six or eight places, usually close enough together for him to preach to two separate congregations each Sunday; then down to four churches in a circuit; and now in most places to the "Station" where the minister serves but one congregation."
If God can Use These Saints. . .
then surely he can use me!
* A Liar named Abram to father his new nation;
* A Murderer named Moses to liberate them;
* An Adulterer named David to lead them;
* A Deserter named Peter to nurture his lambs;
* And a Church Killer named Saul to build his church.
~ Sid Cox, Stumbling Into Grace.
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The Heart of a Saint
“Amid their vast diversity, one commonality stands out: they (saints) share the same heart—a heart set on loving God above all. The heart is that deep place at the core of our being where we make the choices that direct and orient our lives. At some point every one of the saints made a heartfelt decision to put God first in his or her life. . . Holiness is not the narrowly guarded privilege of a few, but rather an abundantly available opportunity for all. Here’s the point: we can become saints if we want. All we must do is choose to be holy, and the Holy Spirit will make it happen. And because making us saints is God’s work, we don’t have to be without problems, faults, or even sins. All of the saints, including the apostles, were sinners, just like you and me. . . Holiness does not come from staying busy with Christian activities. It is a matter of the heart, a matter of falling in love with God. “