Last evening a group from our church appeared before our local school board…
… concerned about their policy toward distribution of Bibles to the children which has been a long standing tradition in schools across our country. An educational system that in our country was founded on the Bible now wants nothing to do with God’s Word and they are paying the price on several fronts.
Schools are to be a place of preparation and yet the most important aspect of preparation (meaning to make ready) we overlook. That is the preparation of spiritual things which the Bible first addresses in Joshua 22:26 in the building of an alter as a place to show witness to God. For me that underscores a part of my cultural history where in communities churches were built in the heart of our towns and pastors were regarded as the highest authority or often final word on many if not most matters. Amongst the Amish and Hutterites that is still the practice but for most of us that part of life has changed.
For each of us what is key is to follow Ezra (7:10) and prepare our hearts for the law of the Lord. If not our hearing or reading of God’s word will fall on hard ground and never take root. In fact as God has a throne from which He will judge one day (Psalm 9:7) that He has already prepared so should we build such a throne for Him within us. This we do when we invite the Holy Spirit to take over our lives and having done so we await what God has prepared for us as spoken of in Psalm 23:5. For we who are born again that table mentioned in Psalms is set each and everyday.
The state of preparation is one we continue to build on during our time on earth and Christ Himself directed us in this regard in Luke 22:8-9 by establishing the church’s need to continue in the Lord’s Supper as begun in the moment’s before Christ was betrayed, died and resurrected. Doing so is symbolic of our becoming what Romans 9:22 calls prepared “vessels of (God’s)mercy” who are now prepared to carry out ‘every good work” (2 Tim. 2:21) for our Master.
It is time for each of us to BE PREPARED.
THOUGHT FOR TODAY: The power of God prepares us for the precious promises for we who are truly His people.
DEVOTIONAL VERSE FOR TODAY: Ezra 7:10 “preparation of our heart”.
PRAYER FOR TODAY: Lord may my heart always be prepared for all You desire of me.
QUESTIONS TO THINK ABOUT:
1. Should schools be a part of preparing a child’s spiritual heart?
2. Where is your spiritual alter to God?
3. How has removing God from the center of our lives and communities changed us as a people and nation?
4. How do you prepare your heart?
*** Gary Jerke *** Is a former State Representative, author and Life and Liberty News contributor