14 day plan

Fatherhood

Day 2 of 14

James 1:6-8

6But when you pray, you must believe and not doubt at all. Whoever doubts is like a wave in the sea that is driven and blown about by the wind. 7-8If you are like that, unable to make up your mind and undecided in all you do, you must not think that you will receive anything from the Lord.

Reflection:  One of my favourite movies is Home Alone. While the family is prepping for the big family holiday, the annoying neighbour kid wanders over to the van and asks the driver a bunch of questions: Do these vans get good gas mileage? How fast does this thing go? He is dismissed by everyone but like every annoying kid he still manages to get in the way, rummaging through the bags while the older sibling does the head count. This of course leads to Kevin being left home alone.

For dads, our kids can often feel like that annoying kid. At the worst time, when our mind is on something else, there they are.  James tells us that even as adults, we can be like that with our heavenly Father. But he won’t think we’re annoying. We can always ask questions and God will be generous with us. We can have faith that he has the answers for us!  We need to create a similar safe space for our children to ask us questions because they trust us, just like we trust God.  Our earthly relationship with our children should mirror our relationship with God. Let’s create space for our kids to ask us questions and use it as an opportunity to impart wisdom on them, while also pursuing our Father in heaven for the wisdom we require.

Questions: What are the moments in your life where your kids (or other
children in your life) need space to question and wonder with you? What questions do you need to ask of God to gain wisdom in your own faith?

Prayer: Lord, thank you for being accessible to us. Thank you for allowing us to ask questions and seek your wisdom. May we have the ears to hear your voice.  Amen.

We’re reading the Bible until September 8th with Rick Pekan. Rick is Bible Society Australia’s church and community relations coordinator in WA. With his wife Louise, Rick has been a foster carer for 40 children as well as having four children of their own.

James 1:1-27

1 From James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ:

Greetings to all God's people scattered over the whole world.

Faith and Wisdom

2 My friends, consider yourselves fortunate when all kinds of trials come your way, 3for you know that when your faith succeeds in facing such trials, the result is the ability to endure. 4Make sure that your endurance carries you all the way without failing, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 5 But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all. 6But when you pray, you must believe and not doubt at all. Whoever doubts is like a wave in the sea that is driven and blown about by the wind. 7-8If you are like that, unable to make up your mind and undecided in all you do, you must not think that you will receive anything from the Lord.

Poverty and Riches

9Those Christians who are poor must be glad when God lifts them up, 10 and the rich Christians must be glad when God brings them down. For the rich will pass away like the flower of a wild plant. 11The sun rises with its blazing heat and burns the plant; its flower falls off, and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way the rich will be destroyed while they go about their business.

Testing and Tempting

12Happy are those who remain faithful under trials, because when they succeed in passing such a test, they will receive as their reward the life which God has promised to those who love him. 13 If we are tempted by such trials, we must not say, “This temptation comes from God.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14But we are tempted when we are drawn away and trapped by our own evil desires. 15Then our evil desires conceive and give birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.

16Do not be deceived, my dear friends! 17Every good gift and every perfect present comes from heaven; it comes down from God, the Creator of the heavenly lights, who does not change or cause darkness by turning. 18By his own will he brought us into being through the word of truth, so that we should have first place among all his creatures.

Hearing and Doing

19 Remember this, my dear friends! Everyone must be quick to listen, but slow to speak and slow to become angry. 20Human anger does not achieve God's righteous purpose. 21So get rid of every filthy habit and all wicked conduct. Submit to God and accept the word that he plants in your hearts, which is able to save you.

22Do not deceive yourselves by just listening to his word; instead, put it into practice. 23If you listen to the word, but do not put it into practice you are like people who look in a mirror and see themselves as they are. 24They take a good look at themselves and then go away and at once forget what they look like. 25But if you look closely into the perfect law that sets people free, and keep on paying attention to it and do not simply listen and then forget it, but put it into practice—you will be blessed by God in what you do.

26Do any of you think you are religious? If you do not control your tongue, your religion is worthless and you deceive yourself. 27What God the Father considers to be pure and genuine religion is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their suffering and to keep oneself from being corrupted by the world.