Patterns: Devotion


When Jesus redeemed his people at the cross, he paid full price. And when he bought us with his blood, he bought not a part, but the whole of us. As the beloved hymn says,

My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part, but the whole
Is nailed to the cross and I bear it no more
Praise the Lord! Praise the Lord, oh my soul!

We belong not in part, but wholly, to our Master - in body, affection, and volition. Now having died to self-seeking sin, we are raised with Christ, the new and true object of our devotion!

When our children watch our lives, can they see that our very lives find their center in Jesus Christ? Or is Jesus an add-on, a means to a self-preserving end, mere hell insurance?

Our opportunity as parents, is to model a life in which confession meets devotion.

And over time, this devotion will bear the fruit of a righteousness, goodness, and beauty in the life of your family that further testifies to the power of Christ that you confess.

We see, more and more in the world, the destructive fruit of idolatry (worshipping anything but God, who alone is worthy of worship). We see desperate people grasping for self-rule and self-fulfillment rejecting God while destroying their bodies, minds, and relationships. The older they become, our kids will see the unattractive rotten fruit of lives rooted in idolatry: theft, deception, abandonment, murder, mutilation, selfishness, depression, and despair.

But will they have a testimony to hold onto that proves the promise?

Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
    bind them around your neck;
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
So you will find favor and good success
    in the sight of God and man.
Proverbs 3:3-4

Some practical encouragements as you model lives of devotion to Jesus:

  • Devote your life to Jesus in thought and speech.
    What do your children hear you talking about most? Is it money, recreation, other people's business? By no means is it wrong to discuss topics that relate to your life, but don't neglect regular conversation about the Lord's doing in all aspects of your life as a family. In fact, may it be obvious that Jesus is Lord over your family by the frequent and normal way he is mentioned.

  • Devote your life to Jesus in time and energy.
    Your loves will be proven by the time and energy you spend. In love for Christ, devote regular time to the reading and study of God's Word, fellowshipping with other believers, serving brothers and sisters in Christ, praying up every thought and care, evangelizing the lost, and even constant singing in your home!

  • Devote your life to Jesus with your hard-earned money.
    I can not overstate the impact that my parents had on me when they made a point to write the offering check for Sunday as soon as my dad was paid from work. He always gave his best and his firstfruits to God. In fact, I often saw my mom writing in her checkbook: gift money for others, special offerings, and offerings for simple thanksgiving any time the Lord seemed to bless our household. Money seemed to slip in and out of my parents' hands frequently, and to this day, it has imprinted on me the weight of their trust and devotion to him.

  • Devote your life to Jesus in striving for holiness. 
    One of the greatest apologetics for the Christian life is a life transformed. It's okay (and even beneficial) that you don't begin your parenting journey having completely arrived. When you sin, devote yourself to repenting of that sin, calling it out, and walking the other way. Let your children notice the changes happening in your life, and perhaps it will linger in their minds as the evidence they need to know that Christ is really King.