More than Gold (1 of 4) | Devotions with Dad

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More than Gold (1 of 4)

For DAD Only:

Be a Dad like Jesus

Can you imagine being a dad like Jesus? Wait! Was He a dad? A father is a mentor. Jesus mentored His disciples.

Do you mentor?

The world teaches us to put up with our kids for a couple decades before we can go back to whatever else we were doing. Jesus did not put up with His disciples. He set the example. He instructed. He corrected. And He worked alongside them.

Set the example.

I must live what my kids should grow up to be. I must live honesty if they are to be honest. I must live patience if they will be patient. I must model kindness toward others if I want them to be kind. Jesus lived it for 30 years before He preached for 3.5 more. I find it easier to preach about something for 30 years than to demonstrate it for 3.5.

Instruct them.

If you just live it and never teach it, they will not pass it on to others. Some kids grow up in a holiness lifestyle but never pass it on to their children because they never learned why. Go back to the article on Seven Ways to Heaven for ideas on how to teach them. (Just doing the Rusty stories and Bible discussion goes a long way to this end).

Correct them.

You cannot always be mister nice guy. You have to speak against what they do wrong while not marginalizing their identity. Jesus called sin, “Sin.” He called out the hypocrites and arrogant. He identified the ring leader in front of the misled followers. If His men lacked faith, He spoke to the problem. If He saw selfishness in them, He brought the darkness into the light where it could die.

Work with them.

You can spend a lot of time in front of your children (teaching). You can spend a lot of time behind them (correcting). But you may totally miss the mark if you do not spend time alongside them. I have to come alongside my kids. I send them on a job and then I join them. They learn the joys of working hard when I am right alongside them with my shovel, too. Typically kids will moan and groan about a tough job like shoveling the manure out of the stalls, but when Dad makes sure it is a family-together-fun-time, they grow.
I should not send my kids until they have spent suitable time beside me. They should not go on a youth outing without me unless they have first learned by my example how to behave in a social group. They should not be expected to fend off evil on the street unless they have been with me in those settings and seen how I deal with it. They need to catch my attitude about life, not just be afraid I will find out they tried to smoke.
Jesus went with His disciples for over a year before sending them out on their own for a short trip. And even then, He followed close behind them on their journey. They were in training. He was discipling them. After three and a half years, He sent them into the big bad world on their own.
Have you spent three and a half intensive years with your young person? Have you come along side her? Have you developed him into a good worker? Is she emotionally mature because she has learned alongside you, how to react to setbacks or silliness? When you let him go, will he know how to navigate the Word? Are they learning to pray by your intense efforts right now?

________________________

Dad, read this story with your kids:

Cliffside Campfire

“Okay, where’s the hot dogs?” Rusty asked as he moved things around in the cooler. His hands nearly froze from the cold ice cubes. He began to think his fingers wouldn’t be able to grab the hot dogs when he did find them.
“Near the bottom,” Mom said, coming over to help him look.
Just then, Rusty’s icicle fingers bumped a slippery bag of hot dogs. He pulled them out and sighed with relief. Mom took the bag and opened it while Rusty thawed his fingers over the campfire. Rusty inhaled a deep breath of the warm fire and soaked in the sunshine from up above.
Dad was toasting the hot dog buns over the fire, and Misty was roasting a marshmallow.
“I wonder what is out in those woods,” Rusty said as his fingers began to move again.
“Probably a big grizzly bear,” Misty said, “and I better eat these marshmallows before he comes and takes them.”
“You better save those until after you eat something solid,” Dad said.
“Think there is a bear?” Rusty asked.
Mom joined them at the fire and answered, “No. At least if there is, I don’t want to think about it. If we make sure not to leave out any food or trash, there won’t be any bears.”
“Have you seen a bear before, Dad?” Misty asked.
“Yes.”
“Where?”
“At a zoo.”
Misty laughed and bumped him with her elbow.
“There should be black bears out here,” Rusty said. “But they don’t eat people.”
“Most of the time,” Misty said laughing again.
“I want to climb a mountain,” Rusty said.
“We already did,” Dad replied, “That’s why it took so long driving here.” They were camping at a national park campground in the middle of a pine forest. Rusty and Dad had started the fire with pine leaves and twigs they had gathered under the trees. Now it was crackling and cooking their food.
Rusty ate his hot dogs with pickle relish and ketchup. Misty liked hers with just plain mustard. Dad did not seem to care how they tasted—he even ate one that had turned a little too black. Mom ate a salad with some tuna meat and a pear. She made sure everyone had a carrot or some fruit to go with their campfire cooking.
Since the sun still shone brightly when they had finished eating, Rusty asked, “May we go exploring?”
“Sure,” Dad said, “but don’t go any further than where you can hear the car horn if we call you back.”
“Okie-dokey,” Rusty said jumping up. Misty came right behind him. They walked toward the valley where they could see the tops of some trees growing far down below. When they got closer they realized that this was a small cliff.
“I want to climb it,” Rusty said.
“You are crazy—you will break your neck.”
“Too bad I don’t have a rope here.” Rusty walked along, a few feet from the edge. “Hey, look,” he said, picking up speed, “I think this is an animal path into the valley.”
Misty followed cautiously. Rusty charged forward fearlessly. He did have to grab a couple bushes to keep from slipping down the steep path alongside the cliff edge. He looked behind often to make sure Misty was doing okay. The path doubled back and brought them to the base of the cliff.
“Are we going too far?” she asked.
“Not yet.” Rusty pushed branches out of their faces as they worked their way along the rock face of the steep cliff. “No one has ever been here before,” Rusty guessed.
Misty shrugged, “Maybe there’s a good reason. Shouldn’t Dad be with us before we go too far?”
“Yes. But we haven’t gone too far, yet.” They pushed their way along through the small poplars and pine trees at the base of the cliff until they came to an area that looked dark.
“Look at that,” Misty said, pointing at the base of the rock. “It’s dark under there.”
Rusty stopped and looked for a minute. “That’s really weird. The cliff has a hollow spot.” He bent over and looked into the darkness. “Hey, that looks deep—it goes way back in there!”
“It’s a cave?”
“It’s a cave!” Rusty looked up at Misty and smiled. “We found a secret cave—I bet it is full of gold.” Rusty lay down on the ground and began to slither into the darkness.
“There may be snakes.”
“Oh,” Rusty stopped, “will you go in first then?”
“Ha, ha,” she said, rolling her eyes.
“The snakes are off fighting your grizzly bear,” Rusty said and began crawling in again.
“Can you see in there?”
“My eyes are adjusting. C’mon.”
“Is it safe?”
“I’m in here.”
“You didn’t answer my question.”
“I don’t think anything has been in here.”
“I bet you will find a skeleton of some old gold digger.”
“A prospector—that’s what they called them.”
Misty watched Rusty’s feet disappear. She got down on her hands and knees to watch him.
“It gets larger in here. I can even sit up,” he said, looking back at her.
Misty had stuck her head into the cavity under the cliff. Her voice echoed funny when she asked, “Find any gold?”
“Not yet. The cave goes back here deeper. I wish I had a flashlight.” Rusty crawled toward the back of the cave.
“Don’t leave me.”
“I can’t,” he sighed. “It ends right here.” He tried climbing up the way the cave curved, but it closed off like rocks had caved in a long time ago. “Whoa,” Rusty jumped back from the dead end.
“Is there a snake?”
“No, something soft and weird feeling, though.”
“What? A skunk?”
“I don’t know. I think it is cloth or something.”
“Cool.”
Rusty felt carefully. “It is really dusty, but I think it is a thick cloth thing.”
“I want to see.”
Rusty pulled it down from the little rock shelf where it sat. The dust swirled and Rusty coughed.
“It looks like a bag or something,” Misty said.
“I don’t know, let’s go outside and look at it.” Rusty crawled out so fast that Misty had to hurry to keep up and not bump her head.
Rusty was already untying the straps on the canvas bag when she got to him.
“Oh, it’s a backpack,” she said.
Rusty got it open and looked inside. “A rope!” he said. He pulled it out and looked it over. “Hey, look, it has a cross tied into it.”
Misty looked at the wooden cross and the dusty old rope. “I wonder what it was for.”
“I bet it was a climbing rope.” Rusty dug in the bag again and found a piece of paper. The page was old and brittle, but the words were easy to read. It said,

CLIF EDG

SPAD DIG

CROS LEG

GOL HID

“What is that?” Misty asked, peering over his shoulder.
“Don’t know. It looks like a secret message.”
They both looked at each and said, “Let’s go ask Dad!”

___________________________

Do you think Rusty and Misty and their parents enjoyed being together?

What makes a family enjoy time together and what makes a family not want to see each other?

Does God want families together? How does the devil feel about families being with one another?

Is it right for you to want to spend time with your friends and do what makes them happy more than spending time with your parents and pleasing them?

Were Rusty and Misty careful to not wander far from their parents?

Did Rusty care about his sister in a rough environment?

How do you balance caution about getting hurt with a desire to have fun? Are some types of fun too dangerous to even try? Are some things more fun if you are careful?

If your mom and dad tell you not to do something that looks or sounds fun are they doing it to be mean or to hurt you?

What did Rusty and Misty do when they came across something unusual? Should you ever keep secrets from your parents about things you do not understand?

________________________
Read the following scripture with the family:

Aching Regret

Joshua 7:1-26
But the children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against the children of Israel. (2) And Joshua sent men from Jericho to Ai, which is beside Bethaven, on the east side of Bethel, and spake unto them, saying, Go up and view the country. And the men went up and viewed Ai. (3) And they returned to Joshua, and said unto him, Let not all the people go up; but let about two or three thousand men go up and smite Ai; and make not all the people to labour thither; for they are but few. (4) So there went up thither of the people about three thousand men: and they fled before the men of Ai. (5) And the men of Ai smote of them about thirty and six men: for they chased them from before the gate even unto Shebarim, and smote them in the going down: wherefore the hearts of the people melted, and became as water. (6) And Joshua rent his clothes, and fell to the earth upon his face before the ark of the LORD until the eventide, he and the elders of Israel, and put dust upon their heads. (7) And Joshua said, Alas, O Lord GOD, wherefore hast thou at all brought this people over Jordan, to deliver us into the hand of the Amorites, to destroy us? would to God we had been content, and dwelt on the other side Jordan! (8) O Lord, what shall I say, when Israel turneth their backs before their enemies! (9) For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the land shall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name from the earth: and what wilt thou do unto thy great name? (10) And the LORD said unto Joshua, Get thee up; wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? (11) Israel hath sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have even taken of the accursed thing, and have also stolen, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff. (12) Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you. (13) Up, sanctify the people, and say, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow: for thus saith the LORD God of Israel, There is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, O Israel: thou canst not stand before thine enemies, until ye take away the accursed thing from among you. (14) In the morning therefore ye shall be brought according to your tribes: and it shall be, that the tribe which the LORD taketh shall come according to the families thereof; and the family which the LORD shall take shall come by households; and the household which the LORD shall take shall come man by man. (15) And it shall be, that he that is taken with the accursed thing shall be burnt with fire, he and all that he hath: because he hath transgressed the covenant of the LORD, and because he hath wrought folly in Israel. (16) So Joshua rose up early in the morning, and brought Israel by their tribes; and the tribe of Judah was taken: (17) And he brought the family of Judah; and he took the family of the Zarhites: and he brought the family of the Zarhites man by man; and Zabdi was taken: (18) And he brought his household man by man; and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken. (19) And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me. (20) And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: (21) When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it. (22) So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it. (23) And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, and unto all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the LORD. (24) And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. (25) And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. (26) And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger. Wherefore the name of that place was called, The valley of Achor, unto this day.
___________________________

At the end of the story, why was Achan aching?

Have you ever taken something and hid it so you wouldn’t be caught?
Dad, if your child confesses to a sin here, do not punish him. You may instruct and speak gentle correction, but never punish a child for being honest.

What happened when Achan sinned secretly like this?

Why does God not want us to take things that belong to others?

Who does everything belong to? And who gives it to us? So when we steal, who do we hurt?
God, God, God.

Role play:
Your parents are out in the back yard talking to friends. Your friend pulls out an MP3 player and says, “Here, while they aren’t around, listen to this music I just got.” What do you do?
A person at church shows you a portable recorder that picks up people’s conversations. “Look, I’m going to put this in this room here, so whenever someone comes in and talks, we can find out what they said.” What do you say?

________________________
Memory Verse

Proverbs 16:16
How much better is it
to get wisdom than gold!
and to get understanding
rather to be chosen than silver!

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