Jesus opened His mouth and spoke the greatest, most wonderful words ever uttered to a crowd on a hillside some 2,000 years ago. He told them that if they would listen carefully to His words, understand them, instill them within their hearts and live them, they would experience the very best, highest quality life possible while living on this earth. Isn't that what we want for ourselves and for our children?
He told them that if they applied His commands, they could ask God for anything and they'd have it. It's a list of Jesus' promises for the abundant life to the people who write His commands upon their hearts. Not one of His commands is burdensome, but all of them give an amazing life to anyone who wants to follow them. Who wouldn't want this promised life (see Matthew 5)?
This promised life is what we all want for our children. I want to help you teach your children to memorize and meditate on Scripture as a part of their everyday lives. You'll learn about four important commands of Christ and help your kids memorize verses that support these four commands. God's Word will change their thoughts and, therefore, their beliefs. This will change your life, too. I've found that these four powerful teachings of Christ are transforming me daily. We're never too old or too young to discover the best life possible — the life Jesus wants us to have.
We'll study these four wonderful beliefs that Christ wants within your heart and your children's heart:
I'll also briefly mention that the enemy of God also has beliefs he's trying to instill within our hearts which, when developed within us, cause most of the destruction on this earth. Most of mankind's evil comes directly from the thoughts that Satan wants branded upon our hearts. Satan came to "steal and kill and destroy" everything that is good within us and our children (John 10:10). And that's what he has done throughout our world. It's time for the followers of Christ to take back our turf from him!
The key to this blessed life is our thoughts and beliefs. Did you know that what you have been thinking about every day of your life has produced who you have become as a person? If you worry a lot, have too much stress, are discouraged easily and exhibit a host of other negative characteristics, you have created beliefs in your heart that are causing these emotions. Most people, myself included, do not realize how extremely powerful their thoughts are.
This truth, for me, has become an amazing life-changing and freeing concept. Today, everything about me is changing toward a much more enriching life in every area. I'm becoming free to enjoy my life like never before. And I've never been happier!
Here's even more amazing truth about how our thoughts build these powerful beliefs within our hearts. Most people have between 20,000 and 60,000 thoughts per day. Each of these thoughts will form its own individual chemical and electrical formation in your brain. If you are thinking about the words of God, your thoughts will form positive and healing electrical and chemical formations. But, if you are thinking negative thoughts, those negative ones will form toxic and unhealthy formations.
If you force yourself to think about Christ's four commandments each day between seven and 12 times, you will start to notice new positive and abundant-life beliefs forming within your heart after only four days. And if you stay focused and alert to your present thoughts and use the power given to you by God to take the negative ones captive while you think of Christ's positive thoughts, you can establish new belief habits of thinking in only 21 days.
My prayer is for you to experience the same freedom and joy that I am finding. To enjoy God's best with your children is to be blessed beyond imagination. You'll not only be enriched, but you'll discover amazing peace as you watch your kids develop God's solid foundation.
Excerpted from Guarding Your Child's Heart, published by NavPress. Copyright © 2011 by Dr. Gary Smalley. All rights reserved. Used by permission.