January 1 is almost here and we cannot wait to start memorizing a new set of Fighter Verses. Whether you have been memorizing with us for years, or are brand new to Fighter Verses, we hope you will join us.
Fighter Verses is a collection of 260 passages broken down into five sets of 52 passages so you can memorize one passage each week. These verses help equip and encourage believers to fight the fight of faith as they focus on 1) the character and worth of our great God, 2) battling against our fleshly desires, and 3) the hope of the Gospel.
Are you ready to start memorizing Scripture? Here are soon tools to help you get started:
May your and you family cherish time together today to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the Savior of the world, the King of Kings.
O holy night! The stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining;
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices;
For yonder breaks, a new and glorious morn.
I have started reading through The Disciple-Making Parent—A Comprehensive Guidebook for Raising Your Children to Love and Follow Jesus Christ by Chap Bettis. I am finding it an excellent read and highly recommend it. Here is an early quote from the book that I found particularly helpful in encouraging us to setting right priorities early on in our parenting:
“Where does discipling my child fit with the other priorities?” Surrounding us are parents making superhuman sacrifices for their children’s soccer practice, hockey practice (5:00 a.m. ice time?), academic progress, and music lessons (two instruments at the same time?). We can be tempted to follow them. While we may give lip service to discipling our children, the reality comes when we start prioritizing activities.
As a child, one of my favorite family Christmas traditions was singing carols together on Christmas Eve. However, as much as I loved the music, I was fairly clueless as to the deep, doctrinal richness found in many of these beloved carols. No one thought of actually explaining the words to me. What about your children? Do they know the meaning of phrases such as…
And makes the nations prove The glories of His righteousness (Joy to the World)
O come, Thou Rod of Jesse (O Come, O Come Emmanuel)
Hail th’incarnate Deity (Hark the Herald Angels Sing)
Fighter Verses are a wonderful means to share the Word of God with our children. Breakfast or supper, riding in the car, or any time the family is together is a good time for instructional conversation about the Fighter Verses. Below are a few tips to remember as you share God’s Word with your children.
Years ago, several of us from Children Desiring God had the great privilege of going to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to visit with our ministry partners there. As many know, Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world. For those of us accustomed to western prosperity, it was an eye-opening and heart-transforming experience. One day of our visit we were taken on a walk through an area of the city that was built around the garbage dump—with people making their “living” by what could be gleaned from the trash. We saw dozens of children that day, including a group of children in tattered clothes playing with an old, dirty ball. What I found amazing about these children were the smiles on their faces and their giggles and laughs as they played together.
I wonder: Would my grandchildren be content in this situation?
Would my children? Would I?…Honestly, would I be able to say with Paul,
…for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:11-13 ESV)
Incentives. Prizes. Class recognition. All are legitimate ways to encourage and reward students for Bible memory. In my first-grade class, we always took a few moments every week to encourage Bible memory and acknowledge children who had memorized verses in the past week. We also took time to celebrate special milestones, such as when a child had memorized 25 verses. That said, there are some careful considerations I think we should take into account with all of the above. Depending on our manner and tone, we can either serve to encourage God-honoring thankfulness, or self-centered pride. As much as possible, I want to foster the former, and not the latter.
Here is an example of what I mean by this: Suppose you want to recognize a child in your class for memorizing 10 verses. Along with this recognition and maybe even rewarding him or her with a small prize, consider saying a prayer of thanksgiving and encouragement such as...
Over the years, our family has made some drastic changes in how we celebrate Christmas in regard to gifts—a lot fewer “things” under the tree, tighter budgets, spiritually beneficial resources, homemade gifts, choosing a charity to give to, thrift store and garage sale finds, etc. And it has been wonderful for everyone involved! Here is a great reminder from Randy Alcorn:
Consider the typical American Christmas. When the annual obstacle course through crowded malls culminates on the Big Day, what’s the fruit? We find a trail of shredded wrapping paper and a pile of broken, abandoned, and unappreciated toys. Far from being filled with a spirit of thankfulness for all that Christmas means, the children are grabby, crabby, picky, sullen, and ungrateful—precisely because they’ve been given so much.