Ever realised the impact of your upbringing? Ever realized the impact of your upbringing on your today? Ever realized that starting today you can be different? Ever realized that you don’t have to let your past define you? Ever realized that the past can set you up for the future? But what if… What if those people who were supposed to teach you and raise you didn’t? What if those people who were supposed to teach you and raise were bad examples or worse you were separated from them? What if because of nothing you had done your life was flipped upside down and you were taken away from your family and ended up somewhere else? But what if… What if you could make a difference in someone else’s life? What if you could make time to step up where someone else stepped down or away? What if you could make a way for these kids that were left behind because of the abuse, the violence, the neglect? What if you might be the one who gets to speak truth, hope, and life into their lives? What if you could be that light into their dark world to allow them to see that their past doesn’t define their future? What if you could spend a week and pour into their lives when they are young? What if you could spend a weekend and pour into their lives when they are youths? What if you happen to be the one person who is able to break thru and be the Proverbs 22:6 person who is able to make today the first day of the rest of their lives for the better?
‘ Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.’ — Proverbs 22:6
Would you do it? Could you do it? Will you do it? Do you know how to get involved? Do you know where to get involved? Leave me a message and I can share how things like RFK and T.R.A.C. are stepping up and stepping in to make a difference. There are many ways to get involved and make a difference the choice is yours if you will allow God to use you in that purpose. Do you realize that walking with God and meditating on His Word will position you to be used by God, to speak truth and hope and life into the lives of others in love? Will you make time so you can take time and be all that God wants you to be?
Today’s reading comes to us from Proverbs 22…
1 A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
and favor is better than silver or gold.
2 The rich and the poor meet together;
the Lord is the Maker of them all.
3 The prudent sees danger and hides himself,
but the simple go on and suffer for it.
4 The reward for humility and fear of the Lord
is riches and honor and life.
5 Thorns and snares are in the way of the crooked;
whoever guards his soul will keep far from them.
6 Train up a child in the way he should go;
even when he is old he will not depart from it.
7 The rich rules over the poor,
and the borrower is the slave of the lender.
8 Whoever sows injustice will reap calamity,
and the rod of his fury will fail.
9 Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed,
for he shares his bread with the poor.
10 Drive out a scoffer, and strife will go out,
and quarreling and abuse will cease.
11 He who loves purity of heart,
and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.
12 The eyes of the Lord keep watch over knowledge,
but he overthrows the words of the traitor.
13 The sluggard says, “There is a lion outside!
I shall be killed in the streets!”
14 The mouth of forbidden women is a deep pit;
he with whom the Lord is angry will fall into it.
15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child,
but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.
16 Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth,
or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.
Words of the Wise
17 Incline your ear, and hear the words of the wise,
and apply your heart to my knowledge,
18 for it will be pleasant if you keep them within you,
if all of them are ready on your lips.
19 That your trust may be in the Lord,
I have made them known to you today, even to you.
20 Have I not written for you thirty sayings
of counsel and knowledge,
21 to make you know what is right and true,
that you may give a true answer to those who sent you?
22 Do not rob the poor, because he is poor,
or crush the afflicted at the gate,
23 for the Lord will plead their cause
and rob of life those who rob them.
24 Make no friendship with a man given to anger,
nor go with a wrathful man,
25 lest you learn his ways
and entangle yourself in a snare.
26 Be not one of those who give pledges,
who put up security for debts.
27 If you have nothing with which to pay,
why should your bed be taken from under you?
28 Do not move the ancient landmark
that your fathers have set.
29 Do you see a man skillful in his work?
He will stand before kings;
he will not stand before obscure men.
–from Proverbs 22
Today’s devotional from The Global Impact Bible on the theme of the Bible’s impact on Education or Academy through helping and rescuing children of incarcerated parents through an organization called Proverbs 22:6 out of Matthews, North Carolina that focuses on keeping those children from following the pattern that has been set before them and keeping them out of prison. Their ministry is aimed at fighting one of the most dangerous trends in America: the uncontrolled incarceration of children. They are working to try to reverse the statistics which say
- If a child has a parent in prison today, there is an 82% PROBABILITY that the child will end up in prison.
- In 2014 estimated spending on prison population was $74 Billion / year.
It’s incredible to read about their mission and the staggering battle they have before them. Their mission is to: Encourage, Engage, Educate, and Empower.
Today’s devotional shares how the group provides mentoring and scholarships and works to help mend broken relationships. Today’s devotional also points to how the group even pulled its name from the Bible – Proverbs 22:6 which teaches parents to set a good example in life so that children will learn how to live well.
I have been blessed with getting to be a part of two camps through one group that gets to pour into the lives for Foster Care children and youth. I have been blessed with a supportive wife that once our own daughter was old enough allowed me to take and make time away from home to be able to pour into the lives of your children 7-11 for a week and let them know that they matter, they are loved, and God loves them and be kids with lots of fun to be had. Later, I was called to step up and step into a new role and became the director for the teen camp called T.R.A.C. where I get to help lead a team of volunteers with the support of an incredible core team around me to have 3 day camps for teenage foster youth and pour into their lives, getting the opportunity to let them have great adventures while at the same time allowing for the difficult conversations that happen when you empower and love on youth who have been put into difficult situations. These kids have been through so much and without any cause of their own they have been taken away from their parents and put into a system that is meant to protect them and make things better – but we all know that even with the best of intentions not every situation works out that way. God can work in and through us if we will let Him.
So we need God’s hand in and through all of this. We need Him to step in and give us wisdom and discernment. We need Him to guide us and guard us. We need Him because He knows all and so all we can do is be present and sensitive to the leading of the Spirit in our day-to-day lives. He can do it in our lives. He can do it in the lives of the people around us. He can do it in the lives of those He calls us to be a part of. It is a choice and we all get to choose because we have been given free will. So we all need to decide how the past will impact us. Will we let it define us? Will we let it push us forward to greater things? Will we let it help us stay on the right path? Will we let it transform us from what could have into what should have? Will we let it have an intersection with Jesus and be transformed forever?
So let’s pray
For those who prayed this for the first time or as a recommitment to God, I celebrate with the angels in heaven that you made the greatest decision of your life. Will you leave a comment so that I know and pray for you? Will you leave a comment or question so we can have a conversation? Look for a local church that is a Bible believing, Bible preaching church that will be able to come alongside you and help you in this journey called life.
I can’t do this all on my own. I can’t do this without you. Lord You position me daily into the lives of others and so I ask Lord that You will give me eyes to see, ears to hear and a sensitive spirit that I will hear from Your Spirit and speak Your Words over those You bring across my path so that I am able to forthtell Your love and truth and promises over their lives. Help me Lord as I plan and prepare for camps to find the right core team for this coming year and the right volunteers to meet the needs of each of these campers. Help me Lord as You have provided some incredible people around me to make these camps a reality and so I know that You can do it again. As I lift up this prayer to You, I give it into Your hands and ask Lord that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’s name. Amen.