A five-fold framework to focus on Christ in the new year

December 13, 2018

Ushering in a new year grants families the opportunity to delight in all God has done and gaze forward at the refining yet to happen. As you look toward a new year, consider using the following framework provided by the collection of Puritan prayers and devotions titled The Valley of Vision to lead your family: “Grant me never to lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, exceeding righteousness of salvation, exceeding glory of Christ, exceeding beauty of holiness, and exceeding wonder of grace.” 

Sinfulness of sin
Consider how you can remind your family of the weightiness of sin. Perhaps you could remind one another what sin is. A simple definition to share with children is that sin is doing things our own way instead of God’s way. Sin is when we act in our own emotions or thoughts instead of in God’s ways. Sinning makes God and those around us sad. Sin can include lying, disobeying, selfishness and more. As a family, study Romans 3:23 and 1 John 1:8 together. Talk about ways you can encourage one another to flee sin and embrace the fruit of the spirit. Consider playing this fun fruit of the spirit game during your next family game night. 

Righteous of salvation
God gives us armor. When we are in Christ, we are part of a glorious army. When we are wearing the full armor of God, we are able to combat sin and remain victorious in Christ.  A fantastic resource for families to use to study the armor of God together is the “Unseen” series by Priscilla Shirer.

Glory of Christ
John Piper reminds us that when explaining the glory of Christ to children, The basic principle is that glorify does not mean make glorious, but to see as glorious, to savor as glorious, to celebrate as glorious.” Parents know best how our children connect with and grasp certain concepts. Try to explain the glory of Christ using concrete concepts that your child can understand.

For example, one morning on the way to church, I heard a little voice from the back seat ask, “Momma, how big is God?” To which I responded, “He is bigger than anything you can think of!” My son responded, “Bigger than Daddy?” I replied, “Yes, way bigger than Daddy.” I glanced in the rearview mirror and my little one’s eyes were as big as saucers. To him, in that moment, considering the vastness of God compared to his daddy hit home.

The New City Catechism does a great job of answering the question, “How can we glorify God?” (Watch this video for the answer.) Consider how you can make the glory of God come alive in your family in the coming year. 

Beauty of holiness 
Psalm 29:2 reminds us, “Ascribe to the Lord  the glory due his name; worship the Lord  in the splendor of holiness.” Consider how you can incorporate times of worship into the normal rhythms and routines of life. Follow the pattern outlined in Deuteronomy 6:7 and incorporate these worship times “when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.”  Check out Seeds Family Worship’s word-for-word Scripture songs that focus on the character of God or the Getty Kids Hymnal: In Christ Alone.

Wonder of grace 
The opportunity to introduce our children to Jesus is the most joyful privilege a parents can have. The creators of “The Story” evangelism resource have released a helpful tool for sharing the gospel with children titled “The Story Maker.” Consider how you can share with your kids in the glorious grace of our Savior.

As you welcome in a new year, may Jesus spark in the hearts of your family a view that inspires you to never lose sight of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, exceeding righteousness of salvation, exceeding glory of Christ, exceeding beauty of holiness and exceeding wonder of grace.


by Stephanie Jackson  
/  Contributing Writer

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