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Family influence: A devotional from Rev. Steve Ziebarth

By: Rev. Steve Ziebarth, retired, Dakotas UMC

Galatians 6:7-10

Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant.Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit.So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. 10 Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.

Ziebarth Family

A family photo of the Ziebarth family from Rev. Steve Ziebarth's Facebook page.

When we were growing up, it was incredibly important to my parents to share their faith with my brothers and me.  Each day, we gathered around the table for the evening meal.  It was a time to be nourished physically, but the most important thing to them was to provide the time to be nourished spiritually.  Every evening meal included scripture reading, discussion of its application to our lives, and prayer for our immediate family, our extended family, our faith community, our town, our area, our nation, and our world. 

Mom and Dad not only initiated that devotional time each day, they put the faith we shared around that table into practice in their daily lives.  They never seemed to tire of doing those things that enhanced our family life, strengthened our faith community, and made life better for those in our extended community.  As I think about my parents, and our extended family, I remember them as being human and making mistakes, but always seeming to attempt to do the very best for everyone around them.

As a disciple of Jesus Christ, I have been called to follow the example of my parents, and never tire of “doing good to everyone.”  If I do, I will receive a “harvest of blessing” as I persevere.  As I live out my life, I will try to follow the example of Jesus and the example of my parents and elders in doing good.  How about you?

Gracious God, grant me the strength and the willingness to live life in kindness and love.  Help me to follow the example of Jesus Christ in living out my life.  Amen.



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