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Family Quiet Times by Edgar Sathuluri from India

 April 2012 

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Introduction by Kathy

Edgar Sathuluri

Just recently our friend, Edgar Sathuluri came to stay with our family. He is the founder of a disciple making ministry in India called NATIVE (National Training Institute for Village Evangelism).

Over several visits to New Zealand and in spending time with our family, he has encouraged us that God has given us a tool to help parents disciple their own children.

Testimony by Edgar Sathuluri

- by Edgar Sathuluri

One of the most important instructions of the LORD to the people of Israel on parenting is found in Deuteronomy chapter 6. Verse 2 states, "That you and your son and your grandson might fear the LORD your God, to keep all His statutes and His commandments which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be prolonged. O Israel, you should listen and be careful to do it, that it may be well with you and that you may multiply greatly."

Firstly, the instruction to live by the statutes, commandments and precepts of the LORD is given to the parent and then he, as a spiritual head, should pass it on to the next generation and then to the 3rd generation.

Then in verses 6 - 8, God Himself gives a very practical way of daily application of this great principle. It simply means that parents should be creative as well as dynamic in their approach to pass on this principle to their children.

In my travels around the world, I have come to know several godly families, but one family distinguishes itself from the others in the area of Deuteronomy 6 type of parenting. Colin Pyle was a Baptist minister when I first met him through LIFE (Lay Institute For Evangelism) Ministries, Auckland, NZ in 1984. I had the joy of preaching at his church at Rimutaka, Upper Hutt and later at Paeroa. He and Kathy, his wife, had a very young family then. Kathy was well trained with the Navigators. But somehow, both Colin and Kathy were restless as they noted that many pastors' children especially, often go astray from their faith in God. Though they tried several methods of bible studies to inculcate the teachings of Scriptures in the young impressionable minds of their children, none of them had worked as their children were hearing what others said about a passage of Scripture and not hearing God speak to them directly to them through His Word.

God in His sovereign grace responded to the heart-cry of the Pyles and gave Colin a wonderful pattern whereby their children could glean God's principles by hearing God speak to them daily through a passage of Scripture.

That was in the early 90's. The systematic and sustained practice of letting the Lord speak separately to every individual family member and then gathering together as a family to share with one another what the Spirit taught them was the essence of the Family Quiet Times. I found them faithfully and diligently practicing this in their home even today. They are no longer children but have grown not just in their physical stature but also in wisdom and favor of God and men as our Lord grew in His earthly life.

The entire crux of the life of Jesus the Messiah, His immaculate character, His wondrous deeds, His great teachings and His obedience to death on the Cross were entirely based on His daily Quiet Time with His Father. The prophet Isaiah rightly points out about the daily spiritual discipline of the Messiah in chapter 50 and verses 4 and 5. "The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of a learner (disciple) that I may know how to sustain the weary one with a word. He awakens Me morning by morning. He awakens My ear to listen as a disciple. The Lord GOD has opened My ear, and I was not disobedient. Nor did I turn back."

Because of this daily practice, Jesus could answer His opponents by reflecting on His daily practice of His Quiet Time with the Father, by saying,"Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner." John 5:19.

Also, "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me." And to know the will of Him who sent Him, Jesus practiced daily quiet times with the Father. How much more should we walk with God and help our families do the same.

Then, Isaiah presents the Heavenly Father as a disciple maker and Jesus as His disciple. God and His Son practiced their own principle given to the family in Deuteronomy 6.

Likewise, every earthly father, especially those that belong to the faith, should also train up their children by communicating the most important truths concerning God enabling their children to practice the presence of God daily, beginning with Quiet Times.

I have earlier commended the pattern that the Pyle family was practicing - that is the family Quiet Times in their daily life. Having recently seen their adult children's love for the Lord and their lifestyle of walking with God, I am warmed in my spirit to commend this practice again so that every family can benefit by practicing Quiet Times with God. Every parent can become a disciple maker and transform every child to become a disciple, just like Jesus was a disciple of the Father. The most important instruction given to parents in Deuteronomy when followed, can save one's family from going astray. And I believe that this is the greatest need of our day and age.

Edgar Sathuluri

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