Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, January 20, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    L is for Love
    The Gospel is the revelation of God’s abounding love: “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).  We do well to immerse ourselves and the saints we serve in that Good News.  The sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, for example, is an ongoing, multi sensory reminder of Christ crucified (1 Cor. 11:26).  God’s Gospel love also calls forth love as response.  The Lord’s Supper both declares God’s love and demands that we love one another in turn (1 Cor. 11:27).  John, “the beloved apostle,” makes these truths very clear.  This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:10-11).  And again he writes, “We love because he first loved us” (1 John 4:19).  Would we see love grow in the hearts of God’s people and reach to their neighbors– both saints and sinners?  Then we must school them continuously in the Gospel of love.

    (Maybe this really happened)

    I made an appointment to see my family physician this past week, out of concern for what seems to be a lessening of my level of energy the last few months based upon what Deb has expressed to me. My doctor asked why I thought I had a problem, and I told him that apparently I am not able to do the things around the house anymore that I used to be able to do.

    After the examination was completed I said to the doctor, “Doc, I can take it; please tell me what is wrong in plain English.”

    He said, “Okay. In plain English, you’re just getting lazy.”

    “Hmm, okay,” I replied. “Now give me a medical term for this so I can tell Deb.”

    By Jim Weidmann 

    Parents need to bring their children into prayer on a regular basis
    Jesus taught his disciples by living with His disciples, so we teach our children - they watch what we do, they listen to what we say.  You can not have a house of prayer if you are not a man and woman of prayer.  Children learn to pray by listening to their parents and having their parents invite them into prayer in the every dayness of life. So as you discuss family situations, good or bad, stop and pray with your children.  Or, when your children call you or tell you of something that happened or is happening in their day - stop and pray.

    It was EM bounds who said: Little prayer is the characteristic of a backslidden age and of a backslidden church.  Whenever there is little praying in the pulpit or in the pew, spiritual bankruptcy is imminent and inevitable. Around us is a world lost in sin, above us is a God willing and able to save.  It is our duty to build the bridge that links heaven and earth, and prayer is the mighty instrument that does the work. 

    This constantly going to God consciously “bridges” God into every situation and helps us keep the proper perspective on how He is active in our lives. One of the biggest things we can do spiritually for our children is to help them become “prayer warriors.”  We can not protect them from every harmful or evil situation, but we can give them the ability to call the power of heaven down on every situation! 

    Parents need to teach their children to pray
    In my experience as the Vice Chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, I found that people usually pray for three reasons: out of obligation - like when asked, out of tradition - like at the dinner table or out of desperation - like when they have no where else to turn.  But, rarely do you hear people pray out of passion!  Prayer is the spiritual breathing vital to sustaining our love relationship with God. Prayer is more about the relationship than it is the request!!

    So Parents, need to teach their children to pray out of passion.  Even Jesus' disciples asked late in His ministry: “Lord, teach us to pray.”   So teach them P.R.A.Y. as they approach our heavenly Father.

    P - Praise. Jesus opened His prayer with: “Father hollowed be your name…”  When we start with Praise, we are moved from being self-centered to being God-centered.  We confirm our relationship as one of dependence.
    R - Repent.  Jesus prayed: “..Forgive us our sins as we also have forgiven everyone who sins against us and lead us not into temptation..”  Repentance rights our relationship with God, as we enter into His Holy presence repentant and seeking his forgiveness.
    A - Ask.  Jesus prayed: “…Give us each day our daily bread…” A pastor once noted that if you know what God knows, you’d want what God wants.  So, we should be seeking to know what God knows about our situation so we will want what He wants for us.
    Y - Yield.  Jesus prayed: “Your Kingdom Come.”  God has a purpose and a plan for our lives and knows what is best in any situation - the question is do we love Him enough to trust Him in EVERY situation. 

    Parents need to teach their children that prayer is tied to obedience
    Do you have those “praying ladies” in the church that you turn to request prayers that will be answered?  Why does it seem that they get results and yours’ never make it through the ceiling?  One thing you need to look at is how you are living your life.  God is clear: “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16 Your conduct is tied to your prayers!
    This becomes a time of introspection.  You have to ask; is there sin in my life, something I am harboring and not giving up to God?  See, you can not “serve two masters!”  Psalm 66 says that “If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.”  

    The concept parents need to teach their children is that obedience is an act of love.  It puts feet to our faith.  Obedience is walking in a right relationship with God, obeying His principles and precepts (will).  It is doing it with the attitude that we want to please God, because we love Him and He loves us.  He shows His love back to us by answering our prayers.  It says in 1 John 3:22 And receive from Him anything we ask, because we obey His commandments, and do what pleases Him.”


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