Parents & Kids of Faith

  • Friday, February 10, 2012

  • The Gospel Alphabet by Timothy Keller

    O is for Obedience
    The Gospel calls forth obedience (Rom. 1:5) in at least three ways. First, we must obey the Gospel by believing and receiving the Good News (John 6:29). Second, the faith that saves works itself out in obedient living by God’s empowering grace (Phil. 2:12-13). Third, we are to obey Jesus’ command to bring this Gospel to the nations (Matt. 28:18-20). In our ministries of teaching and formation these calls to obey the Gospel must be clear and unequivocal.


    1. Fine:
    This is the word Deb uses to end an argument when she is right and I need to stop talking. 

    2. Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means half an hour. Five minutes is only five minutes if I have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

    3. Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and I need to be on my toes. Discussions that begin with "nothing" usually end in “fine.”  

    4. Go Ahead: This is a dare from her, not permission, so I don't do it!    

    5. Loud Sigh: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by me. A loud sigh means she thinks I am an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing there and having a discussion with me about nothing.  (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of nothing.)

    6. That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements Deb makes. “That's okay” means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when I will pay for my mistake.  

    7. Thanks: When Deb says “thanks” I do not question it. I have learned to just say “you’re welcome.” Unless she says "Thanks a lot" - that is PURE sarcasm and she is not thanking me at all. I do not say "you're welcome"... that will bring on a "whatever" – see #8).

    8. Whatever: It is Deb’s way to say “you’re toast!”  

    9. Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that Deb has told me to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in me asking her, "What's wrong?" For her response, refer to #3.

    By Pastor Erik Raymond, Emmaus Bible Church, Bellevue, Nebraska

    My kids are growing up. This is filled with all sorts of emotions. Life presents new challenges and circumstances. This is true for any parent. But things are a little different for Christian parents. We actually believe that our kids are not Christians just because we are. Heaven is not an unalienable right like voting at 18. Our children have to actually come to terms with the God of the gospel themselves.

    This presents an interesting set of circumstances for parents. We have a responsibility, a mandate even, to raise our kids in the ‘discipline and instruction of the Lord.’ (Eph. 6.4) We understand that in this same book the same Apostle says that prior to conversion we all are dead in sin, and apart from a supernatural work of God’s grace and mercy we would not follow Christ (Eph. 2.1-8).

    So what do you do?

    The Dangerous Trap
    I think there is potentially a trap to step into here if we are not careful and thinking. If you believe that your children cannot be converted apart from God’s sovereign work of grace in their lives, you may become complacent in praying for them and actively ‘gospelizing’ them. We may begin to think that since they are unbelievers then what you do with the Scriptures and what you do on your knees is not helpful. This type of thinking is as dangerous as it is unbiblical.

    The command to train your children is not contingent upon their receptivity. Parents (specifically Dads) do not have to ask to be the leader, they already are. And so therefore they are accountable.
    “But wait…,” some might say, “how is God going to hold me accountable for something that I have no ability to accomplish myself?”

    This is important to think through.

    The Motivating Truth
    You are right, you cannot save your children. ButGod never called you to save them, he has called you to care for them. You are to shepherd their hearts with the word of God (Eph. 6.4; cf also Deut. 4.9; 6.7; 11.19). And you are to carry your cares of their salvation to the throne of grace for mercy and help (Heb. 4.16; 1 Pet. 5.7). It is this that you will be accountable for.
    Please think through the horrible logic of being lazy in light of your children being unconverted and disinterested in biblical things. Your excuse then is that you are lazy because God is sovereign and they are sinners? The first thing I would ask any of my Reformed leaning friends is, “What are you doing about it Dad?”

    So what do you do about it?
    I can sum it up in a sentence: Pray like you can’t save your children and parent like you can.

    Be relentless on your knees for your children. Carry them to the throne of grace daily as you petition the sovereign and good God of the gospel for mercy. And also, be faithful to bring the Scriptures to bear in regular study, instruction and application in their lives. Have regular times of family devotions. But also, be sure to integrate the glory of God in all manner of life and thinking. Bring the matchless beauty of Christ to bear on everything that you can.

    This is hard work. It is however, the work of faith, the work of dependence and the work of love. It is gospel work. It is Christian parenting. You are believing that God is merciful, that his word is powerful, and that he is infinitely valuable. We cannot afford to cling to lame and ill-conceived excuses when we are talking about such weighty things as the glory of God, our accountability before him, and the souls of our children.

    So get to work, in the prayer closet and at the kitchen table; plead Christ to them and them to Christ!

    Share The Love of Jesus With Others Through A Simple Invitation
    By Bob Stelter, Missionary with Family Life

    Much is said here at FBC about being Jesus in your square mile.  That can take many forms depending on the people and circumstances.

    What if there was a simple, conversational way to encourage married couples in their covenant relationship - AND - maybe be a part of leading someone to coming to receive the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior?! 

    Does that excite you?  Or, make you nervous?  Did I say it was simple? 

    Here's the plan:
    1.  Visit the Weekend To Remember Marriage Getaway kiosk on Sunday (2/12, 3/4, 3/18) and pick up a brochure
    2.  Take the brochure home and pray about who the Lord would have you hand the brochure to
    3.  Whichever person the Lord brings to mind, take action and hand the brochure to them with a very brief invitaton:
    "Hey (friend).  Our church is promoting this 'Weekend To Remember Marriage Getaway' and I thought you might like to know about it.  My spouse and I have attended and really enjoyed it.  The sticker on front shows the dates and if you register with the Group, you get half off the regular rate."

    THAT'S IT!

    What will happen as a result?  The person may shrug it off and throw away the brochure.  The person may have a few questions for you about the event.  The person may end up attending with their spouse.  What if that couple REALLY needed biblical encouragement and you did not know how close to separating they were??  What if one or both of them had yet to accept Christ and make this eternal decision at the event??

    Would that excite you?!!

    Consider this: last year in Lincoln, 99 people responded to the Gospel presentation on Saturday; and 42 of those people were married couples!  Now, there's 99 reasons to rejoice.

    Grab a brochure, pray, be bold...and have a part in maybe saving a marriage or transforming where someone spends eternity!


    Post a Comment