Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Raising Kids For Christ

Understanding what "Abba Father" actually means.

When I was a kid, I knew little to nothing. But what I did know was Grandma. Grandma Dot. Whatever Grandma said, was. Period. She was my Protector. Comforter. The Source for needs. The very definition of Love. I understood what Love is, not the concept, but the reality, because Grandma Loved me.

Now that I have grown, and have two Boys, Josh and Eli, with a Baby Girl on the way this June, I now fully understand the concept. Like I as a child, my Boys look at me as the is all and end all. I AM their Protector. Comforter. The Source for needs. The very definition of Love.. They KNOW if Daddy says, it is so. No question. No doubt. No fear.

They are two totally different people. Josh is 8. He is who he is. He truly cares about people. If I tell him to "Say Thank you" he usually will walk up to the person and give them a hug. He "knows" when people are sad. He will ask what is wrong. He will listen to what they say. He will hug them and tell them it will be alright. He is a very sensitive young man, who sees the world in a certain way. Eli? Eli is a bulldozer. He plows through life without fear or care. He wants something, he is going to get it. He is not a big hugger. If he does not know you, he may or may not talk to you. But they both know that I am Daddy, and whatsoever I say, is. I'm sure that my baby girl will be her own person as well. But she, like them, will know Daddy.

I helped raise my Niece Selina. She is now 22. I want to share with you a story that just happened a couple of years ago. First, Selina always looked at me as a Father. I still to this day will introduce her as my Daughter. She can tell you the Three times I ever actually yelled at her. Her whole life. But the one thing she knew, and still does, is if Daddy said, it was so. Yes means Yes. No means No. And I'm smarter than her. I was to her, a Protector. Comforter. A Source for needs, along with her Mother.

One day we took a trip. We went to do something that turned out to be pretty lame. On the way back we discovered this other thing, which seems would be so much better. So without thought, I said, "You know, I could call in to Work tomorrow. We could do this, then head home." She lit up. But then I got to think about it. I would have to call off of Work, something I nearly NEVER do. My Wife would have to call off. Selina would miss school. So I said, "No. We better go. We can come here next year." She did not talk to me the rest of the way home. She did not talk to me for over two weeks. She was so very hurt by this, that she was in tears for days. It cut her to the core. Why? Because Daddy said, it was NOT so. 20 years at the time. Her whole life. This NEVER happened. EVER. Until that day.

You see, just like Selina, whatever I say to my boys, it is so. This experience with Selina taught me to make even that much more sure. So I am very careful as to what I say. Because no matter what, to the point of me having to lay down my very life, it will be so.

Just an example of someone with this mentality, learning to watch what they say, and the consequences?

Mark 6:
20 For Herod feared John, knowing that he was a just man and an holy, and observed him; and when he heard him, he did many things, and heard him gladly.

21 And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee;

22 And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee.

23 And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom.

24 And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist.

25 And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist.

26 And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath's sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her.

27 And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison,

28 And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother.
Jesus told us this as well.

Matthew 5:
33 Again, ye have heard that it hath been said by them of old time, Thou shalt not forswear thyself, but shalt perform unto the Lord thine oaths:

34 But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God's throne:

35 Nor by the earth; for it is his footstool: neither by Jerusalem; for it is the city of the great King.

36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.

37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.
Point is, if you let your Yes be Yes, and your No be No, there will be no confusion or doubt. You say, and not only your kids, but everyone that knows you, will KNOW it is as you said. Selina was hurt, not because she really wanted to do that other thing, but because my Yes, which has been that way her whole life, was now No. She became confused and hurt that this happened. Doubt crept in. Anger and sadness took the place of knowing and without thought, Trust.

I've got good news for you. God will NEVER do what I did. God's Yes, is ALWAYS Yes. God's No is ALWAYS No. God will never lie. Not intentionally, nor unintentionally. God is ultimate Love. You will NEVER have the same type of experience with God, that Selina had with me. Ever. This is why you must become as Children. Total Trust. Total Love. No Doubt. No Fear. Not even a Thought that God may not be what His Word says. Jesus told us this..

Matthew 18:
2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,

3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
This is the relationship God wants to have with us. "Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is." {1 John 3:1-2} "And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty." {2 Corinthians 6:18}

Now for those of you who do not have Children, this may be a bit more difficult for you to understand. I did not fully get it either until I had Children. But now I do, I find myself catching glimpses of the total and completely unconditional Love that God has for us. I see these in my relationship with my Boys. I remember coming home one day, and finding out Eli did something he should not do. It was something we were working on. I remember this day, and it is seared into my memory, I will remember it always. I was angry and disappointed in what Eli did. We went into the other room so I could talk with him. I remember him looking up into my eyes, with a single tear in his, and saying "Don't be angry with me Daddy." I melted. I absolutely melted. There are no words. I IMMEDIATELY forgave him. I hugged him and told him I love him.

God is not some white hair, bearded, bitter old man, sitting on a throne, just waiting to throw you in Hell for slipping up. He is total, and absolute Love. If my heart, being evil, melted at my boy saying "Don't be angry with me Daddy." How mush more will God, who is Holy, forgive us when we ask.

You see, this is a teachable moment. Not just for me. But for me to teach my Boys about God. And the nature of His Love for us. The nature of the relationship He wants to have with them. Some of our Churches have dumbed down the message, and pumped up the volume, when attempting to reach the youth in their Congregation. They separate the Children and sing songs and teach them how to say the Books of the Bible in order. Or how to recite the Ten Commandments. They have them color Noah's Ark pictures. Sing "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so." Then when they get a bit older, they go in and sit in the Service and hear the Pastor yelling "HELL!!! FIRE!!!! BRIMSTONE!!!! You are EVIL!!!!!" What happened to Jesus loves me?

There is nothing wrong with a Noah’s Ark themed Nursery. There is nothing wrong with a Rock Concert for Christ. There is nothing wrong with Pizza Parties, ETC. However, are you teaching them that God loves them as much, if not even more so, than you love them? That God wants to be their Father. Not a concept nor idea. Not a legality written force to be dealt with. But Daddy. Just simply put, Daddy.

Kids are not stupid. They are little sponges. They will learn from what you do. Perhaps even more so, than what you say. Let them see that YOU see, God as your Daddy. Let them see the Newborn, and the Old Man, sitting in the Pews. Explain to them that there is nothing that that Newborn, will ever do, nothing that, that Old Man did, nothing that they can or will ever do, that will cause God to reject them. No Sin. You must teach them what it truly means to be Adopted. Explain to them what Jesus meant when He said this.

Matthew 7:
7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
We have to teach our Children, what the Ten Commandments actually mean, not just how to say them in order. We have to teach our Children what the Covenant between God and Noah FOLLOWING the Flood, means, not just simply we were evil enough for God to Repent He made us to the point of destroying His own Creation. We have to teach our Children that God is LOVE. That He loves them. He wants them to be His Children, fully. He wants to be their Father, fully. We have to teach them that they are NOT worthy of God's Love or Salvation, yet He loves them anyway and Jesus came and died for them, while they were yet Sinners, and in the middle of their Sin.

If we decide we do not like our Kid's Music, Dress, or things of this nature, we need to discuss it with them. Tell them why. Show them why. Explain that it may not be the wisest thing to do. Instead of simply Forbidding them to listen to this or that, dress like this or that, act like this or that, we must show them why. Explain God. Explain Jesus. Explain the Devil. Teach them The Word of God, not merely how to recite the Books in order. Remember, Godliness conduct is always the result of an inward Faith working itself out. Not the other way around. You can not "work" your way to Godliness. You can not become "holy" by being "Legally Sound". Religion in of itself, is NOT Salvation.

If you truly seek them to "put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."{Ephesians 4:22-24} you must first Teach them what the Adoption is all about. And Why. God so loves them so. They can not be truly converted until this happens. They cannot ever please God, until this happens. There is no other way.

Do you know Jesus as your Savior? Have you been adopted into the Family of God? If not, say this Prayer. Right now. Wherever you may be. Say it in your own words, and do not doubt in your heart. God will hear you. He will send the Spirit of Life to you. Let us Pray..

"Oh heavenly Father, Lord God. I am a sinner. I know this. I know there is nothing I can do to change that. But I know you can. I accept Jesus's sacrifice for me. I repent my sins. Please send the Spirit of Adoption into my life. Help me to get to know the real you. Save me. Please. In the name of Jesus, Amen!"

That's it. It really is that simple. Now go tell someone what you have just done. "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." {Romans 10:9} You need to find a Church that God leads you to, and be Baptized the way Jesus said to be. You are now a Child of God. A new Creature. You "have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him." {Colossians 3:10}

If you want to tell me, or comment, question, give testimonials, or just say "Hi," the Email is opntalk@gmail.com

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. {2 Corinthians 13}

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