Program Air Date - 12-16-07



Happy holidays to you and yours, and welcome to the Living Word Program on this wondrous Lord's Day morning! Can you believe it, another year has flown by and it's time again for that special time of the year when we are able to get together with family and friends and show fellowship and love toward one another. I am so happy that you have chosen to join us this day and to give this time of worship to God. For without God none of us would even be here, have what we have, or enjoy special time like these. So this morning lets commit this time of offering completely to Him and thus prove our true love for Him and obedience to His precious will. Now with these things in mind, may we all bow our heads and approach His throne of grace in prayer!


Our first song this morning deals with our relationship with Jesus Christ our Lord. So, won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "Face to Face!"

(SONG # 1)


As I said a moment ago, isn't it a wonderful and joyful time of the year? I just love to go around and see the joy, excitement and enthusiasm of the season. We all hear laughter, songs and continuous chatter about all the activities and special plans for the holiday. And so, we as well buckle up, push forward and dive in head first. If you're like me, all of this is a lot of fun and really exciting, but at the end of the day I am almost completely wiped out.

I know my kids are about to bounce off the ceiling thinking about all the food, candy, presents and especially Santa Clause. Although I think they have it all figured out by now, this doesn't damper the excitement in their big smiles or the glitter in their sparkling eyes. Oh, how wondrous their joy and excitement is to me as a parent - who quickly remembers the similar joy and excitement of younger years.

Brethren and friends, nothing comes to my mind more at this time of the year, than just how good we've all got it. We have our health, our ability to provide for our own, and our time to be together and show our love and care for each other in this life. Yes, our God has truly blessed us with so many things in this life - both spiritual and physical. In this country, I just don't think we realize how great things are or how blessed we truly are with the things of this life.

But consider why this is all possible? Why do we have so must in this life? There is only one answer to this important question - GOD! How truly blessed we are to have a God who not only created us, but has placed us in a country and culture that is so well blessed and provided for. If you don't think this is true, you need to have a look around the world, you need to travel abroad at least one time - and then you will truly know the hardship and plight of most of the "real" world.

Again, I mention all of this to just remind us that in the hustle and bustle of the season may we never forget God! It is only because of Him that we are who we are, that we have what we have, and that we are able to do what we want to do. Oh, how great and wonderful our God is and oh how blessed we are to be His children.

Today we will be continuing our series together entitled, "The Home As God Intends." Our specific lesson this morning will deal with, "Godly Grandparents and Relatives". So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, our guest speaker will lead us in our thoughts from God's Word.

As far as our guest speaker, we are again happy to have brother Jerry Sullins with us. Brother Sullins is the director of the Bible Institute of Missouri here in Springfield. We thank him for being with us today to teach us from God's Word. So, for now let's join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, "Walking Alone At Eve."

(SONG # 2)


By Jerry Sullins

We're so happy you tuned in to "The Living Word" broadcast this morning. In the theme of the past few weeks, we've been discussing "The Home As God Intends It To Be." For some reason, I can't imagine why, they have chosen me to present the topic on a grandparent's relationship to grandchildren. Well, I am very happy to say that my wife and I have lived together for 45 years, of course being married together, and we are blessed with four children and with ten grandchildren. So maybe, I can say a few things this morning that will help relate to the situations that exist today in our world concerning our responsibility as grandparents. And even though our children leave the home and they leave their children which become our grandchildren does not mean that we do not have the responsibility toward those precious children that are given to us that we refer to as our grandchildren.

Although the Psalmist said in 127 verse 3 that, "Children are a heritage from the Lord," I certainly believe that grandchildren are also a heritage from the Lord. Now I know I'm speaking to the hearts of all grandparents today who have those precious, unique children that we refer to as our grandchildren and they are grand indeed. But as grandparents in the world today, it seems like we are taking on a unique role that in past generations really was not there and that is the care and upkeep of our grandchildren and the need for us to ever be present and also be willing to assist in the raising of our grandchildren. Now as we look at the statistics that are provided to us over the internet today, we can see more and more that there are more what we call "single parent families." So because of that it enjoins upon us the responsibility since in many of these single parent families, there are children who need to be cared for. The first and foremost source of that care normally is thought to be the grandparents. Now there are many blessings in that and of course there are some problems that exist in caring for grandchildren, but all of us out of the love of our heart and the desire to see our grandchildren do what is right and to provide them with proper home care, we open up our arms of love and affection and accept them into our home and do what we can because we love our children as well as our grandchildren.

This is not a problem that is only unique to our part of the world. For 20 years, my wife and I were blessed to be able to work in Kenya, East Africa, as well as in Southern Africa in the countries of Botswana and also Zambia. We came back in 2003. During those years, we saw in Africa an increase in the death of parents. Now I'm not just talking about one parent, but both parents due to the dread disease that we refer to as AIDS. Because of immorality among the people, the parents would pass away and so millions upon millions of children are left without a home and so consequently most of them are given to the grandparents and the grandparents are now responsible for the raising of those grandchildren. Now that is the best place, I believe, where they need to go to be raised, but isn't it sad indeed that in our society today and not only in our own society but around the world, this is an ever occurring need that takes place.

Now we have a responsibility in the role that we play as grandparents. There's not much said in the New Testament concerning this other than principles that we can take from a father and from a mother's relationship to the children, but as that relationship should be toward the children from a parent so should be our relationship as we seek to do what we can to bring our grandchildren to the place that they need to be in their relationship with God.

Well, what is our responsibility? I would say that first of all, we need to be willing to teach our grandchildren. It's not just a matter of bringing them to our home and boiling some hotdogs when they need something to eat or something like that, fixing them something to eat when they're hungry or giving them something to drink when they are thirsty. It is a much more serious responsibility than that. We need to be teaching them while we have the opportunity.

Now we see a New Testament example of that in 2 Timothy chapter 1 verse 5 where the apostle Paul said to Timothy, the young preacher, concerning his grandmother and his mother. In fact, he even mentions the grandmother first when he said in verse 5 of 2 Timothy 1, "When I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you which dwelt first in your grandmother, Lois, and your mother, Eunice, and I am persuaded it is in you also." Now I presume, in fact I more than presume, I suggest to you that what the scripture is saying here is that the grandmother had a great role to play in the training of the spiritual character of this grandchild who later on became a great gospel preacher and that person we are referring to is of course Timothy.

I believe that we can turn to another epistle that is found in the New Testament in the book of Titus and we can look at Titus chapter 2 beginning with verse 3. Well let's just look at verse 2, also, because it has to do with the older men and what they're supposed to do toward the younger men. "The older men should be sober, reverent, temperant, sound in faith and love in patience, and the older women likewise that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things that they may admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discrete, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands that the Word of God be not blasphemed."

Now certainly all those characteristics of the older men as well as the older women should be characteristics that we take on as grandparents as we seek to lead our grandchildren in a proper way. I want to say this morning that I want to see my grandchildren in Heaven. First of all, I want to be there, but I want my grandchildren to be there along with my children. In order for them to be there, friends, fellow grandparents, we must teach them what God's Will is for them. We must teach them what they need to do to obey the gospel. They must believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God just like us if they are going to go to Heaven. They, at an accountable age, must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. They, at an accountable age, must repent of their sins so that they can have remission of those sins through baptism into Christ (Romans chapter 6 verse 3-4). These things need to be taught to our grandchildren. If we truly love those children as we say we do, why would we want to withhold those simple truths from their precious minds? In fact, even while they are yet not accountable we should be teaching them these great and wonderful principles that are in God's Word that will lead them to an obedience to Christ as well as live a good, moral life before mankind. Isn't that our responsibility?

I would like to make some general suggestions. Sometimes when I am teaching a class at the Bible Institute of Missouri, I go through all the formal things and then I get down to what is called maybe a personal part of the lesson, that is general suggestions. Let me make just a few general suggestions to you grandparents. I would like to suggest to you that you learn to discipline your grandchildren. Now I know you've got a lot of stories to tell about those two year olds, the terrible two's that come into your house and tear your house up. Well, haven't we all had that experience? Well, they need to be disciplined. Now very well their parents may have disciplined them and taught them how they should behave when they come to your home, but now, boy, they are at the grandparent's house so they can do anything they want to do and get away with almost anything. Well, you need to show them that that just is not the case. It may be you... In fact, they may not get that teaching at home. It may be you, grandparent, who teaches them the proper respect for authority. Indeed, you need to do just that. For who will they believe after they believe their parents? It will probably be their grandparents. In fact, they may trust your vision or your analysis of the situation more than they will their parents. And so yes, you have a great role to play, so learn how important it is for you to teach your grandchildren what is right and wrong. I don't care what the sociology books say or the liberals say. It doesn't matter to me. Our young people, our grandchildren need to be taught what is right and what is wrong according to God's standard. After all, that's the reason this program is on the air.

Let me suggest to you also that you give them security. They need security. Many of our grandchildren come from broken homes. You know that. The father maybe has left the mother. The mother may have left the father and there they are with a one parent in the house all the time and the other is not there. Boy, they're going to have some struggles in life and we know that. Let me suggest to you that you give them that security that they need because in deed they may be coming from a troubled home.

Also, learn to demonstrate great love to them. Some of you hard-hearted grandfathers if anything can soften your heart, it's that little granddaughter or little grandson. Say those words that they need to hear, "I love you." Tell them that you love them and show them that you love them, not just by giving them things, but give them the most important gift and that is the gift of knowing that you truly and sincerely love them and set a good example. Don't smoke in front of your grandchildren. Don't drink. In fact, don't do these things ever. Don't tell filthy jokes and use filthy language. If you do it, they're going to be saying, "Well, Granddaddy does it." No, don't teach them those ways, but teach them the ways of the high roads of life. In other words, teach them to take the best course in life that you very well know what it is. Live a proper life before them and present a proper example. Put the fruits of the spirit in your actions before them: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness and kindness and mercy. Show those things to them so they can truly know in later years. If they don't learn it from any other source, they can learn from their grandmother and their grandfather how they are supposed to act in this life because that is the way that if they act that way, they will enjoy greater peace and love and harmony among all.

In closing our thoughts this morning, I would like to go back to a book that I love very much. It is back in the Old Testament. I think it teaches some of the greatest lessons of life and those are the lessons that Solomon taught to his son. He said in Ecclesiastes 12:1, "Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth before the evil days come and the years draw near when you shall say, 'I have no pleasure in them,'" and then he closed with this to his son, this all important statement where he said, "Let's hear the conclusion of the whole matter." Solomon had tried everything in life and found that it was all vanity. He said, "Here is the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear God and keep His commandments for this is man's whole or man's all for God will bring every work into judgement including every secret thing whether good or evil."

I challenge you grandparents to be the grandparents that God wants as you strive to lead your grandchildren to that perfect way of life in Jesus Christ our Lord.

(SONG # 3 - "This Is My Father's World!")


Thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in giving this time to God. I hope our time together has been an encouragement and blessing to all of us. We invite you back every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God!

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May our young people realize the importance of living Godly in this world. So that they might be respectful and obedient to their parents and thus be found blessed and acceptable before God!

(Program closing)