THE LIVING WORD TRANSCRIPT
Program Air Date - 12-23-07
LESSON TITLE: "THE HOME AS GOD INTENDS: GODLY CHILDREN"
I hope you all are having a great holiday season and that you are looking forward to this upcoming New Year! So, let me again say, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you and yours!
Well, I hope Santa will be good to everyone in a few days and I hope you continue to enjoy all the festivities and excitement of this time of year. Let me as well thank you for choosing to join us this morning in giving this time to God - our most wonderful creator. You have certainly made the right choice to put Him first!
As we begin our worship before Him this day, let me encourage you to bow with me in prayer at this time.
Our first song of the morning rejoices in the fact that our Lord has prepared all things for the faithful. So won't you join in with the congregation at this time as we sing together, "All Things Are Ready!"
(SONG # 1)
Can you believe that we are only two days away from Christmas? I'm sure your kids, if they're like mine, are anxiously awaiting this exciting day and the fun they will have with family and friends. Also, how neat it will be to exchange gift and to see the glow of joy on the faces of all who receive presents. I do love this time of the year, and even more so as a parent, because we all loving spoiling our kids just a little.
The other day as I drove along I saw a big banner on someone's fence. I also see this idea proclaimed around town on many signs and in many papers. No doubt we have all heard it before, but is it really correct and does it truly represent the focus which a true Christian should have during this time of the year. This statement we have all heard is, "Jesus is the reason for the season!" This morning I would like to examine this idea for a moment and see if there might be some better ways to clarify our Love for God.
May I first state that this Holiday called Christmas has been celebrated for hundreds of years from both a religious and secular standpoint. And as this is a holiday instituted by man, we still find that from it's conception until today - the majority of scholars still can not agree on when our Lord Jesus Christ was actually born. However, I might state that one thing they all tend to agree on is the fact that it could not have and did not take place in the month of December.
Further things we might want to consider about Christmas is where is this holiday mentioned, referred to or sanctioned in God's Holy Word? What a red flag this should be when we see that God Himself did not command or ordain this holiday in a religious sense. So the question might be could God be happy with this holiday if we celebrate it in a religious and factual way, as if Jesus were born on December 25? When you ask a lot of children today, "When was Jesus born," what response will you get? Most will say on Christmas, but is this really true? Are we teaching our children and the world about the true Christ and the importance of His being born or are we deceiving them in to thinking that we believe He was born on December 25!
I might further ask you what was God's response to those in the Bible who chose to reject His Will? What about those who chose to do it their own way? Still yet, there are many who did things they though were good that God would accept because of their proper outcome - yet God rejected them and their deeds unless they were done according to His Will. Are we to add to the Word of God? Are we to take away from His precious precepts?
Now, how might we rephrase the idea of the season to make it more in tune with what God wants? How about, "My God is the reason for everyday, every moment and every aspect of my life." "He is why we have the very breath in our bodies, as well as the physical ability to do the things we do. In fact, our God must be our everything, the all-important object of our lives and thus He should ever be before us. And not only every day, but every moment and every second of our lives should be about Him. How often do you demonstrate your love for God? Once a year, or with the whole of your life?
Today we will be continuing our series entitled, "The Home As God Intends!" Our next lesson concerning this topic is: "Godly Children." So please stay with us this morning and after our next song together, I will return and lead us in our main thoughts of the day. But for now let's join together in our second song of the morning. The name of this hymn, "All To Jesus I Surrender."
(SONG # 2)
By Ray Sullins
Thank you for staying with us today as we now go and look to the Bible to find out more about what God intends in relationship to the home. We have looked so far at all of the adults and really looked at parents and grandparents and I believe learned a lot together from the Bible in relationship to what these individuals must do before God.
But now today, we want to look at godly children. When we think about children, there are some things that stand out with young people as well as we might say teenagers. I jotted a few of those down. As we think about kids, we might think of those who tend to know all things, at least they think. Often (they) are spoiled. Those who often think Mom and Dad are strange or weird or even nerdy, they might think. In fact, when we look at our children, the sad reality is that we often see ourselves because the fact is that none of us are too old to remember what it was like and what we thought about our parents and about what we felt when we were their age. And so we know that it is difficult for children, young people to be godly, as they must be. But really when we look at the Bible, we learn a lot about what it is that God expects even of young people.
So let's begin there by starting in the book of Psalms looking together at Psalms 1:39 specifically looking at verse 13 as we find the great importance, the wonder, the beauty of children. It says, "For you formed my inward parts. You covered me in my mother's womb and I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are your works and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in secret and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, yet being yet unformed, and in your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me when as yet there were none of them."
What does this tell us? God blesses us with children. He blesses us to become children. He blesses us to grow up and He blesses us to have children. And who places us there in the mother's womb? Who brings us about? Who cares for us during those days as we develop until we are delivered? God Almighty. Therefore, who makes us? God. And we are fearfully and wonderfully made, the verse says. And so if we are made by God, that all things that we are are because of God, then I believe we will start seeing some incentive as we read here to be godly children, godly young people, individuals who realize that as God hath made me, I have a requirement. I have some things to accomplish in order that I might be found pleasing in His sight. He did not waste all that time for nothing. He took a lot of time making me special that I might in turn make the most of my life, even starting from a very young age.
Now understanding that then, we also know that God made us all in His likeness or image (Genesis chapter 2 verse 26). Therefore, knowing that we are spiritual like God and that we must strive in our physical lives to even imitate the characteristics and the patterns left by Jesus Christ often represented to us as like "The Fruit of the Spirit" in the New Testament. Then we know there is a challenge, a lot that we need to do, a lot to work on because none of us are perfect and none of these things are really easy to accomplish for on every side there are those that would turn us away. On every side, our young people are faced with peer pressure, those who are disrespectful to their parents, those who talk back to their parents, those who don't obey, those who do not receive discipline from their parents. On the other hand, we also see that they are faced with the evils of the world, the language and the things that their friends are doing and watching, and the things that they are saying and listening to or the things that they are reading. On and on we could go. Because our children are brought up by us but yet are in the world every day as we are, but yet not mature or able sometimes to handle these things very well. It is very easy for them to forget God or to forget to put God first.
So what must we do? Well as parents, as we have learned, train them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Help them to know God, respect Him and obey Him.
But what must a young person do? Try their best! Even though they make mistakes, even they fall at times, do all they can to strive to be godly, to be righteous before our Creator.
Let's go to the New Testament then and look at several verses that help us to see what it is that God intends for the home and a part of that home certainly, as we are beginning to see, is children.
First of all then in Galatians chapter 6, rather Ephesians chapter 6, we find Paul here, to the church at Ephesus, speaks first of all about the responsibility of men and women, husbands and wives to one another, that relationship, the marriage relationship. Then he goes into chapter 6, again the book of Ephesians, and tells us that children now have responsibilities. What's the first mentioned in verse 1? "Children, obey your parents." Now we know what obedience is. We know that this is an easy thing to understand. It's not difficult at all. Obedience. That means when they tell us something or when they ask us something, we do it. There is a further part to this same point. "Obey your parents in the Lord for this is right." The concepts usually of "in the Lord" or "in the name of Christ" or "in Jesus Christ" are generally by that authority, according to what God has said. God has made parents obviously first. They are in control. They have children and therefore children, according to the Will of God, according to the Lord or by the authority of the Lord, are to do what? Obey their parents. Now does that mean it is easy? No. Does that mean that sometimes they don't talk back? Certainly not. Does that mean that they should? No, they shouldn't, but the fact is they must strive to overcome these temptations. They must strive to overcome what hopefully as adults we have grown out of, in striving to again be those obedient children. "By the authority of God," "In the name of the Lord," striving to obey what our parents say.
Now obviously this would be in tune with what God wants, but also in conjunction with what He commands. You might say, "What if my parents want me to do things that God does not command?" Well, that's a whole other story. When we start asking our children to do things that are against the Will of God, certainly our children need to put God first. But as long as our parents or as long as our parents are doing their best to do what is right... It doesn't necessarily even mean they are Christians, but at least do what is best for us and to guide us in ways that are at least proper or respectful and right, then we need to obey and listen. Now you need to put God first, but we need to respect and obey.
Now if we don't learn that obedience and respect in the home, where are we going to learn it? We're not going to learn it at school. We're not going to learn it at church. We're not going to learn in out in the world when we get our first job and we lose it so quickly because we don't how to obey. We don't know how to listen. We don't know how to respect. We don't know how to listen when others ask us or tell us things.
So therefore, what do we need to begin to do now? Learn to obey. Children, young people, let me encourage you to obey your parents. Why? For God commands it and it will make you a better person.
This is also confirmed for us in Colossians 3 and verse 20. The idea is also added though in Colossians 3 that, "You are to obey your parents in all things." Not some things, in all things. Again, we talked about that briefly, but we certainly would know that would not be against the Will of God for as long as you can obey your parents and what they are asking is not contrary to the Will of God, you must obey in all things.
The second thing we want to bring out there back in our main text again is found in verse 2 when it says, "Honor your father and mother." Here is the first commandment it says of children, for children that they obey and honor. Well there again is that concept of respect, not only listening when they tell us to do things, but acting in a way that we have been trained or requested to act in, doing things that we know we have been asked to do. What about even chores and such? Do we honor our parents? Do we respect them? Do we treat them as we would want to be treated? Do we show that we love them and we appreciate all that they have done and are doing, and let me tell you as you grow up, will always do as a parent because you love your children. So again, we find that idea here, "Honor your father and mother."
You might say, "Well, what's in it for me?" I know a lot of young people are like that. I've heard my children express similar ideas. Well, what's in it for you, let me tell you, is that you're obedient to God. If you obey your parents in the Lord for it is right in all things and you honor them, it says and this is the first commandment with promise. It says that there is something you will receive for your faithfulness and your obedience and your honor, and it says that you might live long on the earth and that things might be well with you, bless you with long life, with care, with guidance, protection. God is going to see that you have a blessing of extra things in this life so that you might show forth in all things that you are continuing to be able to handle the Will of God. Doesn't that just make sense? As a Christian when I do what God says, why would He not want to bless me more, because I have shown myself faithful and worthy and a good steward and therefore if He gives me more ability, if He gives me more talent, if He gives me more blessings even physical, what will I do? I will always use them to His glory. Well, that's what it is saying here. Children that have proven themselves by obedience, by honoring will again be blessed, be blessed by God Almighty and it is a commandment that receives a direct value, a direct outcome, a direct reward, if you will. And so again, yet another great incentive for our young people to obey, to listen, and to do what their parents ask of them.
We might also then think of a few other things briefly from the Old Testament. In Proverbs chapter 15, we find there that young people must understand that their parents, that their grandparents, others that we have talked about, although it is hard to believe, have lived life, have faced almost all of the same things that you have and let me tell you, as Solomon said there, "There is nothing new under the sun." It might be a little bit different twist, a little bit different name here and there, but things are basically the same. As parents, when we tell you things, we tell you because we love you and we don't want you to face or to make the same mistakes that generally we made. And so before you might say, "Oh, they don't know what they are talking about," or "Who are they?" or "How could they know?" Well remember, we had to be children once. We were once teenagers. We once got in trouble. We once were required to obey and honor our parents. If we did it, we were also blessed. And so that's the challenge that our children should receive, the encouragement, the encouragement to know that children of all times from the very beginning, like Cain and Abel, have made decisions: Cain to be unrighteous, to do wrong; Abel to be righteous, to be godly, yet he was killed by his brother. Later, Seth comes along, a third child of Adam and Eve, who also was righteous.
What will our choice be? Will we be obedient? Will we honor? Because when we learn to honor and to respect and obey and act as we should at home, the point is that when we get out in the world, we learn and know how to do the same. But ultimately, if we don't learn it at home and we can't do it in the world, how can I ever obey and honor God? Well, if I can't obey my parents, why would I read the Bible then and believe in and honor and obey my God?
I encourage you as young people to do what God has said for you have the promise of eternal life. Your mansion has been made ready by God Himself.
(SONG # 3 - "Angry Words!")
Let me thank you again for choosing to be with us today, in this offering 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 worship to God!
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Do we realize the affect we can have on other as relatives and friends? Let's make sure that our examples are always according to God's Will so that we can help all to know Him better!