Program Air Date - 5-12-02



Good morning! Thank you for joining us today for God's Living Word. I hope everyone had a great week. And I hope you are ready to begin this new week with a day of service and offering to your God.

As always, it is our commitment through this program to proclaim the simple truth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ - which is confirmed for us in the Bible. I hope you all have your Bible's handy and I hope you are ready to worship God together as we sing praises to His name and study from His wondrous word. Now let's begin by talking to our Father in prayer!

Today we will begin to use our new songs from our taping done about a month ago. Our first song this morning reminds us that we have the greatest friend on earth - in Jesus Christ our Lord. How wonderful it is to know that our Savior is always there for us, no matter what we may need. So, at this time won't you join in with the congregation as we together sing, "There's Not a Friend Like the Lowly Jesus."
(SONG # 1)


One of the most precious things we all share in common is that we all have mothers! That's why today, Mother's Day, is so important. I heard a comedian one time who reminded me of how special mothers are. He talked about how a father brings his son up to play sports, but then when the child got famous and the television camera's were on him, he doesn't say hi dad, he says hi mom! Why? Because mom's are very special.

Think about it for a moment? A mother, carries you inside of her for nine months, she then endures great pain to deliver you. Then who is there through all your formative years and throughout all your life - good, trustworthy and dependable mom. Only mothers could love us despite who we are, what we look like or what we do. That's why moms are so special to us, because we are the most precious part of them - made into a special unique human. How can anyone claim there is no God, when we consider the beauty and wonder of a new life coming from a loving mother.

In Proverbs 31:10, Solomon talked about the value of a wife and mother. There he said, "...for her worth is far above rubies." Later in verses 21 & 22, we continue to see this love and care of a good mother, there it says, "she is not afraid of snow for her household, for all her household is clothed with scarlet. She makes tapestry for herself; her clothing is fine linen and purple." Finally, in verses 27 & 28, Solomon says, "she watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:" How blessed we are to have a mother. What a wonderful gift from God, mothers are. Have you thanked your God for your mother today? If not, why not? Have you talked to your mother today and told her how much you love and appreciate her. Again, if not, why not? Sometimes we allow the trivial things of this life to keep us from our families. Is there really anything or anyone in this physical life worth more than our mother? Don't allow anything today, whether it be pride or anger, get in the way of telling your mother how much you love her and what she means to you.

This morning we have a guest speaker with us who is the new minister for the Bolivar Church of Christ, in Bolivar, Missouri. We are happy to have brother Kevin Patterson with us today as we continue our series of study which is helping us to know more about "The Christian Home." Our specific topic of study today will deal with "Godly Children." So, please continue with us this morning, and after our next song together brother Patterson will return with this study from God's Word. The name of our next hymn, "Savior From Old Galilee!"
(SONG # 2)


Speaker: Kevin Patterson

Good morning, and thank you for staying with us. This morning, we are going to continue our study of the Christian family by specifically focusing on godly children. Now I will be the first to admit to you that I feel a little uneasy talking to you about godly children. But whether you are a perfect parent or not so perfect, whether you have perfect children or not so perfect children, God's Word gives us in great detail and a great abundance of information about how we can raise our children in the ways that are right. Although there are exceptions to this rule, I am sure, I believe that the Bible teaches us that godly children come from godly homes.

There's a story of a woman who went in to her preacher and she asked the preacher, "at what point in time should I start teaching my son about the Bible?" The preacher asked, "Well, how old is your son?" The woman said, "He's 5 years old." He said, "Lady, you're 5 years too late."

Teaching our children how to be godly in their thoughts and in their actions begins in the home.

In Joshua chapter 24 and verse 15, the great man Joshua laid out this proclamation, this challenge, to the people of Israel. He said, "And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for this day whom you will serve, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

That is the same proclamation that I believe God expects of us today, that we are going to place God at the center of our homes and the very center of our lives.

Timothy was a godly child just as his mother and his grandmother had raised him to be. Paul wrote Timothy in 2 Timothy chapter 1 and verse 5, "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 is in you also." How did Timothy come about this great faith? Well, it began with his grandmother who passed it down to his mother who passed it down to him.

That's an important relationship that we need to see whether it be between grandmothers and daughters or grandmothers and daughter-in-laws as it passes down through the generations. We want to emphasize the continuing teaching of God's Word to our children.

Paul later told Timothy in 2 Timothy 3 verses 14 and 15, "But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of knowing from whom you have learned them and that from childhood you have known the Holy scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus."

I want us to examine 4 aspects of what children ought to be taught in the home in order to be godly children.

First and foremost, godly children are to be taught God. Now that may be very simple. But I am talking about something more than just words. I'm talking about teaching our children through our very actions, through our example, through our influence, how to become godly people and live godly lives. I would say to you that I have two very good parents who are still alive and well today. They gave me an excellent example as to how to live. I remember when I was a young boy. Before I would go to bed each and every night, my mother would lie down in bed with me with a Bible story book and tell me stories from God's Word. I remember also sitting at the dinner table and my father, who also is a preacher, quizzing me on Biblical facts. Name the twelve sons of Jacob. Name the fifteen judges. Give me in order the ten plagues of Egypt. I remember also how we would go on vacation and even on vacation where we might have been taking a vacation from the cares of the world, we never took a vacation from God. My mother and father had very distinct roles in their relationship and I can remember as a child living in Tennessee and we would go to vacation in Northwest Arkansas right around the Bull Shoals area and Lake Norfork. We would show up at a cabin on a Saturday afternoon and I can remember my dad's job was to unload the vehicle. So he would take the suitcases and take them into the cabin and distribute the luggage wherever they needed to go. My mother on the other hand would immediately go inside, pick up the local phone book, find out an area, the local place where Christians would be assembling together on the Lord's day to worship God. She would make a call and find out what time the Bible classes were, the worship services, other times that they might have to study throughout the week and then we would make it a priority even on our vacation to spend time with other Christians as they dedicated their lives and service to God and worshipped Him in spirit and truth.

Deuteronomy chapter 6, verses 4 through 9 gives us a good idea of the emphasis that parents need to place upon children to be godly. It reads, "Hear oh Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your strength. These words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children and shall talk of them when you sit in the house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hands and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. The idea here is that we need to surround our children with anything and everything that can allow them to focus on God and His will for them."

Proverbs 1, verses 7 through 9 reads, "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction. My son, hear the instruction of your father and do not forsake the law of your mother, for they will be a graceful ornament on your head and chains about your neck."

The principle behind all of this is something that we read in Proverbs chapter 22 and verse 6. Perhaps it's a passage of scripture you know very well. The idea is that we are to train up our children in the ways that are right, not the way that the world teaches us is right, but the way that God teaches us is right. "Train up your child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it."

Something else that we need to teach our children in order for them to be godly is the concept of love. Perhaps the most well-known and perhaps one of the very best passages of scripture in all of the Bible is 1 Corinthians chapter 11 concerning the topic of love. Some people have even nicknamed this chapter the love chapter. But the idea that it teaches is not an earth-based love or a worldly love or the love that our culture and our society might teach one to have, but rather it teaches us that we need to have a godly love, the type of love that is perfect and comes from heaven above. This same lesson is what we need to convey to our children. We need to teach them that love suffers long and is kind. Love does not envy. Love does not parade itself, is not puffed up, does not behave rudely, does not seek its' own, is not provoked, thinks no evil, does not rejoice in iniquity but rejoices in the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13 and verse 8 begins this thought by teaching us that love never fails. Now it is easy to teach our children how to love with our mouths, but at the same time we've got to teach them how to love with our actions.

1 John chapter 3 and verse 18 teaches us, "My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth." If we are going to truly expect our children to be godly, to have godly values and to live godly lives, then we are going to have to show them with our very lives how to live.

Romans chapter 5 and verse 8 shows us God's love. It demonstrates it as it reads, "But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."

Godly children are also to be taught obedience. Ephesians chapter 6 verses 1 through 3 teaches us, "Children obey your parents in the Lord for this is right. Honor your father and mother which is the first commandment with promise that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth."

Some parents today are attempting to be more friends with their children than parents. And although I want to be friends with my children and although I want to be friendly with them, I also have to remember that my job first and foremost concerning my children is to be their father, is to be a parent to them. One of the things that I must teach them is how to obey so that they cannot only obey their parents which is pleasing in the eyes of God, but so that they can also obey the authorities around them and obey God in heaven above.

Finally, godly children are to be taught discipline. Now discipline is a bad word in our society in some contexts. But it should not be because discipline as God taught us was a good thing. Discipline is something that should be cherished and should be understood is given through a loving heart.

Proverbs chapter 19 and verse 18 teaches us to "chasten or discipline your son while there is hope and do not set your heart on his destruction."

The idea of discipline is further conveyed to us in Hebrews chapter 12, verses 5 through 11 where the Hebrews writer says, "And you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons. My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord nor faint when you are reproved by Him, for those whom the Lord loves, He disciplines, and He scourges every son whom He receives. It is for discipline that you endure. God deals with you as sons, for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline of which all have partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. But furthermore, we had earthly fathers to discipline us and we respected them. Shall we not much rather be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they discipline us for a short time as seen best to them. But He disciplines us for our good so that we may share His holiness."

Now pay very special attention to verse 11. It reads, "All discipline for the moment seems not to be joyful, but sorrowful. Yet to those who have been trained by it, afterwards, it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness."

I remember many times as I was growing up that I was disciplined and discipline can come in a number of different ways and I am sure I was disciplined in all of them. It was not enjoyable at the time, but now as an adult, I can look back and I can realize and see the love that my parents had for me and the desire for me to learn what is right and to learn to say "no" to what is wrong.

I remember watching an early episode of "The Little Rascals." Perhaps you might remember the "Our Gang" series. I remember a little boy who was being punished by his father and the little boy after the father looked at the little boy and said to him, he said, "Son, now I want you to know that this is going to hurt me more than it's going to hurt you." The little boy looked up at his dad and said, "Yeah Dad, but not in the same place." The idea is similar. We may hurt for a time. We may not enjoy the punishment that we receive when we do wrong but understand that it is for our good and in the same way, we have to convey that to our children. We know that punishment is not enjoyable. We know that discipline is not something that they look at fondly at the time, but one day as they grow up they will look at you and thank you.

Godly children, we must remember, are going to become godly parents. And it was once said to me that it is not our job to raise children. It is our job to raise child raisers. And I think that's the idea.

As we close I want to tell you about my little girl. Her name is Mary and she is 3 years old. I would challenge you that if you happen to see her or her mother or me in a public place, go up to my little girl and ask her, say, "Mary, what are you going to be when you grow up?" Mary is going to tell you, "When I grow up, I'm going to be a godly woman."
-(SONG # 3 - "A Wonderful Savior!")


What a wondrous time we have had together in participating in the things of God. I hope we all have been encouraged through our time spent together. Please remember, you are invited to join us every Sunday morning at 7:30, as we commit ourselves to this service of God.

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As we all are children, may we realize that God expects us to be good sons and daughters. Furthermore, let's all honor our parents and live more every day as God commands us to.
(Program closing)