Saturday, July 13, 2013

Jesus loves the little Children!

Just a short 27 verses into the book of Genesis we learn that God not only made man.  More specifically Moses is careful to tell us that God made man “in His image”.  That caring act of creation set man apart from all of the rest of God’s creation.

In Psalm 139 we learn that God has continued His loving act of creating man by uniquely creating each individual person.

Psalm 139:13-14 - For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

We were formed by God’s own hand.  Knit together.  And the Psalmist says that our having been created by God in such a way that we were created to praise Him.  He says, I praise you BECAUSE I am wonderfully made.

Made in God’s image, we were created to praise God.  That is man’s chief purpose.  God created us so that we would freely praise His Name!  Yet, the Bible tells us in Genesis 3 that man has a dire problem.

Romans 3:23 says that we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.  In other words, because we have all sinned, we have all failed to meet God’s standard of perfection.  And we are not just a little below the mark; we are woefully short of giving God the glory He deserves.

Our job as Christian parents is to teach our children what they were created for.  They need to understand that they were created to worship God. But our job is not a simple one.  We compete with their attention against TVs, iPods, video games, and a culture that increasingly pushes them to grow up quickly and grow up focused only on themselves.

Every human being was created to worship, and every human being worships something.  Our job is to point our children towards the only One who is worthy of our worship; urging them to trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The question then becomes one of how?  How do I lead them towards Christ?  How do I show them their need for and the value of a life lived for the glory of God?

Well, the key is to teach them God’s Word.  Use the principles from God’s Word to train them.  For example, the 10 Commandments.

It is so important that you teach your children the 10 Commandments.  God’s Law, the 10 commandments, is there for a myriad of purposes.  Chiefly, it shows that which God requires in order to be properly worshipped.

However, as we examine our hearts in light of each commandment we quickly realize that we have not perfectly met any of God’s requirements.  But in doing this the Law shows us WHO we are.

We are a people prone to give room in our hearts to other masters besides Christ.  But the Bible says in Luke 16:13 that our hearts can only have one master. 

The second thing God’s Law does is show us WHAT we need.  The Law commands us to do good, and then proves that we cannot and have not.  To do what the Law requires we need righteousness.  A righteousness that we obviously do not possess given our frequent transgression of it.

Next, the Law reveals WHO God is.  He is our Lord and our Savior!  His giving of the Law was intended to point us towards our need for CHRIST because HE and HE alone is the perfect fulfillment of all of those Laws that we could not keep.

Being perfectly righteous Jesus kept every Law perfectly on our behalf!  As we teach our children God’s Law they should see that they need Christ!  That God sent Christ to lovingly rescue them from their sin!

As we teach our children the 10 Commandments God will show them that their every violation of it or any one that they will ever commit has been absorbed by Christ on the cross!

The world tells our children that people should accept them just as they are, but the reality is that the world creates systems that force them to earn any acceptance that they may want. 

But teaching our children God’s Word teaches them that God will truly accept them just as they are.  Not because they are good, not expecting them to be perfect. 

No, the Bible teaches that God will accept them because He is satisfied by His Son’s sacrifice that was made on their behalf.

Not only that, but God’s Word teaches that God will put His very Spirit within them and that Spirit will begin to work in them so that sin’s reign in their life is broken as He begins to transform their lives! 

He transforms them and frees them from the burden of their guilt and sin and it frees them to be the worshipper that God has created them to be!

Remember our text in Psalm 139, I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made!  We have to teach them the beauty in having been created by a good and holy God.

But it will not do to simply teach these things to them.  That is the quickest way to produce self-righteousness in them.  We must not only teach them God’s Word, we must also model it for them.

Our kids have to see that we too love Christ and His law.  They need to see in us a wholehearted response to God and His Word to us.   Our lives must not only demonstrate the pursuit of obedience to God but they must also demonstrate the response we should have to disobedience.  Our children need to see us striving to obey Christ, and when we sin and fall short they need to see us repent. 

When your children observe your sin.  Maybe you blow your top and scream at them.  Maybe you speak harshly to your spouse in front of them.  Maybe you get cut off in traffic and they witness you saying terrible things about the person who has offended you. 

When those things inevitably come up, be transparent with them about what you’ve done, why you know it was sinful, and why you need to repent of that sin.  Make it your goal to not only tell them about the importance of trusting Christ but show them how that looks in your own life.

Psalm 1:1-2 - Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither.

When you pass one day, and your children inherit your possessions… what will you pass on to them that is of lasting value?  What will they remember about you?  The greatest legacy you can leave your children is one that teaches them to flee from their sin and trust in the sufficient grace of Jesus Christ.  They need to see and know that your delight is in the Lord alone!

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