Today’s message touches on the topics of family and parenting. But even if you are not a parent, this message can still speak to you.
A High Calling
Pastor David shared that when he held his first daughter for the first time, he realized he would never go another day without worrying about her physical, emotional and spiritual well-being. When God grants the gift of a child into your life, he is also granting the responsibility of parenting—of leading the child in the way s/he should go.
“Hear, O 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. And 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 your 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 hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” Deut 6:4-9
This is our responsibility toward the little ones in our lives, be it sons and daughters, grandchildren, neighbors, nieces, nephews, or friends. Let us continually remind them of the greatness of the God we serve, and that Jesus is the Christ who gives us hope for eternity and meaning to our lives.
Parenting by Example
There is no scientific formula that will ensure our children grow to be responsible, joyful, serving and faithful Christ-followers. We can teach our kids how to behave, but there must be a reason behind their good behavior. Empty good deeds are not the goal of parenting; rather, we should encourage the formation of Christ within them.
Pastor Darren shared an analogy of learning to drive. Imagine that his thirteen-year-old daughter said to him, “Dad, I’ve been watching you drive for thirteen years now, so I think I’ve got it. Hand over the keys.” We would laugh at such a ridiculous request, and yet many people parent with this same philosophy. Having watched their parents or friends raise children, they think they have enough information to do it on their own. But the Bible is the absolute standard of truth from which we should learn. Parenting is difficult, and we all need the help of God and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26
When it comes to a child’s learning, more is caught than taught. Your kids are going to do what they see. Therefore, in order for us to be the spiritual guides for our children, Christ must be formed in us. We must allow Him to change and mold us to be as He calls us to be so that we may lead our children to Him. It’s time to focus on a “Happy New You!”
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
Who’s Your Daddy?
We were created in God’s image, to be a reflection of Him. Our desire is to be like God intended us to be and for those around us to be as God designed us to be. But Jesus tells us in John 8:42-44 that we are either children of God, doing His will, or children of the devil. So, to which family do you belong?
Are you a reflection of God’s image? Are you in this process of transformation, growing by grace, and abiding in Him? Genesis 1:26-27, 2 Corinthians 3:18, Philippians 3:20-21, Romans 8:28-29, Romans 12:1-2
Are you a reflection of the devil’s image?
No matter where you stand, you have an opportunity TODAY to recalibrate your course. Let go of your frustrations about not being good enough or not doing enough to please the Lord. He simply loves you and wants to be with you. Give in to His plan for your life by taking three new focus points:
1. Be with Jesus.
Don’t spend time memorizing Scripture, reading your Bible, and praying just because you need to check it off your list, but because you love God and want to be with Him. Learn to sit a Jesus’ feet as Mary does in Luke 42. Having spend time in Jesus’ presence has a profound impact on who we are.
Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus. Acts 4:13
2. Be in community.
So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:46-47
Experience a richer deeper community one with another. Join a small group. Be involved in ministry. Build relationships.
3. Be filled with the Spirit.
Abide with God and let His Spirit fill you and influence you. Good things will take shape!
And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. Acts 4:31