Saturday, 1 March 2014

Intentionally focused - on children

When I read about bringing children up biblically now, I mostly feel overwhelmed with guilt; the shouldhaves/oughtas/ifonlyI'dknown thoughts... even though my children have turned out to be wonderful, godly young people who live sold-out lives for Jesus.

But Moses said: This is the commandment, the rules and regulations, that God, your God, commanded me to teach you to live out in the land you’re about to cross into to possess. This is so that you’ll live in deep reverence before God lifelong, observing all his rules and regulations that I’m commanding you, you and your children and your grandchildren, living good long lives.

Listen obediently, Israel. Do what you’re told so that you’ll have a good life, a life of abundance and bounty, just as God promised, in a land abounding in milk and honey.

Attention, Israel!

God, our God! God the one and only!

Love God, your God, with your whole heart: love him with all that’s in you, love him with all you’ve got!

Write these commandments that I’ve given you today on your hearts. Get them inside of you and then get them inside your children. Talk about them wherever you are, sitting at home or walking in the street; talk about them from the time you get up in the morning to when you fall into bed at night. Tie them on your hands and foreheads as a reminder;

So we did. And so I try to do, with the children I teach and meet. We can be - and have - spiritual parents, learning from those who have gone before and passing on God's wisdom to those who come after:

Stories we heard from our fathers,
counsel we learned at our mother’s knee.
We’re not keeping this to ourselves,
we’re passing it along to the next generation—
God’s fame and fortune,
the marvelous things he has done...
Then commanded our parents
to teach it to their children
So the next generation would know,
and all the generations to come—
Know the truth and tell the stories
so their children can trust in God...

For children are God's best gift. (Psalm 127:3) Children teach us that "Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when (we) receive the childlike on (Jesus's) account, it’s the same as receiving (him).

“But if (we) give them a hard time, bullying or taking advantage of their simple trust, (we'll) soon wish (we) hadn’t. (We'd) be better off dropped in the middle of the lake with a millstone around (our) neck. Doom to the world for giving these God-believing children a hard time! Hard times are inevitable, but (we) don’t have to make it worse—and it’s doomsday to (us) if (we) do.

We are to be like children: simply trusting God.

Now, as Lent approaches, I am encouraging our children to take part in 40Acts. To grow in generosity, with me, together.

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