Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the Lord…(Psalm 102:18)
Do whatever you can to help your children love Jesus, and be obedient to God. Protect them, father them well and strong and teach them to delight in a God who is majestic, glorious and grand.
Know that you are depraved. It keeps you humble. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9) Our children are depraved too.
Think about suffering, and know how to truthfully answer the question “why do bad things happen to good people?” When you, or your family or a loved one close to you is suffering remember God’s faithfulness in the past and ultimately remember Jesus and that he bore our sin, and suffered even though he was blameless. I think developing a proper theology of suffering is crucial to a pilgrim’s walk. How haughty and arrogant we are when angry at God.
Look to Jesus, look to Jesus, look to Jesus.
2 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:
6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Be intentional in showing your children the many blessings they have. Get creative and cultivate thankful hearts in yourself and your children. Tenderly and with wisdom expose your children to a greater world broader than the one they are consumed with in efforts to maintain a proper perspective on their blessings and sorrow.
Know God’s word. Let’s be resolved to depend on that more and less on programs. Teach your children to know and read God’s word within the daily routine of life. Don’t depend on a weekly activity at church to do that. Don’t be lazy and say the Bible is too difficult to read or that study is too hard. Let’s be a little hard on ourselves and be people who are disciplined in prayer and reading scripture.
Sam and I were recently discussing a book titled The Scandal of the Evangelical Mind which argues that there is not much of an evangelical mind. I think the greatest challenge to Christians today is that our minds have turned to mush and we are doing an awful job of heeding David’s charge to Solomon:
“And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and a willing mind, for the LORD searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever. “ (1 Chronicles 28:9)
Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4:5-7)
The notes in my Bible say “reasonableness is crucial for maintaining community. It is the disposition that seeks what is best for everyone and not just for oneself.”
Let’s be marked by our reasonableness. Let’s get smarter and more disciplined. If we’re going to do this Christian life, let’s do it well.