Family Discipleship – Commending What We Cherish

Here’s a brief outline with a few questions that I put together as a resource for our young parents. Click on the link below that contains a pdf file on:

Commending What We Cherish – Psalm 145

 

How can children be included in missional living?

I read this blog entry from the Verge Network this morning and highly recommend this short interview with Paul Tripp. There is also a written synopsis of the interview.

http://www.vergenetwork.org/2012/09/19/how-can-children-be-included-in-missional-living-paul-tripp/

With what would you be satisfied?

Here’s a question I have asked myself on occasion while raising my children in terms of my desires, hopes and dreams for them. It comes from Susan Hunt in her book Your Home: A Place of Grace:

“Would you be satisfied with children who are well behaved, who avoid drugs, who graduate from college, marry well, and make you proud? Or is the passion of your hearts to see your children love and serve Jesus with all their hearts?” (p.80)

Like C.S. Lewis said, all of us parents at times “are far too easily pleased.” There are three Scriptures that I pray through on occasion for each of my children that remind me what God desires for them.

First of all, the Apostle Paul writes to the churches in Galatia and sets forth a graphic analogy that reflects how he views his role as a discipler and also his ultimate objective and hope for those whom he has invested his life. He says in 4:19, “my dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you.”

The Apostle John writes to his disciples in 3 John 6 that “I have no greater joy that to see my children walking in the truth.” This ought to serve as a bullet point for prayer for our children… that they might conduct their lives in the truth of the gospel… that nothing else would be more beautiful, engaging, and inspiring that “God’s grace in all its truth” (Colossians 1:6).

Lastly, I pray for our children “to serve the purpose of God in their generation” just like King David did according to Acts 13:36. By the Lord’s empowering grace, may they find and fulfill God’s purpose for their lives. Nothing else will satisfy and give life meaning and true joy.

May the Lord use this short post to stimulate your thinking about what you most desire for your children… whether they be your physical children or spiritual children in whom you are investing. Also, may these short Scriptures provide specific prayer requests for you to pray on your children’s behalf.

Dad: The Family Shepherd from Psalm 78

Psalm 78 offers a simple guideline for all of us moms and dads in nurturing in our children a love for the Lord.

I.  Model the truths of God’s Word (Believe and model the gospel.)

  1. An Old Testament Model for Contemporary Moms and Dads
  2. David shepherded and guided the people of God (Psalm 78:72) HOW?
  • According to the integrity of his heart. תֹּם
  • Webster’s tells us integrity means “an unimpaired condition.” It means to be sound. The Hebrew word for integrity, tom, also means to be complete or solid.So he shepherded them according to the integrity [tom] of his heart,
    And guided them with his skillful hands. (Psalm 78:72)

    “Integrity is completeness or soundness. You have integrity if you complete a job even when no one is looking. You have integrity if you keep your word even when no one checks up on you. You have integrity if you keep your promises. Integrity means the absence of duplicity and is the opposite of hypocrisy. If you are a person of integrity, you will do what you say. What you declare, you will do your best to be. Integrity also includes financial accountability, personal reliability, and private purity. A person with integrity does not manipulate others. He or she is not prone to arrogance or self-praise. Integrity even invites constructive and necessary criticism because it applauds accountability. It’s sound. It’s solid. It’s complete.” (Chuck Swindoll)

  • With wisdom (skillful hands).

II. Transfer the truths of God’s Word (Communicate the gospel – Psalm 78:1-8) What specifically are we to intentionally share with our kids?

The praises of the Lord (v.4).

His strength (v.4)

His wondrous works (v.4, 12-72)

  • God’s deliverance from bondage – the exodus (12-16).
  • God’s provision of refreshing water from the rock and bread from heaven – manna in the wilderness (17-29).
  • God’s leading and protection of His people (43-53).

His word (the Law) (v.5) – He is faithful to fulfill His covenant promise

Who has the primary responsibility to transfer these things? DADS

  • (Deuteronomy 6:6-9 — These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.)

And to whom are we to transfer them?

  • Our children (v.5)
  • The generation to come (v.6)
  • Children yet to be born (v.6)

 What is our purpose in doing this?

  1. That our children might be equipped to disciple their children (Arise and tell… (v.6).
  2. That they might develop the capacity to trust God (v.7). In what/whom are they to put their confidence? Question: By your lifestyle and choices, in what other things might your children put their confidence?  Education, money, material possessions, or appearance?

  3. That they might make worship of God their ultimate priority. The Israelites aroused God’s jealousy with their graven images (78:58).
  4. That they might not be like their forefathers (v.8).
  5. That they may not forget His works (v.7) What was the major problem with the people of Israel? And what’s our biggest problem?

Spiritual Amnesia:  They and we have a short memory (Deut.4:9).

What are some of the characteristics that we and our children are called to  avoid or set aside?

  •  Stubbornness and rebelliousness (v.8a)
  •  Lack of attention to heart issues (v.8b)
  •  Lack of faithfulness in keeping covenant with God (v.8c)

Women Who Impacted the World for Christ – Clara Elliot

Mary Ann Faulkner Thomson wrote the hymn, “O Zion Haste Thy Mission High Fulfilling” in 1871. One of her stanzas goes like this:

“Give of thy sons to bear the message glorious, Give of thy wealth to speed them on their way, Pour out thy soul for them in prayer victorious, And all thou spendest Jesus will repay.”

Clara Elliot trained and gave her son to bear the message of the gospel to the Auca Indians in Ecuador. As a young man at Wheaton College, Jim prayed:

“God, I pray thee, light these idle sticks of my life and may I burn for Thee.  Consume my life, my God, for it is Thine.  I seek not a long life, but a full one, like you, Lord Jesus.”

Jim Fishing in EcuadorJim Elliot was born in Portland, Oregon on October 8 1927. He was the third child of four. He had two older brothers, Herbert and Robert, and he had a younger sister named Jane. His father, Fred, was an evangelist. His father couldn’t finish school because he had to work. His mother, Clara, finished her studies and opened a chiropractic practice in their home to support the family. She devoted herself to the task of preparing her children for a lifetime of walking with God and ministering to others.

The fruit of her labors is seen in Jim Elliot’s note he wrote to his mother upon his departure to serve as a missionary in Ecuador:

“Remember how the Psalmist described children?  He said that they were as a heritage from the Lord, and that every man should be happy who had his quiver full of them.  And what is a quiver full of but arrows?  And what are arrows for but to shoot?  So, with the strong arm of prayer, draw the bowstring back and let the arrows fly– all of them, straight at the Enemy’s hosts.”            — Jim Elliot, age 22, Shadow of the Almighty, p.132.

Have You Ever Wondered About The Biblical Basis for Infant Baptism?

If you have, here’s a great piece on it from Dr. Richard Pratt who preached this past Sunday at Trinity. All you have to to is click this link:

http://thirdmill.org/why-do-we-baptize-our-children

Throughout the history of Christianity, faithful and sincere Christians have disagreed over who should be baptized. Should it be believers only? Or should we baptize the children of believers as well? Most Christian denominations baptize believers as well as children, but this practice can be confusing.

In this video lesson, Dr. Pratt promotes mutual understanding and respect among believers, even as we come to different conclusions on the baptism of children.

The goals for this lesson are:

Explain the principles of covenant membership.

Explain the function of baptism as a covenant sign.

Describe the significance of baptism