Thursday, March 9, 2017
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Our son was only two years old when Kim, the neighbor girl across the street, broke her leg. On a scale of world disasters, Kim's leg wouldn't move the needle, but on the scale of a 2-year-old, oh, that's serious. Our 5-year-old daughter brought the bad news, so we all stopped right there and we prayed for our friend Kim. We were done, but our son wasn't. All day over and over again he'd go, "Pray for Kim." So, they prayed for Kim. That went on thirty or forty times. It might be the most prayed for broken leg in the history of the neighborhood. Well we got word a couple days later that Kim was doing really well, and we told our son. He pulled his Mom over to a picture of Jesus we had on our kitchen wall, and he pointed to the picture and he just said, "Jesus fix Kim."
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "A Parent's Greatest Gift."
I've got to tell you, that was an exciting moment for my wife and me. Look, important enough for us to remember all these years. Why? Because we knew our son was beginning to see that what we have isn't just a religion, that it's a He! A real relationship with a real Person who makes a real difference!
In our word for today from the Word of God, God is coaching parents who are trying to raise their children in a culture where they are surrounded by immoral lifestyles, materialism, and a lot of temptation. This doesn't sound familiar at all does it? Okay, what should a parent do?
Deuteronomy 6:5-9, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 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. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates."
First, God says give your kids a relationship, not just a religion, a love relationship with the Lord. Maybe our children get the impression sometimes that what we're about is keeping rules, going to meetings, believing beliefs, instead of seeing a Mom or Dad who are just deeply in love with Jesus. If your son or daughter remembers anything from your spiritual life, I hope it will be this, "It's all about Jesus." That's what we wanted our little son to realize, that we have a wonderful relationship with a wonderful Savior, a Person who touches everything in our lives.
Secondly, God's telling parents here to show them this relationship in everyday life. It's great to have Bible study times with our family. Family devotions, done with some variety and creativity and participation, are important. But even more important is a Jesus they hear you talk about "when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, (probably drive in this case), when you lie down and when you get up."
Our God-relationship is most powerfully communicated as our kids see us involving Him in the everyday life stuff, like a neighbor's broken leg, or a math test, or a financial need, or bringing a family conflict to the Lord, praying about trips and friends and romances and teachers and hurting people your family knows.
This is the Jesus who goes with us to McDonald's, to ball games, to the beach, to dark places, to hospital rooms, to school buses, to work. That's spiritual reality, not just religion! And to live in a morally dangerous world, our children need a Jesus who is so real to them they know He is with them even when no one else can see them. He goes with them where no parent can go.
I can't imagine raising kids in a world like this without Jesus - without a Savior. Because I know that I am inadequate. I know my own needs I can't take care of. I know the baggage, all of which Jesus has come in and helped me unpack that baggage and not pass it on to another generation, and give me His love, and His power and His wisdom.
If you don't know Jesus personally, if you're a Mom or Dad, would you today reach out to Him and say, "Jesus, a religion is not enough for me. I want to know you personally. I'm opening my life to you." You want to know more about that, go to our website ANewStory.com.
We cherished that moment when our little guy recognized Jesus, not just as a picture on the wall, but a real Savior who cares about our everyday stuff. That's when that song "Jesus loves me, this I know" becomes more than a song; it's how we live at our house!