Jesus Christ is Lord of All

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hearts Turned to the Children


Dear Father,
      We praise You that You have given us the right to be called Your children. Thank You for causing us to receive You and believe in You. Please show us the right way that we ought to walk in with regard to Your children. Thank You for Your loving discipline which results in our sharing in Your holiness.
In Jesus Christ’s Name,

      God is doing a work to turn our hearts towards the young people in our midst: both our own children and other children within our Body of Christ. We are in the midst of the time when people will be “lovers of themselves” and disobedient to their parents” (2 Tim 3:2). Father’s will betray their own children and “children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death” (Matt 10:21). God has been teaching me several things about the way we ought to regard our children and I am compelled to write a short summary here. The items to be described relate to the nature of children, the relationship between God and His children, fathers and children, mothers and children, and older people and younger people.

     God is calling us to lovingly embrace the children in our midst. He is calling us to teach them His Word and to set an example for them to follow. He is warning us against neglecting them, looking down upon the work of raising them, and causing them to sin. We are essentially working to obey the Great Commission among the children. We are to pass on to them the true Light which alone will make all things clear for them as they grow up among the world of wickedness. These children will not see the downfall of society as we have. For they have entered a society that has already fallen to the deception of the love of pleasure, worldiness, lawlessness, sensuality, and godlessness. They were born into a lion’s den, a haunt for jackels and every wild creature. As they strive to survive they will grope in the darkness and they will find no light wherever they look. They will look but will not be able to find the Truth. For many who are not sincere will have joined us and even those who hold up the banners of Truth will be quenched with demonic influence. As for our children, their consciences will be dulled or seared, their eyes will be closed, and their minds darkened under the influence of demonic oppression. The desire for material things and the pleasures of darkness will rise within them and there will be no alternative laid out in their minds. They will  have fallen to the spirit of the antichrist. Their hearts would be ruled by the spirit of the world and they would be destroyed along with those who hate the glory of God. Indeed this will be the fate of many of these young ones who recently enter into our present day. And God is calling you to heed His Voice and pour out His love and Truth to these young ones.

     The important realization for us is that our ability to bring up this generation will depend on our reliance on His grace, our walking in His Truth, the removing of our pride, and our denouncing of the secret sins of the flesh. In this process we will come to find that before God we stand as equal heirs of the promise with these young ones and unless we all had seen the glory of God, we would have no hope of passing on the only true Light. If we did not love God and hold Christ as Lord in our hearts, we could not love our children.

“Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord. He will restore the hearts of the fathers to their children and the hearts of the children to their fathers, so that I will not come and smite the land with a curse.” Malachi 4

1.     The Nature of Children

13  Then some children were brought to Him so that He might lay His hands on them and pray; and the disciples rebuked them. 14 But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”Matt 19

     Here in Christ’s Words we acknowledge that the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like little children. We are apt to ask the question, “Are children more likely to receive the Gospel than adults?” and “What kind of change happens between childhood and adulthood that renders the latter unfit for acquiring the Kingdom of God?”. As I have considered these questions and studied the nature of children I have found that children are by no means sinless. For we know that all humans were conceived in sin and every inclination of our hearts has been evil since childhood. But there were shown to be characteristics of children that were in most cases absent in adults. First of all, children are unlearned with regard to the hypocrisy and facading that we as adults are prone to show. They have no knowledge to put forth self-righteous fronts before men which are not based on the Gospel. As evil as children are, they are sincere, not necessarily honest, but they are sincere. And they are unable to hide the evil intents of their hearts and the lusts of their tiny flesh as we are able to. Secondly, children are aware of their helplessness and neediness. They willingly ask (by word or cry of mouth) for their needs to be met and they do not feel abased or demoralized at the concept of receiving help or material items from another. There are no learned feelings of awkwardness (which is one of many reasons why I find my heart’s delight in spending time with children: they are never awkward nor can they sense awkwardness in me).  And finally children long to be loved, cherished, held, protected… To summarize, though children are filled with wickedness, their innocence of learned evils allows many of them to remain poor in spirit. And we know that the poor in Spirit will inherit the Kingdom of God.

2.     The Relationship between the Fathers and Sons

     There is a somewhat lost concept of the intended design for the relationship between the father and son. This intended design is derived by studying the relationship between God the Father and the Son, Jesus Christ. To summarize this Divine relationship, the Father finds great pleasure in His beloved Son (Matt 3:17) and the Son is meant to exactly reflect the Father’s glory and character. The Son is the exact representation of the Father bearing all of His worth, glory, radiance, splendor, and honor. The Son was to live His life in perfect submission and obedience to the Father and to only do and say what the Father commanded Him to.

God, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.
For to which of the angels did He ever say,
You are My Son,
Today I have begotten You”?
And again,
“ I will be a Father to Him
And He shall be a Son to Me”?Heb 1

     Immediately the earthly fathers will feel at a loss when examining how their relationship(s) with their son(s) measure(s) up to this ideal. In one sense, sons rarely bear all of the good characteristics of their fathers nor would they be inclined to perfectly submit to and obey their father. And secondly, even if the sons perfectly reflected their fathers, the fathers would normally not be perfect beings worth perfectly reflecting. Furthermore, because of the failure of many sons to uphold the honor and glory of their earthly father’s good characteristics and their success at inheriting [and sometimes amplifying] his weaknesses, the father would not seek to find pleasure or honor in his son. The failure of his son to measure up to even himself [much less a perfect man] would cause a father who does not regard the Gospel to disown his own son. For in the flesh, the father would desire his own exaltation, and what he sees in his own son will simply never come close to reflecting the glory that the father feels he ought to have. I have seen numerous souls of men who have been crushed and demoralized at the failure of their sons to meet their requirement of a good representation of his own perceived glory.  For only when the earthly father has ceased to glory in his flesh is he able to do anything but disown an unworthy son.

     On the other hand, the son may attempt to imitate and obey his father early on in his life, but when he finds that he is unable or unwilling to obey his father, he will seek his own independence. For apart from Christ, any one seeks to be removed from any perceived yoke of responsibility or oppression. Or when his father has ceased to represent the son’s ideal of a glorious man, he will cease to honor, imitate, and obey him.

      In this case, apart from the Truth of grace, Christian fathers and sons would have been in a great dilemma. And indeed this is one explanation for the nature of these end times where children and fathers will turn against one another. The resolution of this dilemma starts with grace. The father must first of all receive His heavenly Father’s for his own sins. These sins are likely reflected in the son and only after the father receives forgiveness for his own sins is he able to forgive his son. Secondly the father must cease to find glory in his fallen self and find glory in the unchanging character of the Sovereign God of love. When the father’s glory is in the eternal Covenant, there is no human glory at stake and this will bring great peace to the relationship. The son then has the choice to glory in his father’s glory, that is, the heavenly Father’s glory. And the sorrow of the lost pride of life is removed. Ultimately, the father-son relationship for believing men must be based primarily on grace and forgiveness (much of it).

·        Dad and Anand have been blessed by God to grow much in this area.

3.     The Relationship between Women and Children

To the woman He said,
“I will greatly multiply
Your pain in childbirth,
In pain you will bring forth children;
Yet your desire will be for your husband,
And he will rule over you.” Gen 3

     Just as in Christ the woman is free from her desire to rule over her husband, in Christ, the woman is free from the Spiritual agony of raising children. All around me I see mothers, even Christian mothers, who are distressed, irritated, wearied, drained, and disinterested with their children. Though I have never given birth, based on my relationships with children, I believe that these mothers are throwing away a precious gift. Children were meant to be the heart’s delight of women. I believe that there is a part in the soul of a woman that is intended to be used to love children and to raise them in Godliness. Many women develop their relationships with children based primarily on authority and the failure of the modern day children to respect their authority leaves the woman in great distress. I have seen a different type of relationship between children and myself. For one of my weaknesses in dealing with children is that I do not know how to show loud authority. Many children have become some of my best friends. We pray together and pour out our hearts to one another. Secretly I have a much deeper relationship with children than these children may have with their own parents. It is as though the adulterated authority structure between mothers and children has destroyed the joy of their relationship. God is calling women to show Godly motherly authority. He is also calling them to BEFRIEND their children. You must capture the souls and hearts of your children and you must let them capture your heart and soul. This bond can only be established when Christ is exalted in the home and in the heart and again, when much forgiveness and grace is understood and shown. A mother must show authority in the Name of Godly discipline, but she must also be the best friend of her child. Even if her children go astray, she should be the one whom they would pour out their wicked hearts to. And indeed the grace and Truth that she is filled with will prove to be healing in the end. My mother has been my best earthly friend ever since I was in 9th grade. I went through internal struggles and impurities, but my communication with mom allowed her to know every nook and cranny of my childish crooked heart. And though my heart had not been pure, her teachings from the Word of God are my present day stronghold. Ultimately, women must cultivate the part of her heart that God created for the bearing and nurturing of children. This will have profound effects on her own purity. For the heart that cannot love ordinately will seek inordinate affections, but “the mind controlled by the Spirit is Life and Peace”. I have a strong feeling that all of the energy behind the evil sensuality in modern women was meant to be used for the Spiritual nurturing of God’s children. Woman were created with intense affectionate hearts to be used appropriately to portray the love of Christ to these precious ones, for there are few remaining in this world to love them. May you seek out your children and the children in our midst whom you have yet to be acquainted with and love them dearly with the love that you have been shown. And if we have not known His love, we must seek Him for our soul’s satisfaction.

How blessed is everyone who fears the Lord,
Who walks in His ways.
When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands,
You will be happy and it will be well with you.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
Within your house,
Your children like olive plants
Around your table.
Behold, for thus shall the man be blessed
Who fears the Lord.
The Lord bless you from Zion,
And may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.
Indeed, may you see your children’s children.
Peace be upon Israel!
Ps 128

4.     The Passing Down of the Word of God
“ Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one! You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your forehead. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Deut 6
     The greatest thing that we can do for our children is to teach them the fear of the Lord. We must teach them the Truth of the Gospel and of the infinite character traits of God. We must show them our own poverty of soul and our own receiving of His grace and forgiveness of our weaknesses. For when children have learned to fear God, the Truth of His righteousness becomes their anchor and they are unwilling to turn away from the One whom they have learned to honor and revere.

     Many have a wrong perspective that children cannot understand the Word of God or that their attention spans are too short to contain such deep information. In my experience children understand the Word of God to a great degree. While they may not understand other areas of study, when it comes to the Word of God, many of these children have the Holy Spirit indwelling them and working for their good. So what would otherwise be incomprehensible to their small minds become vivid and clear through the teaching and convicting work of the Spirit. I learn much from children or rather the Spirit speaking through them.

     We are in a world where the Word of God, the only Food by which man can live, is becoming scare. We must impart to them every morsel that we can before it is too late and the snares of the world have come upon them. The earlier we start and the more intensively we labor to impart the Truth to these children, the better will be the state of their souls in this wicked and perverse generation. The time for you to start pouring the Word into your children is today.

     Every piece of information that is taught to children shapes their perspectives and attitudes, having such a profound influence on everything else that they purpose to do, say, or think with the remainder of their lives.

     I am not sure why, but I have experienced that when we teach children the Word of God they will love us and long to be near us. Without using even an inkling of human authority [that I need to learn to show] the teaching of the Word of God commands the respect, admiration, clinging to us, and love from our children.

5.     The Setting of an Example

     The concept of honor, that is, to fix a high value to someone, is altogether lost from this wicked genernation. The young have neglected the old and the old have not loved the young. The concept  of honor is based on the setting of a good example by the one who is honored. That is, someone is honored because they have set a good example for others to follow. Do you see now why this concept has been lost in our society? The older generation has resorted to apathy and sinful pleasure and so they have ceased to set a good example. The younger generation has ceased to honor them due to their own rebellion and pride as well as the failure of the older generation to set a good example. On the other hand, there is no desire to set a good example from the older generation’s part because the younger generation has ignored them.  And the older generation’s feelings of uselessness have made them prey to the demonic temptations of earthly pleasure.

And I will make mere lads their princes,
And [e]capricious children will rule over them,
And the people will be oppressed,
Each one by another, and each one by his neighbor;
The youth will storm against the elder
And the inferior against the honorable. Is 3

     God is calling the older generation to pursue Godliness and a zealous love for the advancement of the glory of the Gospel and thereby to set the example of holiness, purity, and truth. The younger generation is called to show unconditional honor to the older generation.

The younger generation is looking for meaning, purpose, passion, deep emotion, and zeal. And if the love for our Lord and Savior has not captured and possessed us, then they will not follow us. But if by the Spirit of grace, we put to death the misdeeds of the body, and show a holy and chaste life filled with intense Godliness, and passionate labor, their hearts will understand. For in the workings of grace that allow us to live a Godly life, the glory of God is revealed. And these chosen young children, when they see the glory of God, they will understand….everything.

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