Kingdom Teaching for Children

February 14, 2017 at 4:07 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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God’s kingdom will never merge with this world’s kingdom. God’s kingdom is already far greater than any kingdom of this world, and God’s kingdom will one day overcome this world in a very visible way. As Christian parents we want our children to start, from as young an age as possible, thinking more about God’s kingdom than this world’s kingdom.

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Deuteronomy 6:7

“In thine house” means during casual times of conversation, including play and relaxation, but also during formal times of family worship. “By the way” means outdoors, but also in social settings and commercial transactions. “When thou liest down” means a review of the day’s activities, events, and lessons, including the expressing of gratitude and confession of sins. “When thou risest up” means prioritizing God (demonstrating our conviction of His supremacy), in addition to consciously consecrating our bodies and that day’s planned activities to Him.

Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: Which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.

Psalm 78:1-4 (emphasis on Verse 4)

We should glean spiritual truths from redemptive history and use them as teaching tools for our children.

Furthermore, we need to be training our children to grow mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

Luke 2:52

Notice the order: God and then man. Here are some areas and activities where we can talk to our chldren, and teach them about the importance of that order:

I. Look for examples in nature and daily life

II. Talk about what happened in church
A. Preaching
B. Baptisms
C. Lord’s Supper
D. Singing
E. Offering
F. Prayers
G. Fellowship

III. Rehearse history lessons with them
A. The history recorded in the Bible (redemptive history)
B. Church history
C. Personal history
1. Your ancestors’ personal histories
2. Your own personal history
3. Their personal history

A Child’s View of God’s Supremacy

December 16, 2016 at 4:52 pm | Posted in II Corinthians, Uncategorized | 10 Comments
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As Christian parents we should want the children that God has entrusted into our care to be utterly convinced of the absolute supremacy of God. And, although it may be hard for us to accept, the lesson that God is absolutely supreme may have to be learned in times of trial, struggle, darkness, and even affliction. Remember, we are raising these kids for Him, and, having entrusted them to us, He wants US to trust Him with them.

It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.

Psalm 119:71

We must bring the Scriptures to bear in our parenting, and we must confront our children with the Scriptures in times of suffering and despair. Learning God’s “statutes” (principles and precepts) will assist us in teaching them to find comfort in Him. They are just as important as a rod of correction in discipline, and more so in times of affliction that already involve pain, because we do not wish to inflict additional pain where pain has already been inflicted from above or allowed by God through circumstances.

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

II Corinthians 12:7-10

Let us not, as parents, exhaust all our prayers on deliverance. Let us reserve some for the recognition – and acceptance – of humbling thorns in the flesh. And let us teach our children to pray through them, and recognize God’s strength supplanting their own perceived strength.

Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

I Corinthians 10:31

We should think of this well-known verse as a reminder to try to utterly convince our children of the absolute supremacy of God, but, in its context, it is not so much a verse of victory as it is a statement of defiance by the Apostle in the midst of persecution. People were speaking evil of him and his teaching, and, rather than worrying about safeguarding or defending his reputation, he was concerned with God’s glory. For our children, the “whatsoever ye do” would include getting picked on and made fun of, as much as it would include a scraped knee, a lost purse, or the disappointment of not being invited to a best friend’s birthday party. There is no conviction of God’s absolute supremacy when we see Him only as supremely in charge of granting our favorite blessings.

Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee.

Psalm 73:25

This is a general and true statement. No created being will make a good “God.” But it is also a desperate realization. Our children must learn to think Biblically. They must not see God as all they need (although He is), or even as all they want (although that would be great). They must see Him as all that they have. In a world of vanity, deceit, hypocrisy, anarchy, uncertainty, and unpredictability, God is the God of Heaven (eternity, the sweet by and by), but He is also God of all the Earth (the nasty now and now). He’s the God of our church, our home, our car, our refrigerator, our little league team, our vacation, and our toy box. I’m no longer talking about just looking for illustrations or spiritual lessons; I’m talking about seeing God as supreme – both better than anything AND above anything AND truly our All-in-All.

One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.

Psalm 27:4

God is so holy that no man can see Him and live. However, if we are doing our job as parents, our children should have a burning desire to see God – to “behold His beauty” – to “enquire” of Him and ask Him otherwise unanswerable questions. In teaching and preaching the Gospel to your children, tell them that God DOES want them to see Him – and look what great lengths He has gone to, to make it happen!

The “Great” that Doesn’t “Grate” – Part Two

April 6, 2009 at 11:09 am | Posted in Bible Studies, Biblical Greats | 9 Comments
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In a previous post we looked at the idea that familiarity with people can breed contempt, but familiarity with God always breeds awe, love, and worship. Even the person you love the most in this world will grate on your nerves from time to time. But no matter how close we draw to God, we never find any flaws or imperfections.

Here are three attributes of God that highlight His “greatness.”

1. His supremacy shows He is great.

For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.

Psalm 95:3

There is one God, and He is over all other things and beings, and in a class above all other things and beings. In fact He is sui generis: in a class by Himself – the only example of His kind. God can not truly be compared to anyone or anything, because there is absolutely nothing else and no one else like Him. Everything in the universe is “creation” except for Him; He is “Creator.” I have heard a couple of preachers say that it is theologically incorrect to say that anything is “like” God. They compare the smallest microbe in the universe to the most powerful archangel next to the throne of God, and say that it is wrong to say that the archangel is more “like” God than the microbe, because God is completely and utterly unique.

Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.

Psalm 86:8

2. His strength shows He is great.

Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:

Psalm 104:3

God created the seas and the skies, and He rules over them.

Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:

Psalm 104:4

At the same time He commands the armies of Heaven.

Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.

Psalm 104:5

God built the earth, and He maintains it.

Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains. At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away. They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them.

Psalm 104:6-8

He commanded the mountains to rise up, and they did it. He commanded the valleys to sink down, and they did it.

Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.

Psalm 104:9

God told the seas to come up to just the right point, and they came to His boundaries, and did not cross over them.

He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst. By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches. He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;

Psalm 104:10-13

He provides, through nature, for every living thing.

Scientists never have and never will create even a single natural law. Scientific advances and achievements come solely from the discovery and use of laws which God has Himself woven into the universe, and which He constantly controls.

3. His splendor shows He is great.

Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:

Psalm 104:1-2

God’s splendor is exhibited in His honor and majesty. He has a beauty that is unlike what we normally think of as “beauty,” because God’s beauty has an intrinsic worth.

He does not find splendor from some outside source, and then put it on like a garment. God’s splendor is a part of Who He is.

God has revealed Himself in His creation, but His greatest revelations of Himself are His Word and Jesus Christ (Who is God’s Word personified). (See John Chapter 1.)

The Bible, God’s holy Word, is a love letter. If you have ever received a love letter, you will recall the feeling of delight just at the fact of having received it. But then you begin to read it. Maybe you read it over and over, and dig deep into the meaning of each word. You meditate upon it. Then you begin to heed it – to change your ways according to its precepts.

Such a love letter creates in you a desire and longing to speak with its author. Thankfully, through the salvation which is in Christ Jesus, born-again believers can have intimate conversations with the Author of God’s love letter to them.

As you consider God’s greatness in His supremacy, His strength, and His splendor, let me encourage you to spend much time reading and studying and meditating upon His Word. The benefits are innumerable.

You may have heard the story of the farmer who told the young boy who worked for him to go down a hill, taking an extremely dirty bucket with him, and to bring the bucket back, full of water. The boy raced down the hill to a pond, plunged the bucket in, and began trudging back up the hill. But when he got to the farmer, he and the boy looked down to find the bucket empty, and full of holes. The farmer really needed water so he sent the boy to repeat this process several times. The boy went faster each time, but only grew more and more frustrated after every trip. Finally, the boy, exhausted, told the farmer that the errand was useless. Then, the farmer pointed into the bucket. There was no water, but the formerly dirty bucket was now sparkling clean on the inside.

Learning to appreciate God’s greatness through Bible reading can be difficult. Not every passage of Scripture will be clear the first time you read it. However, pouring the water of God’s Word through your heart and mind each and every day will bring a cleansing to your life that will help you know and appreciate God all the more.

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