John Piper, pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, provides the following article entitled “Jesus and the Children.”1
“One thing to watch for when assessing a person’s spiritual fitness for ministry is how he or she relates to children. Put a child in the room and watch. This is what Jesus did to make his point. Children are the litmus paper to expose the presence of pride.
You might think that the main thing Jesus would do is to say, “Don’t be proud, become like children.” He did say essentially that in Matthew 18:3, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” But he said something else even more striking. When Jesus saw that his disciples were arguing over which of them was the greatest, “He sat down and called the twelve … And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, ‘Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me’” (Mark 9:34-37). Read the rest of this entry »
All parents identify with these words from John Wilmot: “Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children, and no theories.” How true!
In a day when talk show hosts and Hollywood celebrities are presented as authoritative family counselors, more than ever, believers need to know what the Bible teaches about parenting–and put those principles into practice.
Dr. Scott Turansky, founder of National Center for Biblical Parenting, writes, “It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of family life. The daily job of parenting usually spins around three important tasks: giving instructions, correcting children, and providing for physical and emotional needs. These are all important and learning how to do them well can mean all the difference between a child who is responsive and one who is resistant.” Read the rest of this entry »
Greg Ogden, Executive Pastor of Discipleship, Christ Church of Oak Brook, writes, “If we are to devise a successful strategy of disciple making in our churches, we must first assess the gap between where we are and where we are called to go.”
He reminds us that “One of the consistent images in the New Testament for the Christian life is the discipline of an athlete. Comparing the Christian life to a race, Paul wrote, ‘Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training’ (1 Cor. 9:24–25). In making this comparison, Paul raised the bar. If athletes will put themselves through a harsh regimen to get a ‘perishable wreath,’ how much more should Christians discipline themselves because our goal is ‘an imperishable one!’ One is left with an obvious impression that leading the Christian life is going to require spiritual discipline.’” Read the rest of this entry »
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom” (Proverbs 9:10). Wisdom and knowledge are very different. Knowledge is accumulating facts. Wisdom is knowing what to do with them.
1. Parents are to teach their children about the ways of God. Deuteronomy 4:9, directs parents to teach God’s laws “to your children and to their children after them.”
2. Deuteronomy 4:10 instructs God’s people to assemble together so they “may learn to revere (God) as long as they live in the land and may teach (God’s laws) to their children.”
3. Leaders of children in the church have the privilege and priority to assist parents in bringing up children “in the training and instruction of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4) so that they learn to love God and His Word.
Children wonder, “Why fear God?” Though kids often hear about God’s love, they rarely learn about the fear of the Lord. They are largely unaware that God commands all people to fear and revere Him. As a result, many children show disrespectful, indifferent, or flippant attitudes toward God.
To those who fear Him, God promises deliverance, love, protection, restoration, and reward. Those who know the Lord God Almighty possess a deep reverence and awe for Him. The “fear of the Lord” provides exclusive access to knowledge and wisdom. In fact, learning cannot take place until we fear the Lord! (Proverbs 1:7). Read the rest of this entry »