Today we are celebrating Mother’s Day and dedicating children to God.
Mark 10:13-16 (KJV) 13 And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them.14 But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.15 Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein.16 And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.
HOW DO YOU GIVE YOUR CHILDREN TO JESUS? Here are some things we can do to GIVE THEM TO JESUS.
1. START ON YOUR KNEES. Pray diligently for your children for the next 30 days. Most people already pray for their children. If you are praying two minutes a day, may I suggest you pray five minutes? If you pray ten minutes, may I suggest 20? I want to you double the amount of time you are presently praying for your children. Don’t just ask God to "bless our children," but pray specifically for them. Ask God to encourage them to be spiritually strong and morally pure, and to surround them with godly friends and to help them make godly choices. Pray that their choices would encourage spiritual growth. Remember that nothing of eternal value is ever accomplished without prayer.
POWER OF A PRAYING MOTHER
The year was 1820 and Peter Richley was a grateful man. He had survived one of the strangest and most harrowing events known to mankind. The ship which he had been traveling on sank. He was rescued. By some strange twist of circumstance, however, this ship sank. He was rescued again. But, this third ship sank likewise. He was rescued for a third time. Yet, his fourth ship of passage soon sank. And unbelievably, he was rescued for a fourth time, but this fifth ship sank as well.
It would have been laughable had it not been so serious. On the high seas, however, he floated with the serene confidence that somehow God did not want him to die. And sure enough, as if on cue, another ship came by and answered his call for help. This ocean liner, The City of Leeds, was named after it’s British city of origin. It was bound from England to Australia and traveled the same sea lane as Peter Richley’s downed ships. The crew of The City of Leeds hoisted Peter aboard. Dry clothing was provided to Peter. The ship’s doctor gave him a cursory exam, pronounced him fit, and then asked an unusual favor.
“There’s a lady on board who booked passage to Australia,” the doctor explained. “She’s looking for her son who disappeared years ago. She’s dying and she’s asking to see her son. She knows everybody on board and since you’re the only newcomer, would you pretend to be her son?”
Peter agreed. After all, his life had now been saved for the fifth time. He followed the doctor below deck and entered into a cabin. There on a small bed lay a frail woman with silvered-hair. She was obviously suffering from a very high fever. Deliriously, she was crying out. “Please God. Let me see my son before I die. I must see my son!”
The ship’s doctor gently pushed the young man toward the bed. Soon, however, Peter Richley began sobbing. For lying there on that bed was the reason that he couldn’t seem to die. Here was the lifeline that had kept him from drowning five times. For lying on that bed was none other than Sarah Richley—who had prayed for ten years to reconciled to her son, Peter.
The ship’s doctor stood in amazement as the young man fell down by the bed and embraced the sick woman. “I’m here mom! I’m here. It’s me!” Within days the fever had subsided and his mother awakened to find an answered prayer seated on the edge of her bed.
(This story was told by western writer Louis L’Amour in an interview he gave. This story bears out the saying, “truth is stranger than fiction.” In researching the Louis L’Amour website there were additional references that bear out this story to be a true story.)
Never, Never, Never, Never underestimate the power of a praying mother.
2. ESTABLISH BOUNDARIES. Your goal in establishing boundaries is to give your child a sense of security through a consistent understanding of what is acceptable in your home. You can’t assume that a child "should know better." This ought to be for what they are listening to, looking at, and hanging out with. Keep your children SAFE from the JUNK this world is offering them! I have had people tell me that they want their children to be “STREET-SMART” - Can I just tell you that I want my children to be Godly-WISE, not worldly wise.. Explain the BOUNDARIES to your kids: At the end of the 30 days of prayer and discussing guidelines with your spouse, have a meeting to explain what you have decided. This process has taken place so that you will be able to redevelop your relationship with your children. They have been watching you pray for wisdom while discussing guidelines.
I read something the other day that I thought was appropriate here:
The Meanest Mother We had the meanest mother in the whole world! While other kids ate candy for breakfast, we had to have cereal, eggs, and toast. When others had a Pepsi and a Twinkie for lunch, we had to eat sandwiches. And you can guess our mother fixed us a dinner that was different from other kids had, too. Mother insisted on knowing where we were at all times. You’d think we were convicts in a prison. She had to know who our friends were, and what we were doing with them. She insisted that if we said we would be gone for an hour, we would be gone for an hour or less.
We are kind of ashamed to admit it, but mother had the nerve to break the Child Labor Laws by making us work. We had to wash the dishes, make the beds, learn to cook, vacuum the floor, do laundry, and all sorts of other cruel jobs. I think she would lie awake at night thinking of more things for us to do. She always insisted on us telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
By the time we were teenagers, she could read our minds. Then, life was really tough! Mother wouldn’t let our friends just honk the horn when they drove up. They had to come up to the door so she could meet them. While everyone else could date when they were 12 or 13, we had to wait until we were at least 16.
Because of our mother, we missed out on lots of things other kids experienced. None of us have ever been caught shoplifting, vandalizing other’s property, or ever arrested for any crime. It was all her fault. We never got drunk, took up smoking, stayed out all night, or a million other things, other kids did. Sundays were reserved for church, and we never missed once. We knew better than to ask to spend the night with a friend on Saturdays.
Now that we have left home, we are all God-fearing, educated, honest adults. We are doing our best to be mean parents just like Mom was. I think that’s what is wrong with the world today. It just doesn’t have enough mean moms anymore!
3. EVALUATE YOUR OWN LIFE.
What are they seeing in you? What kind of example are you setting for them? It is not helpful to keep your child from listening to the empty philosophies of most secular music and media programing, if you’re going to entertain yourself with the ungodly and unBiblical philosophies of R-rated media. You may not listen to lyrically explicit music, but what kind of music are you listening to? Usually, parents justify their listening because it is more “mellow” than what their children are listening to. It may be mellow, but is it moral?
Do yourself a favor, learn & explain the value of Christian music. It is impossible to properly explain the value of Christian music if you aren’t setting the example by your own listening habits. How can you tell your children they should be listening to godly music, if you don’t listen to godly music?
While we are on this, TAKE THEM TO CHURCH EVERY WEEK: It doesn’t take long in a vibrant church, full of faithful believers, for our children to recognize how different they are to the unsaved community around them. That helps them grow in their desire for Jesus and become a part of the body of Christ.
Did you ever notice how often our children listen to strangers better than they listen to us? The impact other believers can have on your children to introduce them to Jesus should not be underestimated. When the church reinforces what you’ve been teaching at home, it validates the discipleship of your children and helps protect them from the lies of the world. So don’t just attend the Sunday service, throw yourself and your family into the life of the church. And Lastly…
4. CHALLENGE THEM TO THINK BIBLICALLY. How do you challenge someone to think? Ask questions without giving the answer immediately. To get someone to think Biblically, ask him a question based on Scripture or a scriptural principle. To get someone to think biblically about entertainment, the following Scripture has proved to be very effective. Colossians 2:8 in the Living Bible, "Don’t let others spoil your faith and joy with their philosophies, their wrong and shallow answers built on men’s thoughts and ideas, instead of on what Christ has said." This verse best describes today’s entertainment industry. Think about it. Isn’t today’s music some man or woman’s thoughts and ideas recorded digitally? Aren’t media programs on youtube, netflix, and redbox, just someone’s thoughts and ideas about life, love, violence, rebellion, sex, and drugs recorded digitally and fed to us as entertainment?
With that understanding, what are some good questions to ask your children and yourself?
How’s your faith in Jesus?
Is there a heaven?
Is the Bible true?
You say that your faith is strong? Good! How is your joy?
Do you have love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, and self-control?
You remember the "Fruit of the Spirit" described in Galatians 5:22-23? Why doesn’t it radiate in your life?
Tell me your favorite Bible Story and act like I’ve never heard it before.
Quote for me the last Bible Verse you learned.
If you have been letting the world undermine your Christian walk (faith and joy) with their empty philosophies, it’s time for a change.
DEDICATION: This act of dedication tells the Lord several things that you as parents believe: 1. Your child belongs to God. You are the custodians for their care and nurturing, but they belong to God. Take good care of God’s property. Build and prepare them for the future. 2. God’s will, not your will, is best for your child’s life. If you are dedicating your child to God, let God choose their life. 3. You will do your best to teach and tell your child the ways of the Lord. The world is ready to fill this child’s mind, but you will instead fill their mind with God’s Word.
Charge to Church Family: Will you please stand to receive your charge? Will you do all that you can to provide and support a place of instruction where these children may hear the whole counsel of God? Will you covenant together as a family to set an example by your lives and to maintain an atmosphere which will inspire them to desire to live for God? So that these children may walk in the abundant life that Jesus offers, do you vow by God’s help, to be faithful in your calling as members of the body of Christ, to help THESE PARENTS to be faithful to God, and to help teach and train THESE CHILDREN in the ways of the Lord. Will you do as God leads you and pray for their salvation?
Those of you willing to accept this charge, please answer: “With God‟s help, we will.”
This is our prayer that Callen Jace and Kendall Lynn will one day be able to say: Psalm 71 1 In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame. 2 In your righteousness, rescue me and deliver me; turn your ear to me and save me. 3 Be my rock of refuge, to which I can always go; give the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. 4 Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of those who are evil and cruel. 5 For you have been my hope, Sovereign Lord, my confidence since my youth. 6 From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother’s womb. I will ever praise you.