Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Raising Godly Generations

This past week, we considered raising up godly generations from Deuteronomy 6 in our morning worship gathering. No doubt, those believers who are growing in their relationship with Christ most assuredly desire their children and grandchildren to experience the same. Let me encourage you to be intentional in this activity.

In your godly action, here are a few first steps you can be taking:

1. Pray for your children and grandchildren.
Use the prayers in the Bible to pray for your children. One such example is Ephesians 1:15-22 and how you might use it to pray…

[15] For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints,
>if they are not Christians, pray that God will save them, for them to recognize their sin and that Jesus paid the penalty for their sin on the cross and through the power of his resurrection, for them to become followers of Jesus
>if they are Christians, thank God for it and ask God to keep them growing in faith and in love for other Christians

[16] I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,
>continue to ask God to help you be the chief intercessor for your children and grandchildren. Ask God to help you labor in prayer over the life of your children and grandchildren. (It might be good to set aside specific and prolonged time for this, not just “bless ‘em Lord on the way to work!)

[17] that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the
knowledge of him,

>ask God to fill them with spiritual wisdom (Proverbs 1:7) and with the knowledge of God (for us, this is knowing God through His Word)

[18] having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,
>that their hearts will be enlightened/opened to the hope that God has called us

[19] and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might
>to realize that great power which God has directed toward us

[20] that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places,
>that they will understand the might work of God through Jesus on their behalf
[21] far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.

>for them to know that Jesus is the ruler of all and that his name is about all names
>for them to becoming more and more submissive to the rule of Jesus in their own lives
>that they will come to have an increasing eternal vision of things

[22] And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, [23] which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
>for them to be full participants in the life of the church
>that they will be the kind of people who are deeply concerned with Jesus being honored in their church
>for them to be filled with Jesus (i.e. full of the Spirit)
>for them to be surrounded by other believers who are concerned about the glory of Jesus

2. Pray for them, if they are in your home, while putting them to bed at night or before they go to school or, if they are grown and gone, before they leave to go back home or before you get off the phone talking with them.

>for the children in your home:

“Father, I am thankful that you have saved ______ and that she is a follower of Jesus. Today, as she goes to school, remind her they are greatly loved by you. Help her to love you more and more and recognize that Jesus is in control of all things. Amen.”

>for you grown children:

Before they leave from a visit or before you get off the phone “Son, before you leave, I want to pray for you. Will that be o.k.?” It can be meaningful to hold their hand or place your hand on their shoulder.

“Father, I pray for my son today and ask you to be glorified in his life and his family. Give him godly wisdom and insight to raise his children in a way that pleases you. Help his relationship with you to be growing and dynamic. May many people come to know you because of his relationship with you. Amen.”

3. Read the Bible to Them

A short passage before bedtime or at the breakfast table. If your children are young, read the Gospels. Read passages appropriate to their life circumstance. The Proverbs give practical insight. Paul’s letters give explanation to faith and certain specific situations in life. A short explanation can be helpful. “What we learn about Jesus in this passage is…”

If your children and gone, write them encouraging notes with a bible verse or two written out. A child facing a difficult circumstance might be more encouraged by reading Psalm 23 written in your hand rather than you simply saying, “It’ll work out.” Isn’t amazing how vague we can be when giving advice!

4. Sing Together
Worship at church will mean more when your children sing together at home with you. Songs can teach us and our children and grandchildren about the greatness of God. The songs of Keith Urban are catchy but the songs of Charles Wesley, Isaac Watts and Chris Tomlin will help them love Jesus more.

May God greatly empower you as you practice Deuteronomy 6 among the children and grandchildren that God has given you. He uses people that feel inadequate and fearful everyday!

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