I will be posting two blogs today, yesterday's and today's.
"But from everlasting to everlasting the Lord's love is with those who fear Him, and His righteousness with their children's children -- with those who keep His covenant and remember to obey His precepts." - Psalm 103:17-18 (NIV)
"Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong, they are weak, but He is strong." Most of us know this song; we learned it in church from the time we were young. Another song that comes to mind is "Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight, Jesus loves the little children of the world." Have you ever really paid attention to the words of these songs?
Jesus loves children. He became indignant with His disciples when they wouldn't let the children go to Him. In Mark 10:14, He tells them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these." He knows how trusting and loving children are. He wants them to come to know Him from a young age. As we become older, we become cynical, less trusting, unable to fully believe that God loves us unconditionally. It's much harder for us to accept Jesus as our Saviour, much less our Lord. Not so with children. It's easier for them to accept that Jesus loves them and that He died for their sins. But, it's up to us adults to make sure they are being brought up with that knowledge. They need to see us keeping His commandments, serving Him, loving Him, praying to Him, obeying Him....fearing Him.
What exactly does it mean to fear God? I had to do some research on this. My idea of fear is a heart-pounding, sweat-inducing, adrenalin-fueling feeling that something or someone is getting ready to hurt me and hurt me badly. It's an awareness that something's not right. That's not what fearing the Lord is, though. Fearing Him is being in true reverence, true worship of Him -- serving Him, cleaving or turning to Him in all things and swearing by His name, His promises. When we fear Him in this manner, in front of our children, we are showing them what it means to love God and accept His love in return.
My biggest regret in my life is that my faith wasn't stronger when my children were young. Church was hit or miss, mostly miss. They didn't see me in prayer, in Bible study. The only time I turned to God was when something was going wrong and I couldn't handle it myself. Only by His grace did my children come to know Him. Only by His grace are my grandchildren being raised in church. Only by His grace do they now see me in prayer and in His Word. I am striving to be the example of God to my grandchildren that I wasn't to my children. Thank You, Lord, for second chances!!
God's love is eternal. It endures forever. He promises that salvation will be offered to all generations...my children's children. And, should Jesus tarry in His return, my grandchildren's children. It's up to me to begin to set the example for them to carry on: of loving and serving God, of teaching others about salvation, of obeying His commandments. Truly worshipping and revering Him. What a legacy to leave for them....my children's children.
"Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see." - Neil Postman
Dear Jesus, may I be an example to my children and to their children of what it means to fear You. May they see & hear me loving You, serving You, trusting You. May they all come to know You as their Lord and Savior. In Your name I pray, Amen.