I Corinthians 13:11
“When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put aside childish things.”
As young child I did not reason, I simply lived. I did not know that I was trusting my parents to provide for me. My elders told me what was acceptable behavior and I either obeyed them or resisted what they said, depending on how I felt at the time.
I did not worry about my next meal. I did not concern myself about whether I would have clothes and shoes to wear, nor did I even think that I might not have a place to sleep. I moved with the rhythm of life without so much as a thought.
I played, that was what I did. Oh yes, sometimes I was aware of others in my world, but mostly my total concern was myself. Mom and Dad were there, but they lived to care for me and when I didn’t get my way, I let them know.
As I grew older I began to notice the world I lived in. I watched in fascination as the old Boxelder tree in the front yard bowed its head to the ground when a stormy wind blew through the farm. My Grandma said that it did not break because it had a strong root system. Isn’t that how we are to be when the storms of life come upon us?
Another storm came through that easily blew down the windmill . It had nothing to hold it steady in a strong wind. The well that was below the ground was not affected by the wind on the surface, even as strength of character, schooled by the Holy Spirit, will keep us when the temptations and the winds of life blow.
I spent many happy hours in my elementary years watching people on a Saturday night in town. I observed nature in the field behind Grandpa’s machine shed. As I lay on the ground leaning on my elbow, I watched ants working on their sand hill and bunnies playing leap frog. I looked up at the clouds imagining I saw horses and other fanciful shapes. I dreamed of my future and wondered where I would be when I grew up and left the farm.
Then I became a teen-ager and life changed dramatically. My body began to change when I was in the ninth grade. I grew taller than the other girls, and the boys. Awareness of my surroundings, the people in my life, became a measure of my worth, my value. Life became more complicated and I became more melancholy. I was now in the process of becoming an adult. Your story may be similar to mine and yet is not the same.
A little baby looks so innocent and yet is tainted by a sin nature. This is clearly revealed as we observe a child going from baby to toddler, from preschool to elementary school, finally to become a teen-ager. Self is at the center of childhood.” It’s all about me, it’s all about me.”
How does a parent deal with a child at these levels? How do you help each child to grow to maturity when there are many children in the family? Some parents abdicate their role simply because they never grew up emotionally themselves. To have a baby does not mean that you will be a good parent. There are many dysfunctional families in America. You can see the results every day. Have you ever tried to fix someone who is as unstable as water? Instability begets instability. Only God can fix people.
A strong willed child will resist correction and must be dealt with in a stronger way than a compliant child, often needing greater forcefulness on the part of the parent. If not handled right this can result in resentment even leading to estrangement as the child bolts from the excessive restraint or anger in the home.
Much has been written and said about the teen years, probably because it is the most difficult and dangerous time in a person’s life. I believe it to be the time when the child enters into the war for his soul. The battlefield is filled with traps, snares and pits he can walk or fall into. The enemy of our souls begins to shoot his arrows and blow his poison darts at our minds. It is his goal to separate us from anyone or anything that could nurture us or give us the direction and strength we need to make it through to adulthood.
This is the time when a child begins to reason. He begins to experiment with thoughts and ideas beyond what his parents have taught or allowed. His peers influence becomes more important than his parents and many teens reject their parents altogether. This, of course, makes them open season for the adversary.
Some children push against their boundaries, seeking, unknowingly, to establish how far his parents will let him go. Teens need boundaries even though they chafe and push hard against them. It is especially important at this time for parents to be persistently consistent.
As the teen experiments, tries on these different ideas and ways, parents need to be loving, calm and thoughtful, they must be prayerful and ask God for wisdom. If you do your job to the best of your ability, your child will pass from childhood to adulthood with only a few battle scars.
Life provides us with decisions to be made every day. We must choose to get out of bed every morning. Those with jobs must choose to go to work and give the company the best they have. Coming home after work, a decision must be made to do what needs to be done to keep house and home together. Priorities will be set and life will be lived accordingly.
Volition rests with man. God made us that way. Adam was created in the image of God. He was given a command, it was his decision to obey or disobey, God gave him a will. His choice cost the human race the image of God, for the scripture tells us that Adam was created in the image of God. After the fall, when Adam had a son, that son was born in the image of Adam. By the way, the finger pointing began in Eden as Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent. In fact, they were all to blame because of their choices.
Paradise…Lost. Relationship with God…lost. Every child born after that bore the sin nature of Adam and Eve as witness of the fact that the first two humans argued with each other and Cain murdered his brother Abel.
Right and Wrong, Good and Bad, Black and White these are the choices!
Where is the gray, where is the middle ground that so many want to walk in? With one foot in the world and one in the Kingdom of God, some believers nourish their flesh, placating it, satisfying it, petting it and they think that is okay with God, that He understands because He is love. God is also just, He hates sin all the while He loves the sinner. He grieves because He has made a way for any who will to come to Him to be set free from the pressure of the flesh.
These carnal Christians subscribe to the world’s way of thinking such as, “That’s the way I am, I can’t help it.” “If it feels good do it.” “Get all you can and can all you get.” “It’s my way or the highway.” There seems to be a need to have the world’s approval. They seem to have the mentality that they will get as close as they can to sin, but not go all the way, as if sin is qualitative or quantitative. Someone described sin in a believer as walking along a riverbank, getting as close to the river as you can without falling in.
Is it okay with God that you “take a walk on the wild side”, or “sow your wild oats” while you are young, after all “boys will be boys”? No, it is not okay with God. God paid a high price for you believer, the loss of His Son to sin and death. The suffering and pain of Jesus is beyond comprehension, the blood of His body poured out of every wound. The Bible says that He was wounded for our transgression, the iniquity of us all was put on Him and by His stripes we are healed. The invitation for deliverance is to who ever will, again it is choice. Jesus made the way.
God is faithful. Invitations come, warnings come, and decisions are made.
I have heard: “I’ll think about it, maybe later I will ask Jesus in to my life, but not today.”
I have heard: “I am as good as you are, who do you think you are to tell me that I need Jesus, I am a good person, I have helped a lot of people.”
I have heard: “I have been a good church member for many years. I have taught Sunday School, sang in the choir and been part of helping provide money or food for those who have lost loved ones. I love God.”
I have heard: ” My father was a Christian, so that makes me a Christian too.”
Many are called but few choose to humble themselves, repent for their sinful, selfish heart and receive Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
“Young John Jones was killed in a car truck accident today at the corner of State Hwy 2 and Thorn Hill Road, he was 23 year old. The driver of a gravel truck ran a red light, he said the sun was in his eyes, he did not see the light or the Jones car. Jones leaves behind a wife of six months.”
Can I tell you that John Jones did not expect to die. He was young, he had his whole life ahead of him. He and his wife planned to put religion off until they had children, in the meantime they wanted to enjoy life.
“Mary Smith died on Saturday at the age of 86. She had been given a large inheritance by her father, which no one in Hebersville knew of, as Mary lived a rather frugal life. This information only became known to the community as the gift was left to the Historical Society with the instructions that it was to be used to repair the local library and put it on the National Historical Register. Mary was active in the local church which she faithfully attended every Sunday.
Mary was told that all she needed to do to have a Christian burial was be a faithful church member who took communion once a month. This she did. One dollar was placed in the offering plate every Sunday, Mary did not miss one. There was a time when a plea went out for financial help for a hurting family, but Mary did not feel it was “her job” to support someone who was too lazy to work. Of course, that was her take on it, not the truth.
What do you think was John Jones and Mary Smith’s destination at death?
The day will come when every person will stand before the righteous judge, the books will be opened and all will be judged by what is written there. When the decision is handed out, as recorded in Matthew 25:40, Jesus said these words: “In as much as you have done it to the least of these my brethren you have done it unto Me.” So that’s the standard for the judgment of works. The love of God reaches out to the poor, the hurting, the downtrodden and what you do to and for them is noted.
I have been talking about outward things for the most part, but lest there be a misunderstanding, the scenarios above have to do with salvation and the name of a person being written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, which is the Family Album. If your name is not there, you don’t get into the Kingdom of Heaven. Goodness will not get you in, membership in a church will not get you in, who you know will not get you in and putting it off until a more opportune time will not get you in. The way in is narrow, there is only one way and that way is through Jesus.
If you have a rebellion problem you will probably not hear and thus not come in. As plainly as I can put it, you are on your way to destruction.
Let him who has ears to hear, hear! Today is the day of salvation. Come to Jesus, come into the Kingdom of God where there is liberty and freedom from the weight and burden of sin, where there is deliverance from the adversary, where there is healing, provision and protection. Come to Jesus, Come on home, Father is waiting to welcome you!
In the battle for your soul,