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Archive for the month “June, 2014”

Parents – We Can’t Save Our Kids (Jamie Ivey)

I walked down the aisle at the age of ten. But because of my fear, at each youth event I secretly prayed again to receive Jesus as my savior.  I mean, what if the first seven times didn’t really work? I was scared of my motives not being real and Jesus not believing me and sending me to hell. It’s a terrifying roller coaster that God never intended for his children to be on. It wasn’t until I was 21 that I truly understood that it wasn’t about my decision to follow Jesus, but that it was God’s calling on my life to change me, mold me, and make me desire to look more like him.

Finding Comfort in God’s Sovereignty

As a parent, I sometimes fall into that trap of scaring my children into salvation. I mean, what parent doesn’t want their children to follow Jesus?  We all do, and if we’re honest we would save them if we could. But we can’t. As much as I want to make my children good disciples of Jesus, the truth is that I can’t. Only God can call their names. I can’t get them on the guest list, or have them say enough of the right words, or even have them pray a prayer that will get them salvation. It’s out of my hands.

As much as I want to make my children disciples of Jesus, only God can call their names. @jamie_ivey

When I first realized that it brought me so much comfort in my parenting. I do a lot of stuff right with my kids, but I also do a lot of things wrong. The thing is I can’t give them salvation and I can’t take it away. Parents, rest in that today. Let that truth sink in. We are given the role to guide them, share with them, and even show them the right way, but, parents, we can not save our kids.

Let The Holy Spirit Do His Job

A few years ago, our oldest son brought home a Mormon bible that one of his best friends had shared with him. I was immediately impressed with his friend’s thoughtfulness and boldness towards my son. My next thought was, “He can not read that, because it’s not truth.” I then realized that I do want my kids to journey towards their faith, and I don’t want to scare them into anything or scare them away from anything. I believe that God calls his children to him in spite of their parents, their surroundings, their culture, or whatever. He is in charge of their souls.

As my son sat there reading his friend’s bible my husband and I took the time to look at it with him. We encouraged him to get his Bible and see what the differences were. We showed him verses that claim that God’s word is truth (Psalm 19). We showed him verses that declare that Jesus is the only way to God (John 14:6). We then asked him open-ended questions that allowed his brain to work and figure things out without us giving him the right answer. Of course we guided him in the right direction, that’s what we are supposed to do. But we didn’t force anything on him. We didn’t forbid him from reading his friend’s Mormon bible, or from being friends with him like I think so many of our parents generation would have done for us. We simply pointed him towards the truth and then let the Holy Spirit do his job, which we are confident he will.

Parents, there is no need to scare your kids into salvation. Give them resources, guide them, parent them to the best of your ability, and allow God to draw them to him. He’s a much better representation of the gospel that we could ever give them. Love them. Share the truth. Leave the rest to God.

Do Not Take Up Another’s Offense As Your Own (R. Kainosktisis)

When I was a boy, I had many family members who simply did not like each other.  My problem was that I liked them all, no matter how they felt about each other.  But when two warring relatives learned that I refused to take sides with one against the other, they both ended up not liking me.

Being a people pleaser, that turned me into a liar and a hypocrite.  When I was with one, I would agree with him when he became critical of the other.  Then when I was with the other, I would agree with him about the first one.  I didn’t like doing that, but it gave me the illusion of peace.  I didn’t realize that I was letting their conflict hold me hostage and keeping me from being at peace within myself.

That deceitful hypocrisy followed me well into adulthood.  Then I went to a Christian seminar where the speaker taught a lesson which basically said it was sinful to take up someone else’s offense against another person as if it were my own.  And I began to realize that anyone who tries to manipulate me into joining them in their conflict with another was abusing me and sinning against the Lord.

The proper way to handle conflicts which other people have against each other was modeled by our Lord and described in Luke 12:13-14.  “And someone in the crowd said to Him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me.’  But He (Jesus) said to him, ‘Man, who appointed me a judge or arbiter over you?’”  In other words, Jesus refused to take up the offense of one brother against another.

That one person I care for doesn’t like another person I care for is not my problem.  My only concern is to do my best to remain at peace with all people, no matter whether they can get along well with each other or not.  Jesus said in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”  I cannot fulfill that when I allow myself to be drawn into others’ squabbles with each other.

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