The Cart Before The Horse
Sometimes I am able to write so causally, as though I were chatting with a friend. Someone told me recently after reading a post that she felt like we had just been in the church nursery together, talking. I love that she told me that. It meant a great deal to me. But, sometimes I feel a great need to write, as though the Holy Spirit is pressing me to do so. I am careful now about listening to that still, small voice. Much more careful than I used to be. And sometimes He's not so small or so still. It's in those times that I feel a great sense of urgency. Today is one of those times. I wrote recently a list of useless facts about me. It was the fourth set of ten things, and it was silly and fun. But I said something there that caused conviction to my heart, but not for the reason that most people would think. No one said a thing to me. It is my own burden. It's a burden I have for others, especially young people. Kids, and teenagers in particular, hold a special place in my heart. We teach our young people to trust Christ at a young age. We teach them the truths from God's Word concerning their sin and their great need of a Saviour. Of the great love of Jesus, who took on our sin debt and bore it as His own. We expose them to good Bible teaching and preaching, and pray for the Holy Spirit of God to draw and convict them, and save them. The hearts of children are tender, and they come and trust Him. We rejoice when our children get saved! Perfect! Unfortunately, what often comes next is misguided, and it hurts our children. After our children get saved, we then teach our baby Christians the 'rules' of Christian life. It's really this way for all new converts. But sometimes we get the cart before the horse. What is missed is the most important part. The next step. Set the rules aside, just for a bit. There is plenty of time for them to learn what God teaches about living a Godly, holy life and pleasing Him. But something else needs to come first. After our young people trust Christ, we need to teach them to love the Lord with all of their hearts, and all of their souls, and all of their minds. (Matthew 22:37) Teach them to have a real, working relationship with Him. And I see this missing more times than not. Matthew 22:37-39 "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." Show them how much you love Him. Speak of His goodness to you. Show them the place of importance He has in your life. If you're not there, get there quick! Give Him the glory for every good thing. And show them that you trust Him in every bad and terrifying thing. Show them that you run to Him for your needs. Teach them to cry to their Daddy. Remind them how amazing it is that we can march right on up to the Throne of Grace and share our hearts with God the Father because of what Jesus did for us. Show them how valuable they are to God; so very important to Him that He gave His precious Son for them, because He loves them so much. Our children, and all young Christians for that matter, need to know the Lord before they should be asked to serve Him. Not just know Him in salvation, but to know Him in a loving and close relationship. To know Him in an intimate way. Precious and sweet. And when you love someone dearly, you WANT to please them in everything you do. If you ask of someone that they serve the Lord before they truly know and love Him, then that service will be grievous and burdensome, and most likely they will eventually quit. Rebel. Run the other direction. Fall into bitterness. 1 John 5:1-3~ "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous." His commandments are not grievous! I WANT to keep them. I WANT to please Him! Why? Read it again. Because I LOVE HIM!!! Teach your children to love God. To keep the great commandments. To love the Lord and other people. The rest will take care of itself. Then they will run to please Him, because they love Him and they want to!