Watching angels

When one of my sons was a baby and was intently staring at the ceiling, as babies are wont to do, my mother-in-law remarked that she thought when babies did that, they were looking at their guardian angels. We smiled – I think we even chuckled. I think she got a little embarrassed, but insisted, “No, really, I think they do see them!” We always kept that as a sweet memory of a sweet thought, and often when we saw a baby staring at the ceiling, we’d observe, “There they go looking at their guardian angels again” with a smile.

When we brought my mother-in-law home from the nursing home four years ago, we thought we were bring her home to die. She was down to 90 lbs., very fuzzy-minded, and not very responsive. But one-on-one care, especially in relation to feeding, and getting her off the narcotic drug we had not even known she was on until we brought her home, all improved her general condition dramatically. She’s 89, though, and one can’t stop the ravages of time. After maybe her first year or so at home, she began to decline more and more, moving less, sleeping more. Over the last year or so, she has become less interactive. She stopped speaking about a year ago, but we could tell by her eyes that she recognized us and followed what we were saying. She’d smile, nod, or shake her head. Though sometimes she still does, more and more lately there’s no light in her eyes when she looks at us, no response.

As we got her ready for bed last night, I noticed her staring intently at the ceiling, and that old sweet thought came back: maybe she’s watching her guardian angel.

Who knows what little babies and elderly people actually see when they fixedly stare at some point like that. I don’t know if each person is assigned a guardian angel, but the Bible does say that God sends angels to help us in various ways. Our pastor saw angels before he passed away, and I’ve heard similar things from others.

There is a sense in which all who know the Lord are getting closer to heaven every day, but the older and more frail one gets, the more imminent it seems. “For while we are still in this tent, we groan, being burdened—not that we would be unclothed, but that we would be further clothed, so that what is mortal may be swallowed up by life” (2 Corinthians 5:2, ESV). Some day she’ll cast off this silent, crumpled frame and see, not just angels, but the One she has loved and faithfully served for decades, the One who loved her, died for her, redeemed her, and made it possible that she and the family she so loved and prayed for could be with Him.

For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:

“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
“O death, where is your victory?
    O death, where is your sting?”

 

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 15:53-57, ESV

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1:3-5, ESV

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Everyday gifts

A few friends linked to this cute video on Facebook.

OK, some might think it a little cheesy. But it made a good point in a fun way. Though it was made with Christmas in mind, I thought it was perfect for Thanksgiving – or really, for any day – a reminder of all that we have. Much that we take for granted would have been considered luxuries throughout most of history, and in fact would still be considered luxuries by a lot of the world today.

This reminded me of an event several years ago when the church we attended then had a testimony time Thanksgiving Eve. Several young adults expressed longing to see God do something “big” in their lives. I couldn’t help but think of the children of Israel in the wilderness. The everyday manna was just as miraculous and just as much God’s provision as the parting of the Red Sea and victory in battle, yet they soon grew tired of that and wanted something else.

I don’t think those young people wanting to see God do something big in their lives that night were necessarily taking the everyday gifts for granted. I don’t know their hearts. But sometimes in longing for the “big” moments we can overlook the everyday evidence of God’s presence, love, and care – maybe a little like a husband or wife waiting for a grand, romantic gesture from the other rather than seeing the love in providing for each other, being attentive to each other’s needs and idiosyncrasies, and all the various little ways we evidence that “You’re the one that I love.”

May we see God’s hand and rejoice in His love and gifts in the everyday as well as in the milestone, once in a lifetime events.

It is a good thing to give thanks unto the Lord, and to sing praises unto Thy name, O most High: to show forth Thy lovingkindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness every night. Psalm 92:1-2

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When God Asks the Impossible

One day while reading the account of the man with the withered hand, it occurred to me that what Jesus asked him to do – to stretch out his hand – was exactly what he could not do. Same with the paralyzed man whom Jesus told to rise, take up his bed, and walk. That’s exactly what he couldn’t do. Thankfully neither of these argued with Jesus about it. They just obeyed. And in the obedience they found the ability they’d not had before, given by God’s grace.

A popular saying is “God won’t give you anything you can’t handle.” Of course He does! He asks any number of things of us that we can’t do except with His help and grace.

This doesn’t mean we should start looking for impossible feats to accomplish. These were things Jesus asked – or rather, commanded of people, not foolhardy, reckless acts.

Nor does it mean that I should say “Yes” to every seemingly impossible opportunity that comes my way. Sometimes God puts limits or closed doors in our path to teach and guide us.

But it does mean that when He wants me to do something I don’t think I can do, instead of telling Him all the reasons I can’t, like Moses (which I am prone to do), or waiting to feel like I have the strength and the ability, I should just take the next step, put one foot in front of the other, obey, and trust Him for the ability.

It’s happened in the past. Jobs that were too big for me. Situations too hard to go through. Dealing with ongoing health issues. Events that, if I could have seen all that would be involved, would have sent me running to the hills. There have been situations I have looked back on and wondered how in the world I got through them.

I’ve thought of this truth in relation to those things, but recently I’ve begun to connect them not just to the “big” events of life, but the everyday fighting against temptation, facing mundane responsibilities, loving like Jesus loves when it’s far from easy. Those are just as impossible in my own strength.

Only by God’s grace. Only by His strength. That’s part of the reason for these situations: for our growth and faith, yes, but also so people will see it’s Him.

That they may know that this is thy hand; that thou, Lord, hast done it. Psalm 109:27

Even knowing all that, my default response is usually to quiver and say, “I can’t.” And I truly can’t. But He can, through me. And like Peter, who was asked the impossible action of walking on water, I need to keep my eyes not on the boisterous winds and waves, not on the circumstances that would make it impossible, but on Him.

Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. John 15:4-5

For with God nothing shall be impossible. And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.Luke 1:37-38

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12:9

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

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He Is

I saw this at my friend Kim‘s blog, and because it is a longish video, it took me a while to get to it. But when I finally did – what an impact! I don’t know who the groups or individuals are who put it together, but they did a wonderful job magnifying Jesus Christ according to His Word. Well worth 11 minutes of your time.

A Stirred-up Woman

I keep a section in my “notes” app on my phone for jotting down things that strike me that I want to look into further, either for my own study or perhaps to develop into a blog post. In deleting some old notes recently, I came across a notation that said “The danger of a stirred-up woman: Acts 13:50.” In the KJV this passage says: “But the Jews stirred up the devout and honourable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts.” Some other translations use the word “stirred”; some say “incited.” In this chapter, Paul and Barnabas had come to Antioch and shared the gospel, and many believed. “But when the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and began to contradict what was spoken by Paul, reviling him,” verse 45 (ESV), and then by verse 50 they stirred up others to expel the preachers.

I know the passage refers to men as well, but it struck me both as a woman reader and as someone who has seen the results of a stirred-up woman both in others and in myself.

I looked up the Greek word translated as “stirred” or “Incited” in this verse and found it is only used here. So I looked up other verses using the English word “stir.” An interesting study! One can be stirred up in a bad way (all ESV unless otherwise noted):

All day long they injure my cause; all their thoughts are against me for evil. They stir up strife, they lurk; they watch my steps, as they have waited for my life. (Psalm 56:5-6).

Deliver me from those who work evil, and save me from bloodthirsty men. For behold, they lie in wait for my life; fierce men stir up strife against me. For no transgression or sin of mine, O Lord, for no fault of mine, they run and make ready. (Psalm 59:2-3)

Deliver me, O Lord, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, who plan evil things in their heart and stir up wars continually. (Psalm 140:1-2).

Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all offenses. (Proverbs 10:12).

A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Proverbs 15:1).

A hot-tempered man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger quiets contention. (Proverbs 17:18).

A greedy man stirs up strife, but the one who trusts in the Lord will be enriched. (Proverbs 28:25).

A man of wrath stirs up strife, and one given to anger causes much transgression. (Proverbs 29:22).

And they stirred up the people and the elders and the scribes, and they came upon him [Jesus] and seized him and brought him before the council (Acts 6:12).

 Then all the city was stirred up, and the people ran together. They seized Paul and dragged him out of the temple, and at once the gates were shut. And as they were seeking to kill him, word came to the tribune of the cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion. (Acts 21:30-31). (There are several passages in Acts about people being stirred up after the apostles preached.)

As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned. (Titus 3:10-11).

…Or in a good way:

And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the Lord‘s contribution to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments. (Exodus 35:21).

And every skillful woman spun with her hands, and they all brought what they had spun in blue and purple and scarlet yarns and fine twined linen.  All the women whose hearts stirred them to use their skill spun the goats’ hair [for the tabernacle] (Exodus 35:25-26).

And Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab and every craftsman in whose mind the Lord had put skill, everyone whose heart stirred him up to come to do the work. (Exodus 36:2).

Then rose up the heads of the fathers’ houses of Judah and Benjamin, and the priests and the Levites, everyone whose spirit God had stirred to go up to rebuild the house of the Lord that is in Jerusalem. (Ezra 1:5).

 Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. (Hebrews 10:23-25).

Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands. (2 Timothy 1:6, KJV).

Therefore I intend always to remind you of these qualities [in verses 3-11], though you know them and are established in the truth that you have. I think it right, as long as I am in this body, to stir you up by way of reminder…(2 Peter 1:13).

This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder,  that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles. (2 Peter 3:1-2).

Furthermore, “stirring” can be done by God, by ourselves, by other people, and by situations.

Sometimes we need stirring. Hosea speaks of sinful people “like a heated oven
whose baker ceases to stir the fire” (7:4b). But sometimes we’re stirred up to the point of getting out of hand, and sadly, it’s usually the negative kind of stirring that does this the quickest.

So when i feel “stirred up,” I need to ask myself:

  • What is stirring me up? Is this from God, from myself, from others?
  • What emotions are stirred up? Anger, spite, selfishness, jealousy? Or love and compassion?
  • Am I being stirred up to a mindless, destructive frenzy or to purposeful usefuless?
  • What am I stirred up to do? Lash out? Exact vengeance? Harm? Put someone in their place? Use my gifts to help others? Serve? Love?

My initial thought of “the danger of a stirred-up woman” is only partially accurate. After this study, I’d instead refer to “the power of a stirred-up woman,” for evil or for good. Self examination in the light of God’s Word will help me understand whether that stirring is something I need to yield to or to confess and repent of.

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For His Name’s Sake

It happened Thursday morning that my reading from Daily Light on the Daily Path intersected with my Bible reading. The Daily Light passage for September 28 is as follows:

They shall put my name upon the children of Israel; and I will bless them. Numbers 6:27.

O LORD our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us: but by thee only will we make mention of thy name. Isaiah 26:13. We are thine: thou never barest rule over them; they were not called by thy name. Isa. 63:19.

All people of the earth shall see that thou art called by the name of the LORD; and they shall be afraid of thee. Deut. 28:10. The LORD will not forsake his people for his great name’s sake: because it hath pleased the LORD to make you his people. I Sam. 12:22

O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name. Dan. 9:19. Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy name: and deliver us, and purge away our sins, for thy name’s sake. Wherefore should the heathen say, Where is their God? Psalm 79:9,10. The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe. Prov. 18:10.

Obviously, what those verses all have in common is God’s name, and there are multitudes more in the Bible. We may be somewhat familiar with the last one, but have we ever prayed for forgiveness, as Daniel did, or help, as Asaph did in Psalm 79, for God’s sake, for the sake of His name, for His glory? I have to admit, most often my focus is on my own need and wanting it resolved as soon as possible.

Part of my Bible reading was in Psalm 79 on this same day, which is quoted in this day’s Daily Light. According to my MacArthur Study Bible, this psalm was probably written after Nebuchadnezzar’s destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. He comments that in that time and culture, defeat of a nation was taken to mean the defeat of its god as well. Maybe that’s one reason God manifested Himself to Nebuchadnezzar later on – to show him that He had not been defeated, as well as to show him his need of Him.

Knowing those things magnifies the poignancy of OT saints being concerned for God’s name and, in sense, His reputation. God associated His name with Israel in a particular way. But what of NT saints, especially NT Gentile saints? What is our relationship to His name?

Are we called by His name?

Simeon hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for his name…That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things. Acts 15:14, 17.

 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named… Ephesians 3:14-15.

Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 2 Timothy 2:19.

What benefits do we receive through His name?

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. John 1:12.

And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 1 Corinthians 6:11.

I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name’s sake. 1 John 2:12.

For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Matthew 8:20.

And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. John 16:23-24.

Do our actions reflect on His name?

And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. Acts 19:17.

For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you. Romans 2:24.

For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. Hebrew 6:10.

Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called? James 2:7.

Does His name influence our actions?

 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:18-20.

Whosoever shall receive one of such children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever shall receive me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me. Mark 9:37.

But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel. Acts 9:15.

By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ. Romans 1:5-6.

Because that for his name’s sake they went forth…3 John 7.

I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Revelation 2:2-3.

I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith…Revelation 2:13a.

I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name. Revelation 3:8.

What might it cost us to bear His name?

Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. Matthew 24:9.

If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. 1 Peter 4:14.

I hope these verses encourage you, as they do me, to enlarge my vision in my prayers, my life, and my actions to concern for His name.

And in his name shall the Gentiles trust. Matthew 12:21.

Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power: That the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in you, and ye in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12.

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Looking to Jesus’ example in discipling our children

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(Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Some folks think of Christ only as “a good example.” We know better, of course. We know He is the Son of God, the “brightness of His glory and express image of His Person,” our Lord and Savior. But sometimes we forget that He is also our example in all things, that He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin.

One day when my kids were much younger I was reading about Jesus’ disciples bickering and was amused to think how like my own children they were. Then I began to think through that concept a little further. Of course, Jesus relationship to His disciples was not exactly that of a parent and child, but there are ways ways Jesus interacted with His disciples that I could apply to my interactions with my own children, who were also my disciples.

We’re told that we’re changed to be more like Him by beholding Him, so let’s look at, mediate on, and glean from His example.

1) Do your children ever bicker?

Are there any children who don’t bicker? Mine used to fuss about everything from who got the front seat to who got the most meatballs. The disciples certainly argued, fussed, and jockeyed for position as well. Jesus dealt patiently with them, correcting whatever it was they were arguing over, pointing them to truth.

2) Do your children ever interrupt your devotions?

Jesus made provision for a quiet time alone with His Father, rising up a great while before day, going out alone, staying up at night. When the disciples would seek Him out and interrupt Him, He did not seem to get frustrated or angry; He didn’t rebuke them: He just dealt with the matter at hand.

Finding time, solitude, and quietness to spend time with the Lord is one of the hardest things for mothers, especially when children are young. Rosalind Goforth, wife of Jonathan Goforth of China, wrote in her book, Climbing, that if she tried to get up early to have devotions, it only started “the circus” that much earlier as the children would hear her and get up.

Though it is frustrating to be interrupted, we need to look at the situation through our children’s eyes, and picture them looking for Mommy and being met with scowlings and scoldings when they find her with her Bible. What is their reaction going to be toward their mother and toward the Bible she is reading?

A friend of mine once told me of a childhood memory in which she was looking for her mother and walked into her mother’s bedroom. She found her on her knees, weeping, at her bedside. She felt she had walked into something sacred, and the memory never left her. That incident got me to thinking that perhaps I could look on my children’s interruptions of my devotional time as beneficial to them, that perhaps they needed to see their mother reading her Bible and praying in the ordinary course of the day. So, instead of getting frustrated at the pitter-patter of little feet when I got up early to have devotions, I began to include my children, either reading out loud to them or praying with them, or just allowing them to cuddle up beside me quietly. If I really needed to be alone, I could give them quiet instructions or get them involved with a different activity. I don’t know if they will have specific memories of those times, but I trust their own attitudes toward having devotions were influenced favorably, and I hope that seeing their mother in the Word was and will be a blessing to them.

3) Do your children ever misunderstand you?

Jesus’ disciples did not understand why He “must needs go through Samaria,” why He was talking to the woman at the well, what He was talking about when He said He had bread to eat they knew not of, etc. Just so, our children do not always understand why they can’t have more candy, why they can’t go to that party or watch that movie, why they have to move away from their school and friends, why Grandpa died. Sometimes our Lord explained the situation further; sometimes He just went on with what He had to do. Sometimes we can explain things to our children: sometimes hours of repeated explaining still won’t satisfy them. All we can do is try to teach them to trust us and trust the Lord, to trust and obey.

Those lessons of faith provide building blocks for their future experiences with the Lord, as Romans 5:3-4 remind us: “tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope.” Once when we had to move due to my husband’s job, which was, of course, a trying situation for the whole family, we tried to keep the focus on what the Lord had for us around the bend. Our children found that they liked their new church and school situation much better and made good friends. Some years later we faced the possibility of another move, and once again they faced that possibility gloomily. Yet we could remind them of the outcome of their previous experience with moving, and, though they weren’t excited about the prospect, they could face it in faith.

4) Do your children ever try to distract you from God’s purposes for you?

One time Jesus had healed people all day. When His disciples sought Him out the next morning to tell Him that people were seeking Him, He told them He needed to go to other towns and preach: His primary purpose was to preach, not heal everyone at that time (Mark 1: 32-39). This kind of distraction seems to be an outgrowth of misunderstanding, and a simple explanation set things straight.

We, too, are faced with myriads of opportunities these days, both as individuals and as families, in the spiritual realm as well as the secular. Sometimes a family has to look at the bigger picture and eliminate things that are not wrong in themselves, but would be a drain of time and energy and a distraction from our main purposes. For instance, one of my teen-agers had an opportunity one summer to go on a mission trip, attend two different camps, and work at another camp for six weeks. He couldn’t possibly do all of that. In addition, we needed to paint his room and wanted him to be a part of that experience as training for when he became the head of a household with those responsibilities. Plus there were youth group activities scattered throughout the summer. And he really needed to get a part-time job and start saving for college. It isn’t easy to sort through all of the good opportunities, and there may be differences of opinion as to which ones to take advantage of and which to eliminate. But we trusted that as we sought the Lord’s wisdom and discussed all the possibilities, the best ones were chosen.

Sometimes, however, distraction from God’s purposes is a matter of unyieldedness. Peter went so far as to rebuke Jesus when He spoke of His coming death. He got a strong rebuke from Jesus in return.

5) Do your children ever not “get” what you are trying to teach them?

This happened so often with the disciples! Jesus just kept laying line upon line, precept upon precept, and went on with what He had to do, knowing they would understand in time. And we have to do that, too, as parents.

Sometimes He did question them (for example, when they were on the boat during the storm while Jesus was asleep. They woke Him up, saying, “Carest Thou not that we perish?” After He stilled the storm, He asked, “Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?”) Sometimes He rebuked them (Mark 16:14: “Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.”) Sometimes we need to be patient with our children’s immaturity (just as our Lord is patient with ours), but sometimes they, too, need a stern rebuke when they should “know better.”

6) Do you love your children, knowing full well they will fail you and disappoint you?

Jesus certainly does, with the disciples and also with us. The most poignant example, to me, was before His crucifixion, knowing the disciples would forsake Him and that Peter would deny Him. “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.” We cherish the best expectations for our children: “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (I Cor, 13:7). But just as “he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust,” so we know that our children are only human and will fail from time to time. Though there may be consequences to deal with, by God’s grace we always love them and offer to them the same forgiveness He offers us. “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him” (Ps 103:13).

I am sure that there are many more examples than this of our Lord’s example to us on earth that we could apply to parenting: His love for them, His instructing, illustrated by stories they could comprehend; His teaching them the work of the ministry by example and then by sending them out on their own, etc. How good to know that He knows exactly what we go through as parents and that He will give us the wisdom, compassion, and grace we need!

 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth. John 1:14

(Postscript: This is revised from an article I wrote years ago that was published in a magazine which I cannot find now but which I think is no longer published. It would take too long and probably not be very interesting to relate the details, but something I read yesterday touched off a series of thoughts which eventually reminded me of this article, led to an unsuccessful search for my copy of the magazine, and then a successful find of a draft of it in an old computer file. I hope it is an encouragement to you.)

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