Bible Studies & Devotionals
From Olive Branch Ministries
By Mark and Tinsley Baker
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Leading Our Children into Righteousness
Psalms 127:3: Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As we stated in the last lesson, our children are a heritage or inheritance of the Lord.
They are actually gifts of God to us, to enrich our lives, to make each moment of our day fuller and to help us walk in joy and strength.
We need to also understand, however, that children are a big responsibility. The biggest responsibility you will face as a parent is to raise your children up in the admonition of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:4: 4. And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.
It is the responsibility of both parents, but particularly the father, to teach your children about the Lord, and the Lordís ways. If you do not spend time doing this, your children will be more prone to rebellion and being provoked to wrath.
Today, I want us to look at our individual lives, how we are living them and are they an example for our children?
My first question for you is, do you truly know Jesus Christ as your personal savior? This is important, you cannot just believe in God. The Word of God tells us that the demons believe in God and tremble.
James 2:19: 19. You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe and tremble!
It is not enough to just acknowledge that there is a God, you have to believe He is the only God, that He sent his son, Jesus to die for your sins, and then you have to confess with your mouth that you believe and believe in your heart that it is true. God loved you so much, that He sent His only son to die for you. If you have not accepted Him as you savior, I urge you today to pray the prayer that is at the end of this lesson and accept Jesus into your heart today.
If you have made this important decision, then I want us to look at how you are living your life now.
Matthew 6:33: 33. "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
We are to seek a personal, one on one relationship with God the Father and His son Jesus Christ. This means sacrifice on your part. You will have to give up something to gain a relationship with God. It is never easy and it takes discipline. The thing you need to keep in mind is that this closer relationship with God should be something you desire with all your heart. Not because you have to, or think that it is what you do when you become a Christian, but because you cannot get enough of God, you cannot find out fast enough what his word says about your life and situation. This is one of the examples you should be setting for your children, "A hunger for the Lord, and His Word."
Well, you might say, I tried to read the Bible and I fall asleep every time I open it.
I think this is true for many of us, especially if you are reading an older translation like the King James Version. Two approaches will work for this problem: 1) pray for the word to be opened up to you, so that you can understand and 2) try to acquire a more modern translation of the Bible and read it. Another suggestion is to obtain a good daily devotional book and start your Bible Study with it.
Psalms 19:14: Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my redeemer.
Once you begin your Bible Study, donít just read something and then go on your way. Think about what you have read. As the above verse says, meditate on it. Try to memorize it if you need to, and think about how what you have read applies to your life today. Godís Word is as fresh today as it was thousands of years ago and it is as much for you today as it was then. Donít let the enemy rob you of the Lordís guidance, open yourself up to the Holy Spirit and let him lead you into all truth of the Word.
The wonderful thing about the Lord is he wants to have fellowship with us; He wants us to understand his word and practice it daily in our lives. As I said above, pray for the word to become real in you life, ask God to give you the wisdom to understand his word and a hunger, and thirst for it.
Matthew 5:6: 6. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
James 1:5: 5. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
It is so simple, all we have to do is ask God for these things and he will reward us with them.
Hebrews 11:6: 6. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
The next step to leading our children into righteousness is to live the Word in front of them. It is not enough to talk about the things of God; you must put into practice "what you preach!" The old saying "actions speak louder than words," is so true. You cannot say one thing and then do another, in any area of your life. Godís Word is true in all areas of your life and you have to choose to do right and follow Him, if you want your children to grow to be Christian men and women who are serving the Lord. I do not think there is anyone reading this now, who could look me in the face and say, "no, I donít worry about death, I want my children to be eternally separated from God when they die." (Eternal separation from God in Hell with the devil, it is that simple.)
Look at the things you do in everyday life, what television programs you watch, what music you listen to. Are you watching TV shows or movies that promote ungodly life styles or themes? Is the music you listen to full of anger and hate, does it promote drug use and sex. How can you expect your children to choose to live a Godly life style, if you are not living one in front of them?
For some of us, once we have accepted Jesus as our Lord and Savior, you will see immediate, drastic changes in the way you think and act, your goals will change, your behavior will change.
But in others, it is a slower process, as we spend time with the Lord each day, and grow accustom to looking at things Godís way and not the worldís way, you will be amazed at the changes you will see in your life.
Deut: 30:19: I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life that both thou and thy seed may live:
Donít be afraid to say to your children, "I have not always lived a Godly life in front of you, forgive me. From now on, it is going to be different for me and you."
If your children are older, donít expect them to accept your changes immediately or donít expect to see changes in their lives immediately. Just as you had to decide it was Godís way and not the worldís way, so too, will your older children. This point leads us into our last important way to lead your children into righteousness, prayer.
Philippians 4:6-7: Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18: pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
Pray is not only very important for success in your life, but it is vital for the prosperity of your children. God gives us in his word specific promises we as believers can stand on for our individual needs and especially for our children. Learn what these promises are and pray them over your child.
Isaiah 61:9: And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people: all that see them shall acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed.
Proverbs 20:7: The just man walketh in his integrity: his children are blessed after him.
Acts 16:30-31: And he brought them out and said, "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?'' So they said, "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.''
God promises that if you believe on the Lord Jesus Christ you will be saved and you can pray for your entire household to be saved also. Pray for your childrenís salvation, pray for open hearts to receive Godís word. Believe in your heart that your children are saved and serving God and start confessing this over them every day! The above Scripture exhorted us to pray with thanksgiving.
When we are praying, we say "thank you, Lord, that my child is saved and serving you. That my child
knows you as his savior and loves you will all his heart." "Thank you. Lord that my child is growing up in the admonition of the Lord." It is vital that you see your children as God sees them! No matter what you are going through now, God is faithful and you will see the end of your faith, which is a child walking in righteousness; a child who loves God with all his heart and soul and seeks him daily. We are to pray without ceasing, this does not mean we constantly say "Lord, save my son, Bob." God has done all he is going to do to save you or your child, He sent His only son to die for you. The rest is up to you! Praying without ceasing is praying in the spirit and maintaining an ongoing conversation with God, every waking moment. Constantly reminding Him of His promises and thanking Him for the fulfillment of those promises.
Look at your life; are you leading your children into righteousness? Choose today Godís way, life and not death. Amen!
Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Do you want to be a joint heir with Christ?
If so, I urge you to earnestly pray the following prayer.
Dear Heavenly Father, I come to you in the name of Jesus. Your word says, "Öand the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." (Jn.6:37),
So I know You wonít cast me out, but You take me in, And I thank you for it. You said in your Word, "whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.'' (Ro. 10:13).
I am calling on Your name, So I know You have saved me now, You also said, "Öthat if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation." (Ro.10:9,10).
I believe in my heart that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I believe He was raised from the dead for my justification. And I confess Him now as my Lord, Because Your Word says, "Ö with the heart one believes to righteousnessÖ" and I do believe with my heart, I have now become the righteousness of God in Christ. (2 Cor. 5:21),
And I am saved! Thank You, Lord!
I can now truthfully say, I see myself as a born again child of God!
Glory to God!!!! Amen.