God only knows who His elect are. If our sons and daughters are numbered among them they will be saved. Not one of God’s chosen ones will perish. Christ will have those whom He has redeemed. In God’s time, He will call His own from death to life by the power of the Holy Spirit. If some of our children are not chosen of God, they will not be saved. They will not believe. And those who will not believe deserve to perish.
But it is our responsibility to do what we can to bring our families into the family of God. I offer these words of instruction to you who believe, to you who are interested in the immortal souls of your sons and daughters.
1. If you want your family to be saved, see to it that you worship God with your family. If you do not see to it that your children hear the gospel, it is because you do not care for their souls. If you neglected to feed your children, it would be reasonable to assume that you cared nothing for their bodies. And if you do not provide them with the gospel of Christ, both by private instruction and by bringing them to hear the Word preached, it is obvious that you do not care for their souls. You can do nothing that is more positively harmful to your family than to rob them of the ministry of the Word.
2. If you care for the souls of your children you will exercise loving discipline in your home. Eli was a believer. He showed his wicked sons the way of faith and life in Christ. He taught them the gospel. He taught them right from wrong. And he prayed for them. But he was a miserable failure as a father, because he exercised no discipline over them. ‘He restrained them not!’ God told him plainly that the cause of his sons’ death was his lack of’ discipline as a father.
3. If you want your children to follow Christ, let them see that you follow Christ. By all means see to it that your sons and daughters regularly attend the ministry of the gospel. See to it that you pray for them and discipline them. But if your religion is all lip service, they will soon detect your hypocrisy. Set before them an example of love for, faith in and devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ.
– From “Grace for Today” by Don Fortner
When we feel like we are in the wilderness, with all our hopes lost and nothing left to put our trust in, the most dreaded of all fears come across our hearts – we are alone in this. There is no one who can understand what we are going through. It won’t even make sense to them. Suddenly we realize that we have no friend to confide in.
Alone. The fear of being lonely. Especially when we have followed the guidance of the Lord. We have only obeyed His instructions. Yet, here we are. We have nothing left. It is a wilderness all around us. Nothing to trust in. No hopes left. Your faith is struggling. And it sure looks lonely.
But dear friend, you are not alone. Because if you have followed the Lord, if you have obeyed His Word and you find yourself in a wilderness, remember that the Spirit of the Lord is with you.
Remember when Jesus found Himself in a wilderness, where He was tempted for 40 days and nights (Luke 4:2)? Where the devil questioned Jesus if He is the Son of God? And how did Jesus Christ reach that point of temptation? The Bible says that Jesus was filled with the Holy Spirit and was led by the Spirit of God into the wilderness. (Luke 4:1)
Yes, dear friend, when you are in the midst of the wilderness, when it looks like there is no hope left, when suddenly you realize that you are all alone, remember that the Spirit of God has led you up to this point and He is with you. The Comforter is with you.And HE will give you rest. (Isaiah 63:14)
We can try our best to love the eternal God using our hearts and our minds and our strengths. But there is a small problem. Our hearts, our minds and our strengths – all these are limited. The Lord we try to love is limitless. It is impossible for us to love Him with our own understanding. That is the reason that the LORD has provided us graciously with His Holy Spirit.
We may have received the Spirit of God. We may be anointed, speaking in tongues and we may prophesy. But ultimately, has the Holy Spirit enabled us to love our Lord better? Has the love of God been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit Who has been given to us (Romans 5:5)? Let us feel the presence of the Holy Spirit and be filled with the love of the LORD.
|Jeremiah 17:9-10“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.””
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