Thursday, September 29, 2011

Precious Blessings - Dinner #8

     How have you always regarded children?  Do you steer clear of church nursery and children’s ministry assignments?  Are you a young lady who openly declares that you hope you never have a baby?  Or are you a happy mother of three or four? 
     The Lord Jesus Himself loved children!  Mark 10:13,16 “And they brought young children to him . . . And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.”  We also see in His Word that children are so very dear to God that He knows them before they are even formed in the womb, and has a particular purpose for each of their lives!  Jeremiah 1:5 “Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.”
     Sometimes I hear young couples going around talking about how they hope they won’t have any children for a long time.  The truth of the matter is, Christian couples should have the strong desire to become parents, for parenthood is a BLESSING from God!  We look down on the Communist countries that limit the amount of children their citizens may have.  It makes us infuriated!  But then, we turn around in our own selfish society, and often regard children as a financial burden and a nuisance!  How have Christians allowed such wrong thinking to influence their minds?  Children are blessings!  Whether they are your own children or children you have the privilege of working with, they are BLESSINGS! 

Luke 1:7, 13-14 “And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years. . . But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.  And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.”

     Zacharias prayed to the Lord to give them a child, and God told him that when the baby was born, he would have JOY AND GLADNESS!  This wasn’t something to be upset or financially worried about! Zacharias wasn’t going around in complete distress over how this was going to affect his “retirement plan”!  It was an event that brought rejoicing in the Lord! 
Genesis 21:1-2 “And the LORD visited Sarah as he had said . . . For Sarah conceived, and bare Abraham a son in his old age, at the set time of which God had spoken unto him.”
I Samuel 2:21 “And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters.  And the child Samuel grew before the LORD.”

     Both of these verses speak of a “visit” from the Lord.  Does that sound like chance or just an unexpected accident to you?!  Something that “just happened”?  Whether or not a child comes as a “surprise” to you, they are no surprise to God!  Each one is truly part of His perfect plan!

Ruth 4:13 “So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son.”

     If God has allowed you to have children, you must realize that this is a GIFT from the Lord! He has GIVEN them to you! 

Psalm 113:9 “He maketh the barren woman to keep house, and to be a joyful mother of children.  Praise ye the LORD.”

     Becoming a mother is a joyful, happy thing!  It hurts my heart when I hear Christian ladies jokingly say of one of their children, “We weren’t planning on that one.”  What message does that send to the child?  That you didn’t really want them at first, but now you guess you’re glad that God had other plans?  Why wasn’t your heart in the right place to begin with?!  No baby in a Christian home should ever be regarded as “unwanted at this time”! There are some women in the world today who are on their knees, weeping before God, because they want a baby!  If the Lord has opened your womb and given you children, don’t take that blessing from the Lord lightly, even if you feel it is not in “your timing”! That visit from Him is in HIS timing!    

     Genesis 33:5 “And he lifted up his eyes, and saw the women and the children; and said, Who are those with thee? And he said, The children which God hath graciously given thy servant.”

     If you decide that you want nothing to do with children, what numerous blessings are you denying yourself?  What untold blessings are you denying the world?  Once, when I was attending a teaching convention, the head speaker for the preschool department used the second half of this verse to remind us that the children in our classroom were also blessings from the Lord.  She declared that each year of teaching, even the more difficult students to reach, were children “which God hath graciously given”.  That verse stuck with me more than anything else said in that conference, and was an encouraging reminder on many occasions. 

Psalm 78:4 “We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done.”

     There needs to be a “next generation” so that we can pass onto them the praises of our God!  They need to hear the truth of God’s Word!  Who are the children that God has placed in YOUR care?  Are they your own?  Are they school students, or boys and girls you’re reaching through a church ministry? Whether a mother, a wife, or a ministry worker, it is important to have a right view of children.  Each and every one is truly a precious blessing from the Lord!

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