I will hurry, without delay, to obey your commands.
I will hurry, without delay, to obey your commands.
1 Tim 1:16: “But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life” (NLT).
Kids learn some of the most important lessons by watching the most influential people in their lives – their parents. They learn by watching your example, in good times and bad. And, in the bad times, when you act with anger, ridicule, condescension, selfishness, etc, you have an extra opportunity to model the humility that results from confession and repentance, and the mercy and grace that comes from being a child of God.
As your children grow, they will see you are not perfect. Hopefully, they will seek the source of perfection in the only place it can be found, God. You show them the way by demonstrating your response to imperfections – present them to God with a grateful heart, knowing His mercy and grace wipe the slate clean. What an opportunity to communicate the Gospel message to your kids in a practical, real life manner!
Be an example of God’s patience, mercy and grace; your kids are watching.
|Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter. Who is the King of glory? The LORD of Heaven’s Armies–he is the King of glory.|
|Psalm 24:9-10, NLT|
|In ancient times, opening the gates meant becoming defenseless. It either meant that you were on the right side of the battle and your king was returning home, or you were on the wrong side of the battle and you were being taken over by a new king–a more powerful king.
The king referred to in Psalm 24 is repeatedly described as the King of glory. Glory means the state of being magnificent, splendid, extraordinary, and praiseworthy. Still, the psalmist does not name this King. Who is this King of glory?
At the time of Jesus’ birth, a star had indicated the birth of an extraordinary king ( Matt. 2:2). Thirty-three years later, when confronted by Pilate, Jesus acknowledged that he was a king but that his kingdom was clearly not on this earth (John 18:36). Where is the kingdom that Jesus rules, and how will we recognize it?
Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war. His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns. A name was written on him that no one understood except himself. He wore a robe dipped in blood, and his title was the Word of God. The armies of heaven, dressed in the finest of pure white linen, followed him on white horses. From his mouth came a sharp sword to strike down the nations. He will rule them with an iron rod. He will release the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty, like juice flowing from a winepress. On his robe at his thigh was written this title: King of all kings and Lord of all lords. (Rev. 19:11-16)
The conquering of sin and the defeat of death has revealed Jesus as the true King of glory. Jesus took on our battle, defeating sin and death, and now, we are people of his kingdom. Our hearts belong to the king who rightly won them. He is indeed praiseworthy, magnificent, splendid, and extraordinary! We lift our “gates” (hearts) to the true King of glory.
2 Cor 4:17-18: “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (NIV).
God never wastes suffering. Trials work for us, not against us (James 1:2-5). If we trust God and surrender to Him, trials will produce patience, perseverance and maturity in the lives of our family. If we rebel and fight against our circumstances, we will remain impatient, impulsive and immature. God allows trials so He can build character into our lives. Warren Wiersbe gives a great analogy, “God can grow a mushroom overnight, but it takes many years – and many storms – to build a mighty oak.”
It takes an eternal perspective to see beyond today to eternity. Your kids are not likely to be able to do it without your gentle, guiding hand. As you empathetically walk through trials with them, you can model the faith, hope and love that allow you to look at tough situations as opportunities to grow and develop to be more like Christ.
An eternal perspective gives us the ability to see beyond temporary trials.
Matthew 19:14 NLT
But Jesus said, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.”
Additional Scripture Readings: Psalm 92:12–13
As moms, our days can be so hectic we can’t tell whether we’re coming or going, much less growing. We can stand our five-year-old against the wall and see tangible evidence of growth by marking a spot two inches above last year’s measurement. But when we look at our own lives, sometimes all we can see growing are our toenails! Infants don’t praise us when we master patience, and our school-age children won’t notice if we clean up our thought life. When we go to the wall to mark our progress, our growth may not be apparent to us.
Sometimes we need to see the reflection of our growth in someone else’s eyes. Paul offers such a gift to the Thessalonians—a gift that meets their need and reveals our own. He praises their growth.
We can share our internal goals with our husband and ask him for feedback. We could record our thoughts and progress in a journal. Or we can share with a friend how we’d like to grow and ask her to hold us accountable.
As we grow, we have Paul’s assurance that God will count us worthy of his calling and that he will fulfill every good purpose in our lives (see 2 Thessalonians 1:11).