SHARPER THAN A SWORD

SERMONS

Hebrews 4:12-13 "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account."

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

OUR CHILDREN?

Psalm 127:3-5

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord ,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one's youth.
5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.”
 

As our children are a gift of God, we often fail to remember who has given them to us. In addition, we fail to realize the great and demanding responsibility we have to our children.

In our last lesson we looked at the grave responsibility parents have to their children in the much needed sphere of discipline. That in fact, discipline can train our children for a better life and one guarded by God.

In this lesson, we want to explore another area of responsibility towards our children; “preparing them for life”.

In no point do we fail more in the lives of our children, than in the training in the Lord. We often allow them to grow up striving for worldly preferment , lovers of pleasure , greedy for gain , and all in conflict with a love of God! This is in most cases due to a lack of faithful training and a near sighted approach to raising our children.

 

Lesson Two: Prepare Them!

Ephesians 6:1-4 “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: 3 “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
4 And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.”

 

The training of our children in the early impressionable years of their lives, will form the adult habits of self-control , self-respect , diligence , faithfulness , kindness of heart , etc…

An example of the importance of preparatory training can be seen in the children of Israel . It was of such vast importance to the success of God's people to just keep the commandments and precepts of the Lord that they were to teach them in advance to their children, even before it was theirs to keep, note:

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 “And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. 7 You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up.

 

We sit down in the living room or at the kitchen table and plan in advance such things as vacations, budgets, home repair, etc… But, will we sit down and plan subjects for training our children?

Fathers! It has been given to us to train and admonish our children in the Lord. Help-Meets! It is your duty to enforce and support your men in this effort. Then it is also vital that we share our training regiment with grandparents, aunts, uncles, or anyone who is also going to influence on our children. But before any of this is going to be successful, we must first discipline ourselves to make sure we are living the life lessons we want to instill in our children. Then we must have the foresight to see the need for life lessons before our children have to make choices on their own!

 

Before we look at some strategy in preparing our children, first let's visit some definitions that we need to make sure we have a clear understanding of.

•  Chasten, or Chastise.

From the Greek word, ‘ Paideuo ' which is a verb (action word), and denotes, “to train”. It suggests a wide variety of subjects in education, instruction, then enforced with words, reproving, and when necessary getting to the seat of the problem.

•  Admonition, Admonish.

From the Greek word ‘Noutheto' which is also a verb and means, “to put to mind”. It is used in the action of instruction and warning. The primary difference between admonish and teach, is that one is not just instructed but re-enforced by either a negative warning or a positive truth!

•  Of the Lord.

Training and admonition have value, but there is none greater than that which portrays a life dedicated to God through Christ Jesus. Training our children in this understanding, is truly loving them (acting in their best interest).

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Prepare Them:

Now let's look at some strategies that we must consider as vastly necessary to prepare our children for their lives as adults. These strategies are not designed to be exhaustive, but to begin the thought process for preparing our children. In addition, if we are truly practicing the foresight necessary for the preparation of our children for life and we think that we trained them for everything, consider that all of these strategies revolve around sound Christian virtues, thus in every virtue a Christian is to display there are additional lessons.

 

•  Prepare Them for the World!

It is vital that we teach our children how to enjoy life apart from the vices of life! This way when faced with the temptations and undue influences, they will have enough in their lives that is wholesome and enjoyable that the corrupt vices will have no interest to them or those others who are so weak as to give into them.

This will only succeed if we teach them early, what wholesome enjoyment is!

 

Romans 12:9-21 Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good. 10 Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; 11 not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; 12 rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; 13 distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.
17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 Therefore

“ If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”

 

In these Christian virtues and expectations we find a vault full of lessons in wholesome enjoyment. Their value can be seen in the kind of unity these behaviors produce with those of like minds. In addition, in these behaviors the children learn such important life lessons as to not have idle hands, to see people with a different set of eyes than the ones in their head, and that practicing kindness and benevolence is in itself wholesome enjoyment.

 

•  Prepare Them for War!

  Ask yourself, “Is Satan going to wait for them to be grown?” Do you really think his influence is going to wait until their prepared to deal with it. Two realities exist in the lives of our children; one is that they can be yoked together with the evil one because we were negligent in their training (the idea of being yoked together is that of being bound to influences that are to strong to resist), the second is that they can be yoked together with God by the training and admonition of the Lord.

We must train our children and tell them the truth about the evil one and his power!

 

1 Peter 5:8 Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

 

Teach them that this roaring lion often takes on the form of their friends or even family members. Teach them to love people but hate their evil deeds!

 

•  Prepare Them to Do Without.

Our constitution guarantees certain freedoms, but it does not guarantee that you should have a TV in each room of the house, or two brand new cars, etc… Covetousness creates a bond to the world. We often make two very big mistakes these days in raising our children! One, is that we give them too many things instead of teaching them the principle of doing without or working for something. The second is that we additionally give them too many choices. Learning contentment in life with what you have and why you do things is a treasure that will serve our children well in life.

 

1 Timothy 6:6-9 “Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.”

 

•  Prepare Them to Serve.

This is again a Christian virtue that we often forget to teach our children when they are young. Consider this statement of Paul:

 

1 Corinthians 11:1 “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ.”

 

Then consider the example of Jesus as He put on the towel of a slave and washed the feet of His disciples and then commanded them to love each other as He had loved them (John 13:1-35). In addition, the life of Jesus was a life of service, and this is the life that all are to imitate.

 

Hebrews 5:8-9 “though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. 9 And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him”

 

We must teach them to serve God through Christ our King. We must teach them to serve their parents in fulfilling all the parameters of a godly home and that their behavior has a direct reflection on us. Finally, we must teach them to serve others.

 

•  Prepare Them to Die!

“Oh David!” you are probably saying right now! “This is really morbid!” I am not talking about teaching them to end their lives, but to live their lives without the fear of death. Each and every one of us will openly admit that this is an inevitable out come.

 

Hebrews 9:27  “And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment,”

 

Preparing our children concerning this subject will preserve the importance of making the right choices and or correcting poor ones immediately. It will truly help give important structure and meaning to their lives.

 

Ecclesiastes 12:13-14  “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man's all.
14 For God will bring every work into judgment, Including every secret thing, Whether good or evil.”

 

Again, this lesson was not designed to be exhaustive (there are dozens of life lessons we must be considering in preparing our children, which teaches us that there must be more than one planning session; it is continuous), but just to begin the necessary thought process that parents must have towards the preparation of our children.

In our next lesson, we will dove-tail off this lesson and take a look at many important subjects we fail to teach our children!