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Keith Green - Oh Lord, You're Beautiful

Monday, January 31, 2011

Matthew 19:13, “Little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray”

I know first-hand how challenging parenting can be in raising a family, as my wife and I, raised two boys, both of which were a hand full. To borrow the old Army slogan
“It’s the toughest job you’ll ever love!”

I know that I love being a parent but it’s a tough job and definitely the most demanding and rewarding job of all times. It starts from the minute you learn you’re going to be a mother and father and will last until the day you die!

Taking you on a ride like nothing you have ever experienced before. There will be many wonderful and frustrating times as well as emergencies and surprises along the way.

Raising a family in today’s hectic world is definitely a challenge. Parents must learn to be financial managers,
maintenance experts,
educators and diplomats…….

and they must balance all those roles with being loving caretakers for their children.
Add to that the additional challenges of maintaining relationships and careers and it’s a wonder that any parent can keep their sanity.

While today’s parents face even more challenges than their parents, they also have a vast selection of support services and information available their parents never dreamed could exist.
However, the best source of information concerning parenting is found in God’s Word.
As dedicated parents, we spend much of our time supporting, encouraging, instructing, protecting, and challenging our children.

Moreover, sometimes all that steering and urging seems ineffective when the child starts to veer off course. That’s when being a parent is “really hard work”. If you find yourself there, some biblical parent-child principles can help you, such as:

(1) Parents must teach God’s truth (Deuteronomy 4:9; 32:46). Your home needs to be a place where you serve one another through God’s love – Galatians 5:13.
Children do not learn to love and obey God only by what we say.

They also learn by watching what we do.

We are to teach them constantly about God and His Word as we “sit in our house, when we walk by the way, when we lie down, and when we rise up”
Along with that we must set an example by our love and obedience to the Lord.

(2) If they do something that is wrong, let them know it’s their behaviour you dislike, not them.
(3) Parents should not frustrate their children (Ephesians 6:4).
(4) Parent’s wise decisions bring blessing to their children (Deuteronomy 30:19-20).
(5) Parents who are godly teach their children to obey (Ephesians 6:1; 1 Timothy 3:4).

(6) Parents must lovingly discipline children because they are immature and need guidance. Proverbs 29:15, "The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame"

(7) Parents who faithfully train their children can be confident that their efforts are not in vain. Proverbs 22:6, "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it"

(8 ) Above all, pray for them. They may seem confident on the outside but feel weak on the inside.
Matthew 19:13, “Little children were brought to Him that He might put His hands on them and pray.”
Wrap them in prayer, as Jesus did (Matthew 19:13-15), is a powerful alternative. He cares more about our children then we do, so we can release them into His hands by praying for them.

He doesn’t promise us that nothing bad will happen to them. But as we pray, He will give us the peace we long for (Philippians 4:6-7). This challenge is for all parents, even those whose children have grown up: Don’t ever stop wrapping your children in prayer!

(9) Lastly, one portion of Scripture that provides great instruction in this area is found in Proverbs 2. Although addressing the son, this passage can also serve, as a guide to what parents should teach their children. According to this passage, children must be taught to….
treasure God’s commands (Proverbs 2:1),
to call out for understanding (v. 3),
to grasp what it means to fear the Lord (v. 5),
and to practice God’s wisdom in their lives (v. 6).

Closing thoughts:

As parents, we must keep in mind our children are smart and learn by listening and watching; So are we setting the right kind of example for them to emulate?
They will compare our actions with our words, to see if we practice what we say. If not, your children will be confused not knowing whether to follow your actions or your words. Are you living for Christ in such a way that you want your children to imitate you?

The Bible is by far your richest and best resource to help you raise children who will know and love Jesus Christ. Nothing is more essential than “the Holy Scriptures” to equip them for all of life’s challenges. Remember that children may not inherit your talents, but will most certainly absorb your values! An unknown author put it this way:

A careful man I ought to be;
a little fellow follows me.
I do not dare to go astray, for fear he’ll go the selfsame way.
Not once can I escape his eyes; whatever he sees me do, he tries.
”Like me” he says he’s going to be – that little chap who follows me.
So I must remember as I go, through summer sun and winter snow;
I’m moulding for the years to be – that little chap who follows me.


bless you


Friday, January 21, 2011


I am Jehovah thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

Thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, [nor] any likeness [of anything] that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: thou shalt not bow down thyself unto them, nor serve them; for I, Jehovah, thy God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the third and upon the fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing lovingkindness unto thousands of them that love me and keep my commandments.

Thou shalt not take the name of Jehovah thy God in vain: for Jehovah will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy, as Jehovah thy God commanded thee. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work, but the seventh day is a sabbath unto Jehovah thy God: [in it] thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, nor thy man-servant, nor thy maid-servant, nor thine ox, nor thine ass, nor any of thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates; that thy man-servant and thy maid-servant may rest as well as thou.
And remember that thou wast a servant in the land of Egypt, and [that] the LORD thy God brought thee out thence through a mighty hand and by a stretched out arm: therefore the LORD thy God commanded thee to keep the sabbath day.

Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

Thou shalt not kill.

Neither shalt thou commit adultery.

Neither shalt thou steal.

Neither shalt thou bear false witness against thy neighbour.

Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any [thing] that [is] thy neighbour's.

These words the LORD spake.



Monday, January 10, 2011


ACTS;9 V 1; But Saul, yet breathing, threatening and slaughter, against the disciples of the Lord, went unto the high priest, and asked of him letters to Damascus unto the synagogues, that if he found any that were of “the Way”, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.
And as he journeyed, it came to pass that he drew nigh unto Damascus: and suddenly there shone round about him a light out of heaven: and he fell upon the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” And Saul said, “Who art thou, Lord?” And the voice said, “I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: but rise, and enter into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.”
And the men that journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing the voice, but beholding no man. And Saul arose from the earth; and when his eyes were opened, he saw nothing; and they led him by the hand, and brought him into Damascus. And he was three days without sight, and did neither eat nor drink.
And there was a certain disciple at Damascus, named Ananias; and to him said the Lord in a vision, ‘Ananias.’ And he said, “Behold, I am here, Lord”
And the Lord said unto him,
‘Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for [one] called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth. And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight’.
Then Ananias answered, “Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: And here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.”
But the Lord said unto him, ‘Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel, For I will show him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake.’

So Ananias departed and entered the house, and after laying his hands on him said, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit”
And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he got up and was baptized;

Now, lets back track a little. Paul was on his way to kill a lot of Christians, maybe Ananias was amongst them, as he was pretty high up, and Saul needed letters giving him permission.
He came from Tarsus….Tarsus was home to a university and Saul, while young, received the best education possible. Saul’s father was of the tribe of Benjamin, pure and unmixed was his Jewish blood and he was moulded in what one would interpret from his youth to adulthood in a staunch and upright character, Paul was sent to the Jewish school of learning at Jerusalem to study law. He was around 13 when he began his studies under the well-known Gamaliel.
Gamaliel was a rabbi and very educated. Paul was well educated!

So, Paul was on the Damascus road, carrying a list of suspected Christians when something happened to him. He met JESUS!
Jesus then tells him to go to into Damascus and he will be told there what to do.
He was blind for 3 days and did not eat for three days but prayed for 3 days; This is what Ananias was told,
‘Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for [one] called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth. And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight’.

So, Saul was told that a man named Ananias was coming to him, would lay hands on him, and would restore his sight!
All this, before Ananias even knew what was going on.
If there was anything a Pharisee like Saul knew how to do, it was praying.
We have read the story of the Pharisee and the tax collector praying in the temple ( Luke 18 v 10-12)
But I wonder….was Saul praying like that? Or……

Now, how do you suppose Ananias felt? He had heard what Saul was coming to Damascus for….
Ananias was probably on the top of the list!
( In Paul's speech in Acts 22 v 12, (after his conversion) he describes Ananias as "a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews" living in Damascus.)

Now, God wants Ananias to actually go to this Saul, known as the Christian killer, and befriend him?
Just goes to show that God’s ways are not our ways. God tells Saul someone is coming, the someone who is coming doesn’t even know this yet, but God tells him, even though Ananias says… “But Lord, haven’t You heard what this man is doing?
He is evil….Lord?”
But the Lord knows best…..
He said unto him, ‘Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me”…….
So, Ananias goes to Damascus and enters into the house where Saul is and greets him, with, "Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus, who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming, has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit”
Can you imagine how Saul must have felt those 3 days he was sitting there?
He prayed……he must have wondered……then a voice greets him with…
We don’t know whom God has chosen as vessels for His kingdom.
We should be/ must be as obedient to God’s voice as Ananias was.
Who knows, who God has waiting for us to speak to.
Even if, maybe at the cost of persecution.