Our heavenly Father is not indifferent to the current suffering of His children. All suffering will serve to complete His perfect plans for us, and He will provide all that we need to endure every trial and tribulation. Though our children may seem sheltered from many of the hardships and trials of this world, if they are to become faithful followers of Jesus, they will suffer to one degree or another. Therefore, we must prepare them for suffering, giving them a biblical perspective so that, by God’s grace, they will remain steadfast under trial and receive the crown of life.
Who bears the responsibility for the discipleship of the next generation? What are parents called to do? What is the role of the church? What is the relationship between the two?
The world makes much of independence and self-sufficiency. Yet we are to our very core, by God’s good design, dependent and needy creatures. But we often don’t recognize the breadth and depth of this neediness until a crisis arises. The world is under a curse because of sin, and no amount of technology, intellectual know-how, hard work, or lending a hand to our neighbor, while all good things, will satisfy or provide for our greatest need—the need for salvation in Christ alone. This fourth lesson in the devotional series focuses on our desparate need for Jesus.
At a time when our world has been shaken, fear and confusion can invade our hearts. But God’s Word gives us the truths we need to stand firm in this shifting world. The book of Job written centuries ago speaks timeless truths we need for today. Do your children know these truths? Sally Michael shares a summary of those truths as she reads chapter 9, Now My Eye Sees You: The Testing of Job, from her forthcoming book More Than a Story.
What is the point of a church having Sunday School or other programs for children and youth? Will it have a lasting spiritual difference in their lives? Is your own home serving as a crucible for Christian discipleship? What are your dreams and aspirations regarding the faith of your children? What will be needed from both church and home to guide and inspire the next generations toward mature faith in Christ?
In the midst of peace, prosperity, and comfort, people often gloss over the utter brokenness of our world. But sudden calamities, like the one we are experiencing, have a way of stripping away the veneer of “all is well.” Something is desperately wrong with the world. All creation groans. Why?
In a special interview David Michael and Timothy Paul Jones answer the question, "How might the pandemic change how the church and families disciple our children?" Additionally, David shares a timely vision and framework for discipleship found in the newly released book Zealous: 7 Commitments for the Discipleship of Children.
“Zealous” is not a word you hear very often. Yet we are seeing it in action all around us. The current events have called for measures that are intense, vigorous, passionate, earnest…zealous. Even handwashing is being done with a renewed sense of fervency. We are being reminded that half-hearted, apathetical responses simply cannot combat life and death realities. Zeal is needed.
But the need for zeal is especially called for when it comes to grounding our children in the gospel.
In the midst of a disaster, we often fail to remember the millions upon millions of ways God has been good, kind, and loving to us—even to people who are in rebellion against Him. And there is no greater demonstration of God’s love, goodness, and kindness toward us than in the sacrifice of His one, beloved Son for people who rightly deserved His everlasting wrath so that we might inherit everlasting life and joy. Therefore, whether in sickness or in health, plenty or want, safety or harm, He is deserving of the greatest love, devotion, thankfulness, and praise!
Unless something drastically changes, most of us will be experiencing an Easter like none we’ve ever experienced. Sadly, there will be no gatherings with our local churches to worship in glad adoration together and greeting one another with joyous, “He is risen! He is risen indeed!” There will be no traditional family gatherings after church with extended family, etc. Most of us will be “locked” in our homes, obeying stay-at-home orders that were issued over the fear of COVID-19.