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Children, God's Special Gift Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer
The Truth Network Radio
April 28, 2020 1:00 am

Children, God's Special Gift Part 2

Running to Win / Erwin Lutzer

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April 28, 2020 1:00 am

Children are a wonderful blessing, but they can also be an immense challenge. Some are obedient and cooperative; others do their own thing no matter what mom and dad say. Let’s navigate the uncertain waters of child-rearing.

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Run with endurance the race that is before us, looking to Jesus, founder and perfecter of our children are a wonderful blessing. They can also be an immense challenge. Some kids are obedient and uncooperative others do their own thing matter what mom and dad say today navigating the uncertain waters of child rearing. Please stay with the Moody Church in Chicago this morning with Dr. Erwin Sir, whose clear teaching helps us make it across the finish line. Estimates are there are days when all of us as parents wonder why we signed on for days. All of us have those times when we wonder why we signed on this. It was you were talking I was reminded I think I have this right was that Mark Twain who said that that teenager should be put in a barrel that should be welded shot and then opened when their 21 years old. His point was, of course, that teenagers can be very challenging but often times they do eventually straighten out more seriously. You and I have to recognize that God has given us children and it is so important that we guide them during this confused age, let me ask you something before we go to the pulpit of Moody church and begin to talk about this. Let me ask, would you consider becoming an endurance partner. Those are people who stand with us regularly with their prayers and their gifts for this ministry of running to win. Here's what you do you go to RTW offer.com RTW offer.com. Click on the endurance partner button or if you wish, you can call us at 1-888-218-9337 and now we do go to the pulpit of Moody church where we talk about God's special gift of children when asking a question which people did Jesus have the greatest problem with when he was here on earth is criticized for hanging out with the drunkard prostitutes in the tax collector. All of the things they said you know he's he's he's hanging out with these people but Jesus had was received by them but but the goody two shoes were keeping the law what you if you haven't read Matthew 23 for a while, you read Matthew and I read it, and I say, you know, I've never had the nerve to even preach on this.

Is this the loving Jesus talking excruciating these self-righteous people get a bigger problem with them. In fact, that's why he once told a parable about a man who had two sons, the elder brother who stayed home the one who worked on the farm day and night dated six and then the other kid you know who ran into the far country, and then in desperation decided to come home and what Jesus is saying is that that elder brother. It's possible you know to be in the father's work and not share the father's heart. He was working hard, but he was disconnected. He didn't have a personal relationship with his dad.

The younger son, the prodigal, he came home.

I've been thinking about this this past week.

I think that all of us would prefer to raise an elder brother than a product who leaves home but you know at the end of the day. I do have to at least ask the question which son please the father and the answer was the prodigal because he came with nothing in the father is a God of grace and said hey bring head of the best robe and put it on and put a ring on his and shoes on his feet. Let's have a party elder son didn't care for a party with the father, the older son was into works of righteousness, and it was he who made that farm go and he never entered into the father's grace I was the whole point of the parable, both needed grace is a will is there a problem with the law know the problem with the law is that we keep it superficially. We think that the law was a matter of outward obedience and we don't understand that the first commandment was that you shall love the Lord our God with all our heart and that the law as Paul says should drive us to because all of us know we don't keep it, at least in our hearts. The Pharisees thought as long as we keep it outside. We give our tithes. Everybody's watching. We say our prayers in the street corner and we keep the law. We don't have to have a changed heart to the law didn't do its work that's supposed to be so Jesus says that both of these need grace so that's what children need. They need law they need grace when they transgress as they will.

You should not be surprised. Don't ever underestimate the evil and the deception of the human heart.

Don't underestimate but at the same time you don't jump on them just simply law law law law. What you say as you know I understand what you did and I'm really not surprised. That's why Jesus came to die for us and to rescue us from ourselves and to give us the strength that we don't have. You keep pointing them to a gracious, loving and accepting Jesus or something else that the children need and that is praying parents. This is so important that I hope to preach an entire message on it. Near the end of the series of messages praying parents. Why do they need, praying parents white with white children need parents who are following God will tell you it's because conversion is God's work and it's not yours not mine. We think to ourselves, you know, as long as we teach and remedy and cram it in people's heads are hollow remedy and cram it and make sure there's more to follow.

We think to ourselves, and we put them to Sunday school.

We put them in camp. He memorized 100 versus so it's time for him to believe on Jesus, don't you think it's time to believe on Jesus. Yeah I guess so parents. I pray this prayer as we want to make sure you're in the kingdom. Child grows up no transformation of life at all. They live the way they've always lived. There is no evidence of the work of God in their hearts and they begin to say, I wonder if I was really saying back in the parents unwisely say oh yeah you were because remember, you pray this prayer when you're five years old. Remember we were kids. Okay, I guess so parents never presume that your child has seemingly believed on Jesus.

Let the Holy Spirit in the word of God grant them the assurance and don't try to get you know the chicken out of the egg you share the gospel with them.

Lovingly you share from your own experience of weakness how weak you will and how much you need the gospel you humble yourself because that's what grace is all about, and then having humbled yourself and shown them the gospel you trust God to do on miracle that you can't do. I don't want to be misunderstood that parents don't overestimate your ability to bring up kids right so that they will follow the Lord with precision and make you proud don't overestimate your ability. If it would only have a promise in Proverbs 22 verse six bring up a child in the way in which he should go on afterwards he will not depart from it.

While I have news for you write this down.

You know what the book of Proverbs is. It's a book of Proverbs is what it is. Did you get it Proverbs are not universally true. They are maxims by which we live our life.

I could go through a list of Proverbs and show you that they always are not true. For example just one example. A soft answer turns away wrath said was true.

Every time you get a soft answer. You give a soft answer wrath is turned away know sometimes you give a soft answer your swatted across the face and you might even be jailed.

Son always true, but generally you bring up kids.

This way you generally true but don't overestimate your ability. You say all what are we left with finding this is scary tell you what were left with were left with calling on God for grace in our children's life and only God can supply that's what we're left with because you as a parent can change a child's behavior. What you cannot do is to change a child's heart that is God's business and all that we can do is to create an environment in which the gospel is shared and live in trust God and by the way rules without relationship equals rebellion shifts at that earlier. So first of all grace means that only God is able to save children. Secondly, grace means that no disobedience, no disobedience is final or fatal unless of course the child dies and disobedience. But you have no idea about God's ability to rescue people, even from the get. I was sharing with someone recently who was involved in moral failure, and I read to him from Psalm 40 I waited patiently for the Lord. He heard my cry and he delivered me from the miry pit. I think my translation says from the miry got the deepest pit God's been able to reach and deliver as a woman at prayer meeting whose name I will not mention she's an elderly lady, but she is there. Every single Wednesday to pray.

So I asked her last week I said how many years a given coming and she said ever since I came to the church 20 years ago. She's been praying for his son. She has been praying consistently, not just 20 years. But even before that time, God is given her the assurance that someday her son will believe the gospel and be saved. No disobedience is fatal because grace works in unexpected ways. Thirdly, the grace of God the grace of God often makes up for all kinds of human failure and sentence. None of us is a perfect parent. I look back and wish that I could relive some of my days as a parent. My parents prayed a lot and I'll tell you that story when I speak on prayer, but boy, if you judge them by certain standards. They were not. You know the ideal parents.

Not sure if anybody has the ideal parents and God sometimes comes along and he saves people, and he transforms them despite their background.

Some of you may be adopted and you don't know who your parents are some of you perhaps have been conceived out of wedlock so you wondered about your worth, I'm here today to tell you that there were all kinds of people like this that I've met throughout the years who are mighty warriors for God because God's grace is greater than human failure and sin. Aren't you glad for that. Just think for a moment.

Joseph is one man in the Old Testament, about whom there is no sin recorded if any kid was perfect. It was Joseph was a little unwise in sharing this dream with his brothers. He should've known that that wasn't gonna go down very well and all I saw dream and in the dream you guys bow down to me who you were very happy to do that. Joseph you know who his father was his father played favorites with him, all because the father loved that wife because she was more beautiful than the other wife that she married that he married so he let these kids more than the others boys ever sinful.

That was the context and by the way, this is a parenthesis you're getting it all free today part of the program. I just was so amused when I discovered this, you know, it's Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Okay. Did you know that the ancestry, the ancestors of Jesus go back not to Rachel to Leo the one who wasn't pretty. I love God.

God just says to fluid with all this business of looks best.

I'm going to choose the unloved one, and it is going to be through her that Judah will be born, and then eventually Jesus from I can do whatever I like. I'm speaking on behalf of God when I say that just so that you understand I just marvel at God. I shake my head and I say while so here's a here's Joseph brought up in that context and turned out pretty well actually betrayed by his brothers. I think for example of Moses who was really reared by a woman who was a sun worshiper. She wasn't his mother, though his mother did have in fact because his mother was kind of the nurse that took care of Moses in his early years, he turned out pretty well actually considering the fact that he didn't have a stable family that he could depend on. And then there's that one in the Old Testament that I've often thought about a man by the name of Ahaz who was a wicked king, not Ahab. He was wicked to but I'm thinking of Ahaz and that the Bible says that he put up idols and did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord, and he has a son by the name of Hezekiah Hezekiah is a righteous king he tears down the items. There were some mistakes in his life. To be sure, but basically Hezekiah follow the Lord all the days of his life. The Bible and then shock of all shocks. He has a son and the son's name is Manasseh and it's his and Matt, Manasseh did more evil in the sight of the Lord than all the others before help that was at Hezekiah's fault. To what extent wasn't his fault. I don't know. It's just that the grace of God sometimes comes along and converts and changes in the most unlikely places and then in the middle of all of this grace. You also see the power of sin. I don't know what your background once.

I don't know where you are coming from but I do know this, that if you reach out to God. Grace can fill your life. The grace of forgiveness, the grace of acceptance the grace of transformation. God changes are hard to see when were converted born again. There's actually something with in us, that wasn't there at the beginning because there's a new nature there is something created there that is supernatural and that's what gets to the very heart of our desires in this message. I played off this whole thing about Tom, grace and law so I conclude with a story from Jesus. Jesus loved stories.

He said the two men went into a temple to pray once that I thank you God I'm not like other people alters fornication. I fast twice a week. The other man your member wouldn't look up to God.

He couldn't look God in the eye, so to speak. He was a publican. He was a sinner. He was an outcast of the Bible says he smote his rest and just said God be merciful to me, the center, the great says be propitiated to me the center Jesus said which one do you think I am went home justified and I can't help but think that today I'm speaking to do classes of people. In fact I know I am in this large crowd and those who are listening better me.

I'm talking to the man who may be sitting there, arms folded and saying you know this business of church and God and Jesus is good for women, children.

I like the idea of giving my children some kind of a moral foundation.

I don't need redemption life and I done well. I worked hard I play by the rules that I can imagine somebody who's in the far country, and who would say to me pastor.

If you knew even what I did this past week.

No, God could never accept me so mad at me and I say that if you are willing to pray the prayer of the public. God be propitiated to me. The center God no matter how higher standard is it doesn't matter as long as you meet it for me. You set the standard and then in Jesus King me to sit on my behalf so that I can freely be forgiven and to be received. That is the gospel.

Luther put it very clearly and simply, oh Jesus, I am by sin, thou art my righteousness are great contribution to salvation as we bring our sin.

His contribution is to take it from there and redeem us and forgive us and adopt rebels into his family and make them sons and daughters of the Almighty. That's what got us and he'll do that for you if you believe on would you find a child that you can pray for.

I forgot to mention the assignment for this week, but it's in the bulletin. If you will let us pray father is. This message has gone out its fallen into many, many hearts, some open, some closed, some angry, some receptive old father. The work of salvation is your work. At this point we just back off and say with nothing more to say you have to bring conviction you have to grant faith you have to do everything from here on out for a close this prayer no matter where you are, would you cry to the Lord wherever you are and say Jesus I'm nice sin. Your my righteousness I receive you now receive your grace. Father, we thank you that the work you begun in us will be complete in Jesus name what my friend, this is Pastor Luther I hope you understand now why it is that I believe that this ministry specifically, this series of messages is so credibly important were living at a time when the family is broken up when children go to bed with only one parent in the home where there is so much strife and abuse. I trust that this series is such a blessing to you that you will want to make sure that you have it as your own, so that you can listen to it again and again and share it with your friends. You know, for a gift of any amount. This series either as DVDs or CDs can be yours and the good news is it comes with the study guide. So if you have a small group in your church or in your home and you want to study the family and deal with these issues in discussion and prayer.

You can receive.

Of course, also coming with it is the study guide. Here's what you do you go to RTW offer.com that's RTW offer.com and thanks in advance for your generosity as you go there. Remember that running to win is totally dependent upon the contributions of our listeners and I want to thank you in advance for helping us RTW offer.com or call us at 1-888-218-9337 request the DVDs or the CDs of fighting for your family and of course, as I've always emphasized along with it also comes the study guide 1-888-218-9337. In an age in which everything is falling apart. We need to hear from heaven about the family you can write to is running to win 1635 N. LaSalle Boulevard Chicago, IL 60614 running to win is all about helping you find God's roadmap for your race of life with the click of a mouse. You and your kids can access Internet pornography on demand protecting your family from the evils of the technology we all need is a daunting task on our next running to win guidance on doing just that. This is Dave McAllister running to win is sponsored by the Moody Church


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