Sunday Night 8-26-12

Posted by Sherry

Seizing Our Window of Opportunity 
Ephesians 6:1-4 
CBC 8/26/2012 SN (20 minute series)
TEXT: Children, obey your parents in the Lord [as His representatives], for this is just and right.
2 Honor (esteem and value as precious) your father and your mother—this is the first commandment with a promise—(A)
3 That all may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.
4 Fathers, do not irritate and provoke your children to anger [do not exasperate them to resentment], but rear them [tenderly] in the training and discipline and the counsel and admonition of the Lord.
ILL: A church newsletter included this essay by Danny Dutton, age 8. His third grade Sunday School teacher had asked her students to explain God. "One of God’s main jobs is making people. He makes these to put in the place of the ones that die so there will be enough people to take care of things here on earth. He doesn’t make grownups, just babies. I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn’t have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that up to the moms and dads. I think it works out pretty good. "God’s second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on, cause some people, like preachers and things, pray other times besides bedtime, and Grandpa and Grandma Dutton pray every time they eat (except for snacks). God doesn’t have time to listen to the radio or TV on account of this. Cause God hears everything, not only prayers, there must be a terrible lot of noise going on in his ears unless he has thought of a way to turn it off. I think we should all be a little quieter. God sees everything and hears everything and keeps everything and is everywhere. Which keeps him pretty busy. So you shouldn’t go wasting his time asking for things that aren’t very important or go over your parents’ heads and ask for something they said you couldn’t have." 
Love Them: How do we demonstrate our love for our children?
Affirmation: Communicate acceptance and appreciation for who they are and what they do. Look for the good. Phil. 4.8, A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Hebrews 3.13 Encourage one another daily, as long as it is called today, so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.
Physical Touch: Mark 9.36-37 36 Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”
Acts of Service: Mark 10.45 “(Jesus) did not come to be served but to serve.” 
Receiving Gifts: Acts 20.35 “more blessed to give than …”
Time: Eph 5.16 “redeeming the time, because the days are evil.”
The best thing to spend on your children is your time.
Lead Them: What boundaries need to be established?
Our children could all tell you that the sole purpose of their middle name is to let them know that they are outside one of our boundaries.
Dr. James Dobson reports the findings of an interesting study done on school children. A group of educators decided to remove the chain-link fences from around the school playgrounds. They believed the fences promoted feelings of confinement and restraint. The curious thing they noticed, however, that as soon as the fences were removed, the children huddled in the center of the playground to play. Conclusion: Children need boundaries.
In the late 70’s Public school teachers polled.
1. Talking 
2. Chewing Gum 
3. Making Noise
4. Running In The Halls 
5. Getting Out Of Place In Line 
6. Wearing Improper Clothing 
7. Not Putting Paper In The Waste Basket 
Early nineties
1. Drug Abuse 
2. Alcohol Abuse 
3. Pregnancy 
4. Suicide 
5. Rape 
6. Assault
7. Arson 
Omega-Letter, June, 1991 
Now mass murder is a major problem in our public schools.

What boundaries need to be established?
Four “D”s
Disobedience = Discipline
Disrespect = Discipline
Dishonesty = Discipline
Doing Harm = Discipline 

Discipline = loss of privileges, possessions, or in the worst cases spanking (by parent).
Does God discipline us as His children? 
Hebrews 12.6-11
6 For whom the LORD loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.”
7 If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? 8 But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. 9 Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

When God disciplines us we lose privileges. 
The privileges of every believer are the fruit of the Holy Spirit. 
These are mentioned in Galatians 5:22 (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control). 
When we are outside of God’s boundaries our love level goes down, our peace level goes down, etcetera. 
If we do not respond to the loss of those privileges, the discipline increases.
It is our responsibility to shape the conscience of our children.
 ILL: A Sunday School teacher asked her class, "Can anyone tell me what conscience is?" A little boy replied, "It’s the thing that makes me tell Mom my sins before my sister does." 
Teach Them: How do we train our children for good and for God?
I took a piece of plastic clay
And idly fashioned it one day, 
And as my fingers pressed it still, 
It moved and yielded to my will. 
I came again when days were past – 
The bit of clay was hard at last; 
The form I gave it, it still bore, 
But I could change that form no more. 
I took a piece of living clay 
And gently formed it day by day, And molded with my power and art A young child’s soft and yielding heart. 
I came again when years were gone – 
It was a man I looked upon; 
He still that early impress wore, 
And I could change him nevermore. --Author unknown 
View everything as a teachable moment
Deuteronomy 6.6-9
6 “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. 8 You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. 9 You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Set spiritual goals for your children
1. My children will never go to bed without learning something about God and praying with a parent.
2. My children will attend church and age appropriate Bible classes as long as they live in our home.
3. My children will understand what it means to be fully devoted to Jesus by observing their parents.
4. I will influence my children to follow Jesus.
Susannah Wesley spent one hour each day praying for her 17 children. In addition, she took each child aside for a full hour every week to discuss spiritual matters with him or her. No wonder two of her sons, Charles and John, were used of God to bring blessing to all of England and much of America. Here are a few rules she followed in training her children: 
1. Subdue self-will in a child and thus work together
with God to save his soul. 
2. Teach him to pray as soon as he can speak.
3. Give him nothing he cries for and only what is good 
for him if he asks for it politely. 
4. To prevent lying, punish no fault which is freely confessed, 
but never allow a rebellious, sinful act to go unnoticed. 
5. Commend and reward good behavior. 
6. Strictly observe all promises you have made to your child. 
ILL: British poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge once had a discussion with a man who firmly believed that children should not be given formal religious instruction, but should be free to choose their own religious faith when they reached maturity. Coleridge did not disagree, but later invited the man into his somewhat neglected garden. "Do you call this a garden?" the visitor exclaimed. "There are nothing but weeds here!" "Well, you see," Coleridge replied, "I did not wish to infringe upon the liberty of the garden in any way. I was just giving the garden a chance to express itself." Obviously, Coleridge’s guest believed any religion would do just fine. Millions of people today would agree with him. Sadly, the product of such thinking is spiritual "weeds." 
Get on their level
ILL: After hearing his Dad preach on "Justification, "Sanctification," and all the other "ations", a minister’s son felt suitably prepared when his Sunday School teacher asked if anybody knew what PROCRASTINATION" meant. "I’m not exactly sure what it means," he said, "but I know our church believes in it!" 
That is exactly what God did for us. Jesus.


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