For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.
Over the next few weeks it's a scene that will be repeated again and again across America. A mom and dad have a final good-bye with their son/daughter. Then as they drive away they comfort one another,
We can always call, text, or Facebook...and before long Thanksgiving will be here. But that's not all; mom and dad have something else on their mind. Will their son/daughter be ok? This is such a big place; such a different place from home; as they pass two men walking along holding hands, while across the street a line forms outside one of the college bars.
Have we taught our children enough about the world?
In our world today, as described in the opening illustration, there's more to being a parent than paying for college. The world is growing more hostile to Christianity. Paul's words to the Ephesians 6.12 come to mind, there is evil at work everywhere around us. For this reason we need an orientation. Now I'm not talking about the kind of orientation colleges offer new students, but I do refer to a kind of (compass reading, direction, point of reference) orientation. It's what Paul was talking about when he wrote,
Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds...Put off (Paul writes) your old self which belongs to your former manner of life...and be renewed in the attitude of your minds. Ephesians 4.17, 22-23
Orientation - We need a compass, a point of reference, WE NEED JESUS! We need the Bread of Life, and faith to know that He is always looking out for us, especially in His Word! There is no better point of reference to give your loved ones than what we read in Holy Scriptures. For example see Isaiah 5.2,
Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter. In recent years many have proclaimed a
new normal which really isn't new at all. It is in fact sin, a rise of pagan culture in America not seen since the time of our founding as a nation. There will always be those who want to persuade, cajole, and shame us into calling evil things good and the good things of God...evil. See Romans 12.1-2; 1 Peter 1.15-16; Isaiah 5.2; Psalm 24; 1 Corinthians 6.18; 2 Corinthians 6.14...So? What is a Christian to do? What does God's servant do in the face of evil? Some have taken the path of Elijah. In the face of evil queen jezebel, Elijah ran away and hid. In the rising tide of wickedness and opposition to God's truth, should we hide away and shut out the world? Sound's crazy right? Well hold onto your hats folks...that's what many are doing. That's what they are doing when they ignore what's going on and
mind your own business and keep the door shut and the TV turned to (anything but all the bad news). Fact is, for the time being many do hide. But our kids can't. Our children, young and old, have to engage the
new normal of rising paganism and hostility to God's truth and godliness. Point in case, our children being instructed (not according to God's truth recorded in Genesis) but only in Darwinist evolution - along with the rising force to silence the bible when it comes to most fundamental issues like our own 'creational' sexual identity.
What to do? Recall the question asked by parents in opening illustration -- Have we taught him/her enough? A former church member once commented,
Going to church for me was like working in my garden -- Plant the seed of the word of Christ. This is about hearing God's Word, preaching, teaching, our own devotion as we personally take up what Peter said,
Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.
Finally...As children most of us learned the song, This little gospel light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine! The song's message reminds us to
Raise the priority of our Lord's Gospel in life. Let your light shine by joining in the Divine Service each week. For families with children, bring Jesus' little ones to Sunday school and yourself to bible class. And keep Jesus and His word in your home by remembering to pray regularly with thanksgiving, by keeping personal and/or family devotions, and in any other way God might give for you to express what Jesus means to you.
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