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The Rest of the Story

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“Oh, Stevie, will I ever be good? I mean, really good? I know I am a Christian, but I always seem to do wrong things. When will I always be good all the time?” cried Sarah.It really was Sarah Anne, playing the part of Sarah, a character in the reoccuring dramatization of the lives of two children learning to live out their catechism instruction, sharing their discoveries about God, and asking questions of one another about the challenges they face.  I’d heard the line before, but this time, in the voice of a plaintively pleading little girl (instead of a young teen coerced into reading through the skit), I could really comprehend how this could be a concern for children who are sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s working in their hearts and aware of the temptations of this world.

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It is true that the toughest part of bringing our children to the foot of the cross, praying and petitioning the Lord to show mercy to them and to add them to the number, is the watching and waiting for Him to reveal His hand of mercy, whether it will fall upon our offspring when they are young or when they are older — if at all. But once it is clear that regneration has taken place, the hard work is not over. The saved children growing up in our homes are the disciples the Lord has given us. You who are parents think you still need to find out what your calling is, your spiritual gift? Look no further than the moppets sitting around your dinner table, particularly if they have come to saving faith.We’ve asked this here before:  How do we talk to children about sin?  It begins with a word-specific discussion about the Lamb of God led to the altar to be slaughtered — because sin demands a payment and that payment is death. That’s the Propitiation Equation where the essential truth that Sin Brings Death is illustrated through Old and New Testament shadows and is revealed and explained in eloquent sermons by New Testament writers.

I don’t know about you, but I can’t get enough of that doctrine! I love to hear it every day. As the hymn goes,

I love to tell the story
of unseen things above,
of Jesus and his glory,
of Jesus and his love.
I love to tell the story,
because I know ’tis true;
it satisfies my longings
as nothing else can do
.

But as we know, the story doesn’t end there. Once we are saved from the penalty of sin, we — and our saved children — discover that the power of sin meets its match in — in fact, is crushed under– the power of the Holy Spirit, who is supernaturally enabling us, day by day, to fight against temptation. We can teach our children to make use of the means of grace to fight sin. Christ Himself instructs us to ask for grace and protection in deaing with temptation and sin (Matthew 6:13), and then shows us how to ask for forgiveness for sins committed while we are still in this practical working out of our salvation (Matthew 6:1214).  Finally, we can encourage our regenerated offspring that a day has been promised and is coming when we who are called by God and named as His children will be set free from the presence of sin. The hymn’s refrain exults:

I love to tell the story, 
’twill be my theme in glory, 
to tell the old, old story
of Jesus and his love.

Today, we struggle against the flesh because of the ability to sin that still resides in us in this state. But then, when that Day comes, we will not be able to sin because He conquered sin and death for eternity.

And that brings us back to why the Lord gave us the Old and New Testaments:  to teach us that the risen Savior will come again for His children.

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Written by mrsdkmiller

April 3, 2014 at 4:50 pm

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