We know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and he who remains in love remains in God, and God remains in him. Â Â Â 1 John 4:16 (WEB)
This morning I will be meeting with some women as we study and seek God in His Word. The general topic of our study is about parenting. Today the chapters where we will begin our discussion in Stormie Omartianâ€™s book, The Power of the Praying Parent, are â€œFeeling Loved and Acceptedâ€ and â€œEstablishing an Eternal Futureâ€. Mrs. Omartian rightly states that it is the need to feel and know that they are loved that is at the root of a child perception of the rest of his/her world. And a childâ€™s eternal salvation in Jesus Christ â€“ there isnâ€™t anything more important than that! The central point to her chapters is that parents pray for their child. I agree but I also believe it takes more than prayer.
A pastor friend, Dr. Bob McKibben, says, â€œPrayer is not a substitute for anything else and nothing else is a substitute for prayer.â€ The application of that wisdom for me as a parent is that, yes, absolutely I must pray for my children. I must also walk out my faith in truth and in front of my children. My faith is not a private matter. I cannot just tell my children what my faith is. I must walk it out. My children need to know to Whom I turn when life is tough. They need to see me cry out to God. They need to know that I struggle with questions but that the struggle brings me closer to God. God does not love me less because I have questions. We need to rejoice as a family in the victories, giving God the praise. We also trust Him in the unknown times because He has shown Himself to us in other times. We remember and share the stories, big and small, of how Jesus has been right there with us.
Today is my sonâ€™s birthday. He would have been 23 today. Maybe he would have gone to college and got married. Instead, he is in heaven. When James was born 23 years ago, it never entered my thoughts that he would have less than a â€˜full lifeâ€™. He would have to deal with me growing old! He would have to deal with me dying before him. That wasnâ€™t Godâ€™s plan. The questions we had to face in his life were hard. In the middle of his year of chemotherapy, James had a crisis of faith. He believed he had been healed and wanted to quit all treatment. He saw the race he had been given to run and did not want to finish it. I am so very thankful for how God spoke to James and gave him the assurance and the strength to walk, not just the next six months, but what was to come in the next four years. There were times of great joy and opportunities to walk out the faith and courage God gave him in abundance. There were also times when the battles were fierce and long. He saw how God showed Himself in friends who stood by him even though it was so very hard and they, in turn, learned through tests of their own faith.
In this love has been made perfect among us, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment, because as he is, even so are we in this world. 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear has punishment. He who fears is not made perfect in love. 4:19 We love him, because he first loved us. Â Â Â Â 1 John 4:17-19 (WEB)
No matter what may come in the life of your child, FEAR NOT for GOD IS WITH YOU. There is nothing that may come that God cannot overcome.