"Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” Peter in Acts 2.
What is the promise? You will be forgiven and receive the Holy Spirit. To receive the Holy Spirit means a lifetime of learning, truth, power, and godliness.
"The promise is to you and to your children." These words give life to missions and parenting. God likes to work in families. He calls dad and mom to repentance and, through their Biblical parenting, He calls their children to life, too. The power behind the great commission is the Holy Spirit because He is the one who calls, convicts and converts!
How inspiring this is for believing parents! Our children don't need to repeat the drama, sin, and evil that we might have gone through. Our children don't need to spend years trying to work through bitterness, anger, manipulative tendencies, financial incompetence, alcoholism, or bondage to sexual addictions. Why? Because we can raise them in a godly house, where God's commands are followed on the computer, in our conversations, and in our relationships. Parents can curse their children and grandchildren by raising them in an ungodly house. Or, parents can bless their children and grandchildren by giving them a Christ-centered upbringing.
Biblical parenting is the channel that the Holy Spirit chooses to use to bring many of our children to faith and repentance. With proper oversight, we can help our children avoid the pitfalls of anger, lust, and addictions. We can disciple them to invest their time, thinking, and energy into God-glorifying activities. "Faith comes by hearing the word of God!"
Must Dos for Missionaries
1. Focus on worldview. Equip your parents and young people to see the world through God's eyes. Empower them mentally to apply the Bible's precepts to every area of life and culture. They must get to a point where they can evaluate each area of their life and culture, in order to live Biblically.
2. Teach how to read and interpret the Bible. The Bible isn't just for pastors and priests to interpret. Our job is to train parents and youth to read, interpret, and apply the Bible for themselves.
3. Expect a fight from Satan. His rule has been broken by Christ. Walk out your authority in Christ, using every weapon you have.
Tips for Parents
1. Be present in your child's day. Spend endless hours reading together, learning together, and living life together. Each day is filled with teachable moments! Find those moments and teach!
2. Know the Bible yourself. You can't teach what you don't understand. Take the time to read and study the Bible. God gave you the Holy Spirit to lead you into all truth and to give you wisdom. Teach the Bible to your children. Read through the Bible with your children. Talk about the pitfalls and discuss God's ways.
3. Protect your children. You are your children's covering spiritually and physically. Your godly behavior, prayer, and spiritual authority will protect your children. During the first 15 years of your children's lives, teach them to apply God's truths in the context of your family's life and ministry. Discipline your children for their rebellion and grow Christ-like behavior in them. Soon enough, your children will launch out into the world like arrows for the kingdom of God. Make sure that they are strong, straight, and sharp.
4. You are the gate keeper: Don't allow ungodly emotions, behaviors, or philosophies to live in your family. Satan gets a foothold in your children, when you harbor sin. Protect them from sexual abuse, hateful speech, and bullying. Protect them from immorality and coarse speech.
5. Be intentional. Teach the Bible and model godliness. Teach them Micah 6:8 on a daily basis. "He has shown you, O man, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you. But to do justly, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God?"
Give special attention to the next generation! King Jesus is here, and His kingdom is multi-generational and thriving!
Lying in a tunnel of darkness, with my brain twitching and jerking with throbbing fever and electrodes of pain randomly arcing through my aching body, it occurred to me that this is probably a minute taste of Hell.
It's not really popular to think about Hell anymore. However, with so many people going to Hell, it's a good idea to take a minute to discuss it. Jesus spoke about Hell more than any other person in the Bible. And, He was honest about how bad it is: A burning, hot, feverish place where your soul never dies or finds relief.
“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell” Jesus Christ.
After almost a week of torture, I was in bad shape. The Dengue ate my platelets down to about 1/3 of normal levels, and I needed continual assistance from God to maintain a healthy mind in the midst of the fever. As I clawed my way back, I became aware of how much I like normal body temperatures. I can't imagine being locked into a feverish Hell for eternity.
A couple of thoughts are very clear to me now:
Hell is real.
Real people go to Hell.
We all deserve to go to Hell because we are born and bred rebels against our Creator.
There is only one way to avoid Hell: Be rescued by Jesus from your self, your sin and your deserved destiny.
This is the problem with our disease. Like a fever, it distorts our reality, causing us to exalt ourselves and deny our God's holiness and highness. Our infection has killed our ability to accept the truth about ourselves.
"But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." The Bible.
This is why we have to throw ourselves at the mercy of God, begging Him to take control of our thinking, and wake us up to our deserved destination. It's called GRACE. None of us deserve it. The Holy Spirit wakes you up to your sin and condemnation and turns your feverish eyes to see the beauty of Jesus Christ as your God and Savior. The Holy Spirit gives you an alive spirit, faith in Christ, and a lifestyle of repentance. As you recover from your years of infection, you feel peace, purpose, and begin to bask in the light of the Son.
"Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you." Jesus Christ
We're a family on mission to bring the good news of Jesus to the Philippines.