Daily Devotional for Wednesday January 7, 2009
A Chilling Reminder to Parents of Your Most Important Job
(Proverbs 22:6; Psalms 127:3; Joshua 8:35)
A chilling reminder to parents of your most important job. News came last week that the 16-year-old son of actors John Travolta and Kelly Preston died at the family's vacation home in the Bahamas. I know to many people, they are going to view today's Devotional as cold and heartless, but it is quite the opposite. This Devotional today is a sobering reminder of how brief life is and the FACT that when it is over, each person will stand before God and their eternal soul either welcomed into the glory of Heaven for all eternity, or cast into the eternal flames of hell.
As unpleasant as this is to think about, we must because it is reality. As a 16-year-old young man with a sound mind, Jett Travolta took his last breath this past Friday and stood before God. At that moment, it didn't matter that he had a famous father and mother, only if he had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Now it is possible that Jett recently rejected the teachings of the Scientology cult and embraced faith in Jesus Christ and is in Heaven right now. Most likely, because he grew up in a home that had embraced the false teachings of L. Ron Hubbard's cult and had either accepted those same beliefs or like most young adults had made no decision about faith issues, he is in hell this moment and for all eternity!
This sad death brings to the surface the argument about the "age of accountably," or that age when God will hold you accountable for your sins. There is no set age, since each person is unique. There does come a point however, possibly around age 12, 13, 14 in a child that has normal mental development, when they can fully comprehend that they are a sinner and that faith in Jesus Christ is the only answer for their sin problem. I know many people will say that it would be unfair for Jett to be in hell because he was taught the lies of Scientology by his parents. The fact is, at some point we all have to take responsibility for our own thoughts, our own beliefs, and our own sins.
No doubt children growing up in the home of a cult or false religion are going to have a propensity to gravitate to the false teachings of that cult or false religion and reject Christ and God's Word as Truth. That is why teachers, coaches, all those who interact with children and young adults have to be bold in witnessing their faith in Jesus. You never know how God may use you to help a child or young adult open their heart and mind to the love of Christ and the Truth of God's Word. At least they are going to hear the Gospel and understand that there is a choice they must make regarding what they really believe.
This is a wake up call for all parents. There is NOTHING you will ever do for the Lord more important than being mom or dad to your children and raising them in the admonition of the Lord. NOTHING! I don't care if you pastor a church of 10,000, if millions worldwide come to hear you speak about the Lord, if you write best-selling books about the Christian faith, there is absolutely no ministry that you will ever have in this life more important than being mom or dad to your children. Your children are a blessing from God, and He has entrusted those children into your care. You are to protect them, provide for them, love them, nurture them, and raise them in the Christian faith.
The better percentage of two full generations don't go to church and are not Christians, meaning most children are growing up today in homes void of God. Sadly, many children and young adults like Jett are growing up in homes where their parents have embraced the perverted teachings of some cult or false religion. Well over 50% of the children grow up today in broken or blended homes and are influenced by a whole host of people, other than by a mother and father who are married and providing the stable, loving, nurturing, environment a child needs.
Each person who ends up influencing a child, influences them based on their beliefs whatever they may be. That is why God's plan calls for children to be raised by a mother and father so that they, and they alone, are the primary people to shape the thoughts and beliefs of their child, not some other family member or outsider!
Listen parents, you can't force your children to accept the Truth of the Bible and faith in Christ. That is a place they must come to on their own, just like each person must. However, you have the responsibility of shaping the thoughts and beliefs of your children by raising them in the Word and to love Jesus. That IS something you can control and God will hold you accountable for. Never forget the wonderful promise of Proverbs 22:6, "Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." You can't force your child to embrace faith in Jesus Christ, but you are responsible for laying that foundation of faith in their life.
I love you and care about you so much. Pray for John Travolta, his wife, and their family as they grieve over the loss of their son. I pray that this horrible tragedy will open their hearts to turn from the lies of Scientology and to seek out the hope there is in Jesus Christ. He is our only true hope in this life and for all eternity.
This is a wake-up call to you moms and dads today that you better take the responsibility God gave you seriously in the raising of your children and the nurturing of their minds. At some point, your children will be old enough to decide for themselves what they believe. However, God has given you the job of raising your children in the Christian faith, teaching them the Scriptures, and laying a foundation of Truth from God's Word in their life. I will be praying for you today as you take this great responsibility seriously. God has blessed you with your children and raising them in the admonition of the Lord is your job as a mother or father.
You should pray for that child in the womb, dedicate your baby to the Lord, pray over your baby every day, teach that child the name of JESUS as soon as he/she can speak, read the Bible to your child every day, teach your child how to pray, have your child in church, create a loving and nurturing home environment where your child can grow up knowing that he/she is loved and cared for, have your home a place where the name of Jesus and the Truth of God's word is honored, teach your child the Scriptures as soon as he/she can start to read, encourage your child to seek out a real relationship with Christ for themselves, challenge your child to grow in their faith through activities at church and in serving the Lord, and make praying with your child a part of EVERY day.
All of these are things you can do as a mother or father to lay that foundation of faith in your child's life. Never forget, as they get older they will start making their own choices, choices you are not responsible for. Even if at some point they choose to turn from the faith, know that the foundation is there and in their darkest hour it will sustain them. I will be praying as you open your heart to the Lord today and accept this incredible job He has given you to not just be mom or dad to your child, but to be their spiritual guide as you help raise them in the Christian faith. It is the greatest ministry you will ever have. The eternal soul of your child is at stake!!!
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller