Daily Devotional for Friday March 5, 2010
When Life Begins
(Genesis 33:5; Psalms 127:3; Proverbs 17:6; Deuteronomy 6:7)
While death is a sad part of this human experience that we all have to deal with throughout our journey and one day face ourselves, today I want to deal with the other end of that spectrum, when life begins. One of the great joys I have each day, is receiving emails from people who are excited that they are going to have a child. It is one of those special moments in a person's life that crescendos less than a year later with the birth of that precious baby. It has been an honor and privilege to pray for so many babies still in the womb and in a few months receive a picture of one of those babies that is truly a gift from God.
Having a child is one of the greatest responsibilities a person has during this lifetime. Raising that child is, without a doubt, the most important ministry a parent will ever have. The Bible claims in 1 Timothy 5:8, "If you don't take care of your relatives, especially those in your family, you have denied the faith and are worse than an infidel or unbeliever." There are no exceptions to this verse. It doesn't say unless you are a pastor. It doesn't say unless you are the head of a major company. It doesn't say unless you are too busy helping other people. The Word of God is clear that the number one responsibility of a parent is to your family and EVERYTHING else in your life is secondary.
I want every parent to take a moment right now, pray, and ask God if your spouse and children are truly the number one priority in your life after your relationship with Christ. If not, NOW is the time to make whatever changes that need to be made to insure they are!
For every man and woman reading this today who are expecting a child, I want to encourage you to start praying over your child even now while that baby is still in the womb. Pray health over your baby. Pray protection over your baby. Pray God's blessings over your baby. Pray that your baby will have a heart that yearns for Jesus. Even after that baby is born, you need to be praying over your baby every day. God has entrusted this life into your care. Prayer demonstrates our dependence upon God. Never in your life will you be more tested and more dependent upon the Lord than in raising your child.
As your child begins to get older, teaching that child how to pray, reading the Word of God to your child, and making sure your child is in church every week are all ways to follow God's Word and raise that child in the admonition of the Lord. GOD HAS GIVEN YOU THE RESPONSIBILITY OF RAISING YOUR CHILD IN THE FAITH AND WILL HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE. The Bible tells us in Proverbs 22:6, "Train a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not turn from it." The greatest thing you will ever do for your child is to lay a foundation of faith in Christ and God's Word in their life!
Listen moms and dads. As your child gets older, they will begin to make their own decisions. At some point, you won't be able to make their choices for them. That is why laying that foundation of faith is so critical. Let me make sure you understand something. You are NOT responsible for the decisions they make. Just like your mother and father were not responsible for the decisions you made, you are not responsible for the decisions your children will make. That is why those early years are so critical since what they learn in those early years will help to shape the choices they make as they get older. Know that even if they turn from the Lord at some point, when times get difficult it is that spiritual foundation you helped lay in their life that will sustain them. Just like the prodigal son made some horrible decisions, when he hit rock bottom he knew to "go home" to his father.
Let me speak for a minute directly to those who have had the pain of losing a child before you were able to give birth, as well as those who have had a baby or child die. Let me remind you the Bible tells us that tomorrow is promised to none of us. That means each day is a gift from God whether we are in the womb, 2 months old, 5 years old, 15, 40, or 90 years old. We will never fully understand why God chooses to allow someone to die when they do. However, the greatest desire and goal of any parent should be for their child to know Christ as their Savior and have the assurance of everlasting life. For those who have lost a baby in the womb or a baby or young child, you can be assured that your baby or child is forever with the Lord. The only thing that will send a person to hell is rejecting Christ as their Savior and since your baby or child never had that opportunity, they are with the Lord for eternity.
Also, I know that many of you are in tears today because you so desperately want a child and for reasons only God knows, you have not been able to conceive. Again, why your prayers have not been answered is something only God knows for certain but let me encourage you to continue to pray for a child knowing that with God ALL things are possible. We have too many testimonies both from God's Word and from so many people of how God allowed them to conceive later in life after many years of not having any children. Also, never forget that God may have a special calling on your life to be a mom or dad to a child by adoption. There are so many children who have been given up for adoption who need Godly parents and God may be calling you to have a child by adoption.
I love you and care about you so much. There is nothing more exciting in life than finding out that you are going to have a child, going through those months of preparing for the birth of your child, and then that incredible day you will never forget as long as you live when your baby is born. Of course, that is also the start of the most important job you will ever have in this life, raising your child. Let me close today with a special prayer of blessing for your baby, whether this baby is still in the womb or recently born, and for you to be the Godly parents God has called you to be.
"Father, I pray today for those precious babies who are still in the womb. I pray, oh Lord, that you will touch these precious lives and make their bodies healthy, their minds sharp, and their hearts tender towards the Lord. I pray oh Lord that you will bring forth these precious babies from the womb in your perfect timing and that these babies will grow and mature into mighty men and women of God should Jesus tarry in His return. For those babies and children, I pray, oh Lord, that you will protect them from the evils of this dark world. I pray, oh Lord, that they will be raised in the admonition of the Lord, in the strength of your Word, and become great men and women of God to lead your people in these last days. Father, I lift up the moms and dads of these children. Give them your strength, wisdom, and discernment as they raise their children in the ways of the Lord. I pray oh Lord that you will guide them and help them to be the Godly moms and dads to their children you have called them to be. Bless their homes, oh Lord, let the Sprit of the living God be present and make their home and lives great beacons of light in this lost and dying world. I pray blessings on these babies and children, blessings on these moms and dads in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ,