Devotion 21 November 2007 WE MUST BE A BLESSING TO OUR CHILDREN The Bible is clear about this: we are to be a blessing to our children. Proverbs 20:7 tells us that a righteous (person) leads a blameless life and blessed are his children after him. It means that the way we live affects the well-being of our children, and we can never get away from that reality. When a child sees the life of a Christian parent (and grandparent) and hears from them about the love of God, that child is blessed with faith and is equipped for the rest of his or her life to be a citizen of the Kingdom of God. Such a child is also prepared for eternal glory in God’s presence. God issues a wake-up call in Exodus 20 : 5-6 where he says: I, the Lord your God, punish the children to the third and fourth generation of them that hate me, but show mercy to thousands (of generations) who love me and keep my commandments. It comes as a great shock to many once they understand that their faithless, ungodly lives betrayed their children, robbing them of the wealth of God’s blessings, by making their children disobedient to God too and that by their own disobedience, parents and grand parents become the real reason why children grow up to live under the judgement of a holy God, being taught by parent’s words and example to live without Christ. It also brings a lot of responsibility to understand that according to God’s way for family life, it is up to adults and the way they bring up the young ones in their families, to secure Gods mercy for generation after generation. By surrendering my life to God, I bring my children and my grand children into the realm of God’s mercy, grace, kindness and love. God promises to bless his people and their children when they do his will, but equally he warns us of what will come upon us and them if we fail to do it. God has given us our children as a gift. He has given them to us to be a blessing to them. God loves the children and his plan is to bless them through faithful, believing, godly parents and families. Looking after the healthy development of their bodies is very important and developing their mental abilities, learning skills and intellectual potential prepares them for being successful adults. But much more importantly, must we remember, that preparing their hearts to love and follow Jesus, prepares them for a blessed life and for a glorious eternity!. Remember the words of Jesus in Matthew 19: 14: “Let the children come to me and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these”. One of God’s rules, if we are to be a blessing to our children, the blessing that God wants us to be to them, is to live in such a way that they have the opportunity to come to him. This implies, Jesus said, that our life choices also could have the result that we “hinder them” – that we prevent them form coming to Christ. What if we give as much time, effort , resources, love and enthusiasm to the spiritual preparation of our children’s lives, than we do in caring for their diets, health, intellectual stimulation and development of vital life skills. What if our lives, words and family relations show them the Way, the Truth and the Life – our Lord himself. What if we as a family, parents and children together, live within the Body of Christ – live as living, faithful participants of God’s family, in such a way that our kids will remain there for the rest of their lives and for all eternity! Prayer: O Lord, our God, help me to be a blessing to my children and grandchildren, showing them how to love and follow Jesus by my own example. Amen.