” Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you..” (Matthew 28:19-20)
22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” 24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife, 25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus. (Matthew 1:22-25)
It appears that most believers in Christ understand the need to “go and make disciples” (Matthew 28:19) “to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8). We understand that there is a need to “appoint elders in every church” (Acts 14:23) and “equip the saints” (Ephesians 4:12). We study God’s Word so that we will be “approved unto God” (2 Timothy 2:15). But, “what about the responsibility that we have to put our children “first and foremost,” above all other children, including the children of other people, by “teaching our children” (Deuteronomy 6:7)? With a heavy heart I must say that I have observed most Christian parents are delinquent in the responsibility that God has given them to teach their children. On a performance scale, I will give most Christian parents a grade of “F.” Parents don’t ensure that they, themselves, are being equipped so that they can equip their children. As it relates to our children,” God has given parents the following pattern as a teaching schedule:
Deuteronomy 6:4-9 New International Version (NIV)
4 Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates.
Per God’s Word, parents are supposed to teach their children, “all of the time.” Half an hour of Sunday School, and about the same time for a preached sermon, and maybe half an hour during mid-week study will not “cut the cake.” As it relates to parents, “and children,” no one can be “equipped” to understand God’s Holy Word during 90 minutes a week of “classes/sermons.” As it relates to pastors, no ministry team can “equip their saints,” during 90 minutes of “classes/sermons” each week. The quality of teaching/preaching must also be considered. Parents should understand that if neither they, nor their children, are “being equipped” to understand God’s Word, a decision might need to be made so that “parent and child” can both be a part of a congregation where they will be equipped to build up the body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12). Parents need to not only be part of an equipping congregation, they must also make up their minds that they will “be there” when the equipping is taking place.
The tool that God has given His Church, the body of Christ, to “equip the saints” is His Holy Word. Consider the following:
2 Timothy 3:16 New International Version (NIV)
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness”
The words “God-breathed” literally means “God-breathed-out.” Because God “breathes His Word out,” we should “breathe God’s Word in.” We should breathe God’s Word in, and “breathe out” what we have learned to our children. Of course, we know that “a child is a child,” regardless of the age of the child.
Consider again the words of the Great Commission, that Jesus left with His disciples, which are words for all believers in Christ. May we be found to be faithful in preparing ourselves for such a ministry.
Matthew 28:18-20 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Let’s consider what it will be like for all of those whom have had the love of Jesus explained to them, and have come to know Him as their Lord and Savior. I am very thankful that God’s Word was spoken to me, and that I know Jesus as my Lord and Savior.
Revelation 21:1-5 New King James Version (NKJV)
1 Now I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away. Also there was no more sea. 2 Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. 4 And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” 5 Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.”
This last song has some very tender words and thoughts. The singer,Tonya Goodman Sikes, is the daughter of Rusty Goodman, who is now singing in heaven. Howard Goodman is the white-haired man who is seated to Tonya’s left, and is moved with emotion as he hears his niece singing a song that is very dear to his heart. Vestal, who was Howard’s wife, is seated to Howard’s left. All of the singers of the original “Happy Goodmans” are now with Jesus. The Goodmans that I remember are Howard and Vestal; and Sam and Rusty, who were brothers of Howard. I can’t wait to sing with the Goodman’s in heaven! Please be there too. You won’t have to look hard to find me.
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