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Summary: “My son, be attentive to my wisdom; incline your ear to my understanding, that you may keep discretion, and your lips may guard knowledge” Proverbs 5:1, 2.

Theme: Educating the Child

Text: Pr. 5:1, 2, 12-14; 2 Tim. 3:10-17; Lk. 2:41-52

Our theme for today’s sermon is ‘educating the child’. Educating a child begins even before the birth of the child. The right nourishment and the thought life of the parents affect the unborn child in ways we cannot even imagine. The first years after birth are a period of very rapid growth when the child is capable of learning the most as is seen in how quickly the child learns a language. At an early age the child is put in Kindergarten where they are nurtured and moulded to grow up to be a blessing to society. It is significant that the German word Kindergarten means a garden of children. A garden is planted, nurtured, and cultivated. A neglected garden is soon covered with weeds. The neglected child, the child who is not nurtured and moulded, often ends up becoming a curse to society. The most important aspect of the nurturing process is to teach the child about the love of Christ.

God loves everyone and every child needs to know God loves them. Christ showed His love for us when He took our place on the cross and shed His blood to pay the penalty for sin. He was made sin with our sinfulness so that we might be made righteous with His righteousness.

When we understand God’s love for us there will always be the desire to please Him because we are also assured that He will not withhold any good thing from us. Indeed, the death of Christ made us inheritors of the New Testament. The New Testament makes available to us all that belongs to Christ. We become God’s children and God loves us just as much as He loves Christ. Christ has defeated the enemy and made His abundant provisions available to us. Why are we still not enjoying His abundant provisions?

We are not enjoying Christ abundant provisions because of the devils deception. He gains access to the mind of believers with thoughts that are contrary to the Word of God and thereby lead to unbelief. One way Satan gains access to the mind is through the eyes. What one sees, for example advertisements, enters the mind and affects the thought life in such a way that one develops a controlling desire for it. A second way Satan uses to gain access to the mind is through what we hear. What you hear affects your thought life and what you think is what eventually takes place. A child who constantly hears he will not achieve anything will not achieve anything till he hears something different. One cannot believe the Word of God when one constantly hears what is contrary to the Word. A third way Satan uses to gain access to the mind is through the sense of touch. Touch easily accesses the mind and feeds the thought life with lustful desire. We all know what touch is capable of.

We can protect our thought life by renewing our minds. We do this when we are focused on Christ accepting and believing only His Word. Fellowshipping with other believers helps keep our focus on Christ and it is the parent’s responsibility to make sure their children participate in regular worship. The ‘parents’ of Jesus were obedient to God concerning the observance of worship in the Temple and kept the feasts of the Lord. The truth is parents make the most impact on their children by their actions and behaviour as children learn from what they see and hear. The story is told of a young couple returning home from work. They met a friend in their neighbourhood and invited him in. They opened their front door only to hear their nine-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter yelling at each other at the top of their voices. Alarmed they all rushed in to find out what was going on. “What on earth is going on here?” the parents asked. Their son looked at them with a surprised expression on his face for a moment, then smiled and replied, “Oh, there is nothing wrong. We were just playing daddy and mummy.” Parents have a responsibility to be an example as they teach their children the Word of God and nurture them by making sure they participate in worship services and fellowship meetings. Are you providing the best example for your child?

Christ has won the victory over the devil but it is our duty to manifest His victory in our lives. We can only manifest His victory if we renew our minds. To renew our minds is to bring entertain thoughts that are in accordance with the Word of God. Satan wants to control our minds by building strongholds that resist the truth of the Word of God The only way to fight unbelief is to use God’s spiritual weapons. Although we live in the flesh we are engaged in a war that is not in the fleshly realm but in the spiritual realm. The weapons of this spiritual battle are the Word of God. Christ has already defeated Satan and has won the victory for us. Since we are in Christ His victory is also our victory and we are able to live a life of victory because of our victorious position.

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