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Are You Gripped By What You Teach?

As many of you know, CDG had our National Conference May 2-4 in Minneapolis. It was a wonderful time of teaching from the Word, worship, practical training, and delightful fellowship. The theme of the conference was weighty—“The Splendor of Holiness.” In order to help attendees and non-attendees alike, I would like to spend the next month or two highlighting various sessions and seminars from the conference.

To begin with, I would like to focus on the plenary session of Dr. Jason Meyer (Pastor for Preaching and Vision at Bethlehem Baptist Church) and his message “The Splendor of God’s Holiness: The Irresistible Drawing Power of Real Holiness.”Toward the end of his excellent message, he said the following heart-challenging words:

You could make the mistake of focusing exclusively on why children need to be gripped by the splendor of God’s holiness. Here is why that would be a disastrous decision. Wanting to impact children with something that has not impacted you is an unintentional inoculation against being gripped by biblical holiness. Here is what I mean. It is an inoculation because, in the end, it protects them from being “infected” by the power of the truth of God’s holiness. If someone can believe in God’s holiness without loving God’s holiness, then you can have what James calls a dead faith, a demon faith, a useless faith—an empty adherence to teaching that will never change anyone. You can be what Paul says, “having a form of godliness while denying its power.”

Dear friends, if the things you are teaching do not excite you, there is almost no way that they are going to excite children. Children are uniquely gifted in being able to sniff out phoniness. They instinctively say to themselves, “if what you are sharing does not excite you, then why would I want it?”

Or worse yet, they may follow your example. What would be worse—rejecting fake holiness or accepting fake holiness? Embracing fake holiness means that you come to grips with the fact that holiness it is just one of those dull things about God that you are supposed to believe. They may think that they should respond to these glorious things in the same “blah” way as we do. We are modeling for children how they ought to respond to the things of God. When our hearts are unengaged, we end up lying about the very things we are teaching. We are saying, “hey, look everybody, this is the bland way you should engage with these stupendously glorious things.”

That sounds like doom and gloom, but that is certainly not my aim. My goal in warning you about the danger is found in the principle of “forewarned is forearmed.” Think about what happens when you focus on personally being gripped by God’s holiness. You will be gripped yourself. You will be what the Bible calls a “witness.” We need first hand witnesses of God’s holiness for the sake of the next generation….

The only way to teach the holiness of God is as a firsthand witness. You cannot teach the Jesus that your pastor proclaims. You must teach your children about the holiness of God as you have experienced it. This is the way to powerfully proclaim the Word to them…you must be gripped by it yourself.

Friday Contest — 5/10/13

Read today’s post “What is a Mother?” and then leave us a comment by Wednesday May 15. We will draw two names and each will receive a free copy of Sally Michael’s new booklet, Mothers: Disciplers of the Next Generations.
Contest winners will be announced on Monday May 20.

What is a mother?

CDG is pleased to offer a new and very timely resource by Sally Michael, Mothers: Disciplers of the Next Generations. Here are some words of wisdom from the booklet to whet your appetite…

  • Motherhood involves a vision, too. It may be conscious or unconscious, well-articulated or haphazard, but the vision that drives us also shapes our attitudes, our actions, our influence and, to some degree, the outcome of our mothering. What is your vision of mothering? Is it shaped by the Word…or by the world?
  •  As mothers, it is tempting to be consumed with the busyness of life—getting meals, changing diapers, bringing children to school, doing laundry, attending to the myriad of necessary tasks to manage a household and family—at the neglect of our spiritual development. Not only is this personal spiritual suicide, but it is detrimental to our children. If we would nurture the faith of our children, we must first nurture our own growing relationship with the Living God.
  •  Our primary struggle in raising our children is not subduing their wills, knowing how to teach them the Bible, or even knowing how to pray for them. Our greatest struggle will be in striving to love and worship God above all else, so that we can overflow in imparting that love to our children.
  •  Our primary calling as Christian mothers is to be Christ’s ambassadors to our children, speaking His truth, and reflecting His heart to them. Christ has given us a divine calling as ministers of reconciliation. All our other responsibilities pale in comparison to this one great charge.
  •  Only as we are united to Christ, can we truly fulfill our calling as mothers. So our vision for mothering is to be first lovers of Jesus. Of all the mothering responsibilities we have, our first and foremost is to grow as Christians. If we are good Christians, we will be good mothers.

April 19th Contest Winners

The winners of the April 19th contest are: (more…)

April 12th Contest Winners

Congratulations to Jen Shouer and Samuel Varner, our April 12th contest winners! We will be emailing you both so that we can send you a free copy of Bud Burk’s booklet on prayer, Utter Dependency on God, Through Prayer.