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A Priceless Treasury for Our Children

The stores are already displaying Christmas decorations and stocking their shelves with an abundance of every imaginable toy and gadget. As you walk down the aisles, you can almost hear the toys and gadgets calling out: You really want this. You need this. You deserve this. This is what will make you happy! Our children and grandchildren are no more immune to the lure of new and exciting things than we are.

As a child, I received many wonderful Christmas gifts. I’m sure they brought me some level of enjoyment. But, interestingly enough, I cannot recall what these gifts were in any great detail. They have all dimmed from my memory. They were fleeting treasures that succumbed to the passage of time, indifference, boredom, wear and tear, and more.

Knowing this reality does not mean I am opposed to giving material gifts to my children and grandchildren this Christmas. But, more than all the wonderful gifts of this world, I want to give them something much more valuable that can serve as a means toward their everlasting joy. (more…)

An Anchor for Your Child’s Soul

I was looking back over the post below from two years ago, and it struck me: The “hard news from doctors” I referenced then is still hard news today. Back then, my nephew received a diagnosis that his cancer had returned. And now, two and a half years later, he still struggles daily from severe complications of a bone marrow transplant. How does a young man in his 20s not lose hope in the midst of a seemingly undefeatable illness? By trusting in Christ and placing his full confidence in His sovereign goodness! It may never be cancer that your children face, but their lives will be touched by suffering. May we diligently prepare them for that day! (more…)

An October 31st Worth Celebrating + Free Devotional

As a child, October 31 only meant two things to me: costumes and candy – lots and lots of candy! I wonder how many children, even children from Christian homes, think the same?

Often lost on this date is something vastly more significant: Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses to the door of a Roman Catholic Church in Wittenberg, Germany, in the year 1517. With this act, Martin Luther sparked the great Protestant Reformation. As Christian parents and teachers, we must teach our children about this historic movement. (more…)

Getting Your Class Excited about Reading the Bible

Let’s face it: trying to get the children in your classroom excited about engagement with the Scriptures can be difficult. It just doesn’t seem as “fun” as doing other things. Plus, for a teacher, leading the class to actually read and study texts can be a laborious process. What do you do when you have a classroom full of wiggly, distracted first-graders who are just learning to read? What Bible study goals are realistic for your fourth graders?  How can you help a child that isn’t from a Christian home and has no prior acquaintance with the Bible? (more…)

The Urgent Need for Sound Doctrine in the Classroom

Recently The State of Theology survey was published by Ligonier Ministries and LifeWay Research. Ligonier says the every-two-years survey is designed to … take the theological temperature of the United States to help Christians better understand today’s culture and equip the church with better insights for discipleship.” The title may sound academic, but the report is essential, sober reading for every believer. For all its discouraging news, it is full of insights that have the potential, by God’s grace, to awaken American believers to the need for theological clarity. (more…)

Teach, and Pray, Toward Children’s Faith

What characterizes good Bible teaching for children? Number one on the list is obvious: teaching that acquaints children with the whole counsel of God through the faithful proclamation of the Scriptures, with the aim of making children wise for salvation in Christ. But over my years of teaching, I also have become more and more aware of a second item on the list: good Bible teaching needs to be undergirded and permeated — soaked — with earnest prayer. (more…)

Help Your Teens Get Wisdom

What if you were to ask your teen the following questions:

  • What does the Bible have to say about using Facebook?
  • Are you honoring Jesus as you participate in sports?
  • Do you have a biblical view of doing your homework?
  • Are you wise in the friends you choose?
  • Why are the answers to these questions important for your life?

What kind of answers might you get in response? Would your teen be able to explain his or her answers using specific verses and biblical truths? What might the answers reveal about his or her heart? (more…)

How Teaching Big Truths Prepared a Family for Suffering

When Mike and Deb Watters first started teaching My Purpose Will Stand, a study on the sovereignty of God, to their church’s sixth grade class, they were excited to explore big truths with the kids. What they didn’t realize was that God was also teaching them, preparing them for the storms that were ahead of them as a family. (more…)

Questions for Discerning a Child’s Profession of Faith

Children are amazing sponges and excellent mimics. They have the God-given ability to soak up and recall an enormous amount of information. They also are, to a lesser or greater extent, attentive observers who will act out and imitate our words, demeanor, and actions.

This provides Christian parents and teachers with a great opportunity, challenge, and caution when it comes to nurturing our children and students toward genuine faith in Christ. During their young years, we should take the opportunity to pour biblical truth into their lives — acquainting them with the Scriptures which are able to make them wise for salvation in Christ (2 Tim. 3:15). We must gently challenge and implore them to respond to these truths with heart-felt trust and devotion. But we must also be discerning in how they respond: are they simply affirming truths or embracing Christ as Savior and Lord? Are they simply mimicking Christian responses that they have seen and heard? Are they simply trying to please their parents and teachers? Therein lies the caution. (more…)

When Children Aren’t Being Discipled at Home

God has ordained parents as the primary teachers and disciplers of their children and it is a sacred responsibility and privilege. All the many wonderful Sunday school classes and other children’s and youth programs in your church are no substitute for parents’ calling to nurture the faith of their children. Consider these words from Charles Spurgeon:

Let no Christian parents fall into the delusion that the Sunday school is intended to ease them of their personal duties. The first and most natural condition of things is for Christian parents to train up their own children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Let holy grandmothers and gracious mothers, with their husbands see to it that their own boys and girls are well taught in the book of the Lord.

  • But what about the children who come to your church who do not have believing parents?
  • What about children who are receiving a minimal amount of spiritual nourishment in their homes due to a variety of factors?
  • What about children who live in a one-parent home—and that parent is doing the best he or she can but is overwhelmed with simply holding things together?

(more…)

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