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The Most Important Thing in the World… Children? (Glenn Colley)

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books to number 78 and in just a very few minutes we’re going to be singing that song as an invitation song and and may I just tell you that I am so impressed with you not just because you come to a lectureship on a Friday evening and we got a great crowd tonight I’m so pleased with that but also that you’re not accustomed to sitting through four sessions right in a role like this and and I just want to tell you that I’m grateful for you and and I really hope that you can stay awake for this last one I really I really do and haven’t we had great sessions and to get to hear Riley and Derek and cliff preach is just a real treat for all of us and I’m grateful for the invitation to be a part of this and I’m grateful for my subjects I saw them at the first and the whole spectrum that’s what you have here with this theme of course is a spectrum of things and to ask the question is this the most important thing and you have some for which it’s obvious that this is not the most important thing and they’re real easy and I you have money or secular education or you have worldly tolerance and and so it’s just very easy to stand up and say and I’m sure that these guys going to develop great lessons but to say these are not the most important thing and need to have some of them on the other end of the spectrum that the hope hope is that the most important thing I dare a man to say no or the church well we you know that’s going to be a wonderful lesson I’m looking forward to to that but then you have some that are kind of in the middle and that’s kind of in the middle and I came to talk about the question our children the most important thing and when I first got the subject I thought I don’t know if you could say the most important thing and then then it occurred to me that the answer is yes at least there’s a there’s an occasion in Scripture which I came to bring you tonight that is a demonstration at least on this occasion when it’s a right answer to say the most important thing in the world is children and the text is Genesis chapter 22 this is the occasion of God saying to Abraham I want you to take your son your only son Isaac who you love and you get to the land of Moriah to a mountain that I will tell you of and then you you’ll offer him for a burnt offering on that mountain there are a lot of great lessons you can learn from Genesis chapter 22 verse 5 says that Abraham said to his servants you wait here I and the lad will go yonder and worship did you know that’s the first occurrence of the word worship in the Bible and when you when you consider all that was involved in the worship of Abraham offering Isaac it’s a staggering thing how difficult good worship can be well when you you can take care Genesis 22 and you could consider the comparison between Isaac and Jesus have you ever done that it’s a fascinating concept to ponder so many interesting similarities between Isaac and Jesus you look at their their miraculous conception in both cases you look you look at their righteous lives and so submissive as Isaac was submissive to Abraham when he said ah I want you to turn around I’m gonna tie your hands and you see the submissive life of our Lord that that’s easy enough to appreciate you see the wood that represents the sacrifice in one case it was the wood that went on the back of Isaac and he was to carry it as they went up that mountain in Moriah and of course the cross of my Lord what do you think about the the comparisons between Isaac and Jesus and and I could go on with that but that’s one of the things that you can learn from Genesis chapter 22 but the one for tonight is the this is an occasion where the most important thing in the world was a man son don’t you think it’s interesting that God didn’t say I don’t think it would have hit its mark what God was about God didn’t say Abraham take now your favorite horse that you’ve had for four years now who’s been so faithful to you you paid good money for him and I want you to take him onto one of the mountains in Moriah and offer that horse for a sacrifice God didn’t say that what if he did you’d say watch Abraham sacrificing his horse must be a hard thing to do he really loved that horse it’s not the same thing you hear me in the same thing I’ve got a son I’ve got a son and what I would suggest to you that is that God didn’t ask for his horse he didn’t ask for his cloak he asked for his he didn’t ask for his right arm he asked for his boy he asked for his son now you asked why is that the case the answer is relative to what we’re talking about in this last session tonight and that is that boy was the most important thing in the world but the most important thing in the world to Abraham I understand that he had a soul and we could go in that direction but that’s not the point the point is that for God to hit his mark and you remember Gunton to get down to verse 12 and God says see I know I know now this is after Abraham is gone for the knife and he’s you know what Hebrews chapter 11 says beginning about verse 13 and following that that Abraham offered Isaac that day where did that happen I thought God stopped his hand he did but in Abraham’s heart Isaac was as good as dead you hear me as good as dead why was it his boy and answer is because that’s the most important thing and we learned something from that I learned something you think about Romans 8 and 32 do you remember that it’s about you in the cross our Lord and and if God spared not his own son ready for this but delivered him up for us all shall heat not much rather with him freely give us all things what’s the arguments the same when I’m making right now same argument you say say what would God be willing to do in order to save my soul how merciful could he be how far would he go and the answer is he gave you his son he’s willing to give his son how much did Abraham love God how much was Abraham willing to obey God and I’ll just answer it simple he gave his son Gabe aside the question is reckon children can be the most important thing in the world I would argue that on this occasion and from this perspective the answer of course is yes and that’s the point that is the point and what’s your charge to do for those of you who are parents and to a lesser degree those of us who are grandparents isn’t that a nice thing to say isn’t that a pleasant thing to say well what you need to do is to give God the most important thing in your life you give him your children now I do not mean of course obviously I’m not talking about a dead sacrifice like God required of Abraham on old Mount Moriah I’m talking about a living sacrifice the Romans 12:1 in two kind of sacrifice that we’re going to give them to our God and and so in the next few minutes let’s talk about ways practical ways we can do that I want to do some nuts and bolts kind of things with you how is it that I can rear my children to be separate from the world how how can I rear them in the nurture the affirmation of the Lord how can I rear my children to give them to God that’s what I want to do I’m gonna give them God number one we need to have family Bible time with our children at night every night I I’m going to make reference to some practical application from my own life and our family if you don’t mind tonight and I don’t do that to be presumptuous but but what I know best is what we did and so if you don’t mind me you forgive me permission to share some of those things I want to make this as practical as I possibly can when Hannah was Hannah’s got two children of her own now and they call me papa did I mention I’m a grandfather and when she was little when she was little why we had her memorizing Scripture and and she said we’d have contests and I’m gonna talk about that but we had contests in our family at family Bible times sometimes we would do that and and she said I don’t like this why not because I can’t we’d read she can read and so we had to do something about that and make it better now I’ll talk about that in a minute but familybibletime at night in order to make this work and if you ask either of my two children what it was that that helped them to be faithful Christians in their lives point to one thing what is it you know and I guess I would like to think that it was their father’s great example well I don’t think that was it but if they had to nail down one thing they would say that it’s family Bible time that we did this every night if you have young children I hereby ask you to do this if you have grandchildren that come to your house sometime in the evening I want you to do this you need to do this and it needs to be done religiously what I mean by that is that every night when it gets to be the time and it ought to be daddy who calls it so that he could demonstrate he’s the family leader the spiritual family leader and he said he says it’s time for you call it whatever you want to we called it story time time for story time and I want everybody in there in their jammies and in the the den in seven minutes let’s go okay and so or wherever you do it when they’re little we’d get up on the big bed you know in mom and daddy’s room and that’s where we do it now you have to vary this so you have different things you do each night and and some nights you’re going to have singing night and each person gets to choose their favorite song and then you’ll have a prayer daddy lead a prayer or you’ll go around the room and pray and sometimes what you’re going to do is play a game and little children love games and it’s a great way to teach them and sometimes you’re gonna go to the living room and drag out some chairs to put a quilt over them and that’s going to be Noah Jonah and the great fish right and sometimes it’s going to that same conclusion of chairs and quilts and all that is going to be Daniel and you’re you’re gonna be Daniel and they’re gonna get to throw you in the Lions Den and you say well you’re just playing a game that’s not just that I’m teaching my children the Word of God and you explained it to them here’s what the Bible says and about Daniel praying for it before that window three times every day and teach them you teach them in ways that are juvenile if they understand ways that they grasp lat and some nights what you’re going to do is to sit down together and and you’re going to write letters to your favorite missionary somebody your family is connected to and you’re going to take from your children whatever maybe they want to give part of their allowance and I’m going to give some money and Mama you know and we’re all going to send our mind to this missionary what are you doing I’m teaching my children how to love the gospel and the spreading of the gospel and we can do that in family Bible time and I’m a favorite one of all of these is the daddy list the daddy list and and what that means is that before your children or your grandchildren grow up and launch into life I want to suggest that you take a piece of paper or your laptop and you make a list of all the things of course we’re in a spiritual context all the things you want to make sure that they know what would you put on the list I want them to know that they know these things I want to make sure they know them what would you put on the list my mind that’s that just sends your mind and wandering dustman I want them to know that that God created this world and its inhabitants in six literal days right I want them to know about the cross of Jesus Christ and a necessity of baptism to contact the blood of Jesus in Romans chapter six I want them to know about one true church taught in the scriptures and that Jesus said I’m going to build my church on the truth that I really am the son of God what do you want to teach them I’ll teach them honesty if you borrow a man’s rake and you break it you got to pay for it right and that you don’t take I never steal you must never steal and lying is a serious matter in some what you put put that on there put how important truth is on your list it put put on the list how you choose a woman to be your wife and how you choose a man to be your husband how young you reckon is too young for children to learn about that and you make this daddy list and then some nights in your family the Bible time you choose one daddy now I understand that the Bible class teacher can teach your children these things but I can assure you it does not come across the same as the hero called dad I will tell you that nobody nobody has the same kind of influence that a daddy does or a mama does in that right they need to hear from you because parents parents are like you know how it is when you make coins don’t you at the mint take a piece of metal and you stamp it like that you don’t just influence your children parents you you have a direct imprint upon them and that’s what I’m talking about and some nights you’re gonna do that familybibletime is what I’m suggesting to you you’ll take that list and of course some of those things you’re going to want to talk about more than one night during their lives but what your children need to have have you bring this to them in a deliberate way not just haphazard you know they’re not gonna catch faith like they catch a cold I don’t get it through osmosis they’re gonna get it because you deliberately chose to teach those children the things of God number next we’re gonna teach him to memorize Scripture I said I would come back to this so so what we did is to with Hannah who was I don’t know she had this quibble about not being able to read and us memorization she said was hard well all right all right did you know that Gus Nichols used to tell his children that they when I came to the table their plates to be turned upside down in order to turn your plate over to eat you’d have to quote a verse of scripture I’m in California say one time he was a little bothered by this notion that we should teach our children to memorize Scripture he was a little offended by that and he said you know that’s not that’s not the best way that we raise our kids to be Christians what we need to do is to tell them about faithful people in our family through this through the generations and that’s the better way that’s how we but you know the Bible still says that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God almost 10:17 I’m gonna stick with that what about you in second Timothy chapter 3 that Paul said I know I know about that faith that was in your grandmother lowest mother Eunice but I know that it was the scripture it was the scripture that you were taught we got to do that and so what we did was – we put verses to music and we called it Hannah’s hundred and and before it was over we had 400 of them now Hannah Caleb did it – but but Hannah memorized beginning at that point a hundred verses a year and and before she left us she had done thirteen years of that so you can do the math and that doesn’t mean that today if you went up to Hannah and said quote thirteen and a verses that she could do it she couldn’t do that I don’t think she could do that I suspect she could could quote a good number of them but what I can tell you is that the memorization of those scriptures through those years helped mold her into a faithful Christian I don’t I don’t see any way that that’s not true that’s got to be true if our children don’t know the Bible it’s because the adults haven’t taught them the Bible that’s it you say well I’d love for my children know more about the Bible well you know this is not going to happen accidentally we just make a deliberate decision and and then we do it and I I I’m not trying to sell books tonight I’ve got some of those and and if you want me to talk to you about that I’ll be happy to and if you want some of that and you don’t have the money you come to me and I’ll give it to you all right next we need to let our children or at least pay attention to the fact that our children listen to us when we pray take this to heart children pay attention to you when you eat the Lord’s Supper those little recorders are just spinning they’re watching and recording but they don’t they don’t even know a lot about the cross yet and the significance the depth of significance of the of the eating of the Lord’s Supper but I can tell you it I know something about the real McCoy and something this a facade how do you pray around your children well operate around my children you just kind of rattle off a memorize thing at the table you know what I’m telling it’s not good enough that’s not good enough because not only are they listening to what you say they’re listen to how you say it they’re reading your heart and when you pray with them at night be sure that you don’t pray in such lofty terms that they think that that praying is a lot like preaching a sermon and I don’t understand the sermon and I don’t understand that prayer but daddy makes us bow our heads no don’t do that don’t do that pray in terms they understand and pray from a heart that acknowledges that I really do I’m your daddy and I can tell you right now I believe there’s a God in heaven who is listening to this prayer right now you pray like that I’m asking do you pray like that in front of your kids and in front of your grandchildren or you do is prayer just something you do as a matter of routine and it rolls off like maybe there is and maybe there isn’t you pray like a man and a woman who believes that there’s a heaven and I want to go I really want to go and I need the mercy of my god and we teach them to pray next prioritize the worship assemblies I almost didn’t write this down on my paper because I mean it’s Friday night and here you are at a lectureship on Friday night god bless you god bless you for your you didn’t come here because it was convenient you came here because of conviction and I appreciate that so I think maybe maybe if this isn’t so necessarily beneficial to you to hear it will be perhaps to someone who’s listening by recording and I want to say to you that you need to prioritize the worship assemblies I understand that Hebrews 10 and 25 says that that we should do this and not forsake it and that’s right of course that’s right that’s what the Bible says in Matthew 6 and 33 you know what that says seeking first the kingdom of God but I want you to I want you to think about it in reference to our children who are the most valuable possession we have on this earth here’s a tangible way I love this so much of what you’re going to teach them is real but not so necessarily tangible and in spiritual considerations but but getting up and going to worship faithfully I’m telling you that’s tangible isn’t it and to know that we put the Lord first in this obvious tangibility even a kid could understand it kinda way so we do that pretty good I mean we come to church most of the time well I mean you know when the kids are in school sometimes we have a we have a real big math test tomorrow so we may stay home on Wednesday nights but we don’t do that all the time just some just unless it’s a big test we don’t do it or you say well you know my kids my kids play ball and we don’t miss we don’t miss Bible study or the the gospel meeting we don’t miss that unless it’s a really big game and it’s a big game you know what I expect that’s a pretty good way to help our children one day leave the faith I’m not saying that if you’ve ever done that that your children gonna leave the faith what I’m saying is that that your children are gonna grow up and I can assure you when they leave your house the devil is going to hit him with everything he’s got to see if he can’t encourage them and motivate them to leave the faith and it’s not gonna be about a little league ball game and it’s not gonna be about a math test it’s gonna be about something important something big good job money and supporting their family big things big things and they’re gonna have the stamina they’re gonna have the backbone to st. in you know what I always try to do the right thing about everything I know I I’m not going to do the wrong thing I’m gonna do the right thing well is it what what all right how are you gonna put that in them and I’m just saying that one of the things you can do to make sure that it’s in them is that that when the doors are open we come through them that’s that’s just how we do it man man came to me happened to be in California I forgot about that but it’s like that illustration I use but I was preaching in California and he he heard me say something like this and he came and he just probably disagreed with that I think I did that with my son I have my children and and they left the faith because I was choking it down their throats in other words what he was trying to tell me is that if you really want your children to grow up and be faithful just be sure that you’re not very faithful to the Assemblies while they’re growing up are you kidding me that’s a recipe for disaster I’m sorry really sorry for what happened in his family but I I can assure you it wasn’t bringing them to worship that messed him up it was something but it wasn’t that control their entertainment that’s the next one had a young man 18 call me today and he said in fact while I was driving here from Huntsville today and he’s been having a discussion with his friends and they’re they’re Christians too but what he’s got convictions about what we should or shouldn’t watch on on the internet or on television he’s got some strong convictions about that and with with which I agree and his friends are strongly contending that he’s wrong about that and that he’s just make until a deal out of this kind of language that we watch for entertainment or or this kind of sexuality that we watch for entertainment he’s pushing the envelope and they don’t appreciate it one bit I tell you what it’s a Christian I would really hate to be in a position to make an argument like that wouldn’t you to make an argument toward worldliness in the heart of a Christian wouldn’t it be something to talk to somebody who had a conviction about morality and try to discourage them from that really really and so what do you do when your kids growing up how do you do well wait is it when you’re when your children are 20 and 25 and 30 I know what’s happening at some homes and you do to that I’m around this quite a lot I know what adultery does to a marriage I know what pornography does to a marriage I see it quite a lot and and what would you do about that well the answer is that the best thing to do is to fix it before it happens and you fix it when they’re little you do that well the answer is that you you regulate what we watch on that television and every time it starts saying using foul language we turn it or we change the channel if we turn it off right then right you say well you can’t watch hardly anything well fine throw it away right big decide a big deal you said a big deal well you get the point you make sure that you have a house where Jesus lives and you don’t have entertainment that violates or compromises or offends Jesus Christ you have this argument I told this boy well you know I was thinking you know you have this argument with these other Christian boys and there was saying what they’re saying and advocating these kinds of entertainment and I just wonder you know if Jesus was sitting there what if our Lord was there which side do you suppose he’d be on if the Apostle Paul was there what do you think he would have to say about this do not have online devices in private places in your home for your children at night you need to take up all the online devices they don’t need to have any kind of online device a child with an iPad online in his bedroom with the door closed at night isn’t I’m telling you what it’s not will the devil get him the devil is going to grab it now you’ll just have to fix the problems later because if I was the devil I can assure you that I’d reached through that screen and I’d grab that boy’s heart I’d grab that girl’s heart and you wouldn’t nothing about it till it was too late right don’t don’t be doing that don’t don’t have an online device in their bed written as a matter of fact you make sure that the online device is when the kids are using them you should limit that and then have particular places in the house where they can do that in Daddy god help you stay away from pornography yourself you you you use that or you keep using that I can tell you you’re going to set off a bomb in your marriage that will hurt for a long long time I see it a lot and what’s happens to your kids they find out about that don’t don’t risk that and don’t risk your soul that yourself I’m gonna do one more and then I’m gonna stop challenge your children with goals I don’t know you know you hear sometimes about people wondering if it’s a good thing to say to your boys now I really want you to grow up be a preacher what’s wrong with that I don’t I don’t know what’s wrong with that I I guess I guess if I told my kids that if they would be faithful Christians I would support them in whatever career choice they made and they reminded me by the way a couple of times about that later and I kept my promise if you’ll be a faithful Christian I will support you so I think there’s a balance in here but but you know what I say I think that every daddy ought to encourage his son to be an elder one day set your site to be an elder whether or not he’s a preacher he’ll be a preacher of he’s an elder you know why god help us we’re in trouble about elders in this country I guess the church overall I know it’s true outside of this country and and I had to call this week and a brother in another different state from yours in mind called to say we have two elders and neither of them will teach a Bible class they’re just not able they won’t teach and neither of them will go see somebody who’s in trouble spiritually in trouble neither of them will do it they you just can’t get them they won’t go visit anybody they’re scared of that and we’re just about to ordain another man they’ve chosen another man and he’s the same way he doesn’t know anything about shepherding it’s just not part of this and I’m afraid for the future what do you do I’ll tell you what you may not be able to affect this man may not be able to thank the circumstance right now but what he’d better do is to be an advocate for training the young men maybe after this man is dead and gone but but we’ve got to prepare those next elders so what what I want to suggest is that in all of our congregations what we ought to be doing and in your house right now if you have children if you have boys if you have girls train them to be elders wives but if you have if you have boys or grandsons start saying to them now I hope you’ll grow up in and work to be qualified so that when the church needs you that you could be an elder in the church and in our in our congregations what we ought to be doing every generation of boys that comes through our program in our Bible school every generation of boys ought to have to go through a class where we we go through the qualifications of elders and applied them to young men huh why don’t we teach them teach them young don’t wait don’t wait till the devil gets his hands on them you what you need to do is to start them young and plant those seeds and I’ve been doing that at West Huntsville and I get them from I want I want a Class A boys 11 years old to 14 years old that’s when I want them and then we’re going to spend a quarter we’re gonna go through the qualifications and I’m gonna talk about what you what you ought to do what you ought to do is to find the wisest old man in your church in your congregation find the wisest old man in that congregation it doesn’t matter to me if he’s an elder or a preacher but he needs to be the deepest godly man the most godly man you can find the wisest men you can find and you put him to teach that class teach those boys how to be men teach them how to be leaders and elders one day and what it means to be a shepherd take now thy son thine only only son Isaac whom thou lovest and get thee to the land of Moriah and offer him there as a burnt offering one of the mountains I’ll tell you off you know why because that was the most important possession Abraham had the most important thing in this world that Abraham had and I understand I’m not suggesting that your soul is of less value you know that I think you understand what I’m saying your most important possession isn’t the house in which you live the car that you drive it’s those kids it’s those precious Souls and tomorrow I’m gonna talk some more about that I my assignment is happiness and I want to talk about that I’ll talk about that are you living in such a way tonight that that creates the kind of influence for your children but ought to be are you right with God if there happens to be someone here tonight who isn’t a Christian may I say to you that that you need to obey the gospel so that you can go to heaven when you die there’s no way to heaven but by the cross and you need to to be baptized Romans 6 and verse 30 verse 3 no you’re not that so many of us has been baptized into Christ have been you know what we’re baptized into his death you have to you have to access that blood and we do that when we’re baptized wouldn’t you like to obey the gospel tonight repent of your sins and confess him and we’ll be so happy to immerse you in water just like the Bible says and if you need the prayers of the Christians I wanted I want to be restored I need to be the kind of example for my children and other people’s children that I haven’t been I want to help them go to heaven and now it’d be a great time and we’ll be so happy to pray with you for you we’re gonna sing a song of encouragement if you like to respond come as we stand in Sea

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