“Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.”
There is a lesson that we have learned. It is a lesson of hope. It says that I do not have to be perfect before I can come to Jesus. It says that God loved me while I was still a sinner.
It also says that He has no intention of leaving my sinful past to dictate my future. He wants to make me clean! He wants to give me victory!
This lesson has infiltrated our very being. It has become the focus and joy of our lives–and we long to share it with the children!
How do we do that?
I think it is human nature to wish that the children who follow in our steps after us would just take a hint and learn life’s lessons the easy way–without trial and error, or falling and arising.
The fact of the matter, though, is that it generally does not happen that way–not that it would not be possible, but that we humans tend to be hard-headed, stiff-necked creatures. We just have to try for ourselves.
This included us, and it includes the children whom we are trying so hard to protect from failure; but in spite of this reality, there are things that we can do as Christian brothers and sisters to encourage the younger generation in the blessed path that we love.
Today, I would like to briefly run through several ideas that are mentioned or implied in Psalm 34. (Perhaps in some future posts I will go into some of these in more detail.)
Psalm 34 is the Psalm which has our opening text right at its heart: “Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD.” (Psalm 34:11)
So, I will mention this point first of all:
- Talk to the children. Tell them your story in a way that is appropriate and easily understandable for children. (v.11)
- Continually praise the Lord and honor Him in your words, actions, and even your facial expressions. The children will notice! (v. 1)
- Give credit where it is due–to God–and rejoice in the praises the children bring your way! (v. 2)
- Spend time intentionally magnifying God. Talk and sing of His greatness. (v. 3)
- Keep your testimony growing daily. Seek the Lord in prayer and in His word. Trust Him in joy and trouble. (vs. 4-10,17-22)
- Make every word heavenly. Give your thoughts to Christ so that your words will always be blessings: pure, true, and life-giving. (v. 13; see also II Corinthians 10:5)
- Do what is good–by the power of Christ, of course! (v. 14)
- Be a peacemaker. Seek peace both in your own heart and in relationships with those around you. (v. 14)
- Recognize God’s care for the righteous. This will help with #8, too. (v. 15-17)
Take a moment to consider each of these points and what it will mean in your own life. Ask God what He would like to do in your life today to help you be a more powerful witness for Him.
Like Paul, we “count not [ourselves] to have apprehended” but that need not stop us from reaching for the prize. Persevere and include the children in your journey. They are bound to notice, and by God’s grace the day will come when they decide to follow right along in the steps of Jesus with you!
~Is there anything from Psalm 34 that you would add to the list?