Peace Between Parents & Adult Children

Peace Between Parents & Adult Children

One area where we need to apply our faith as believers is to our relationship with our grown children.

Thus says the Lord:  Refrain your voice from weeping, and your eyes from tears; for your work (raising of your children, prayer) shall be rewarded, says the LORD, and they(your children) shall come back from the land of the enemy. There is hope (something that you can expect) in your future, says the LORD, that your children shall come back to their own border (place of peace and safety and well-being).”  (Jer 31:16-17 AMP, emphasis added) 

We as parents must always provide a place of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual peace, safety and well-being.  When we fall short, and most of us fall short in some way at some time, we need biblical solutions and practical help.

And he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers . . .  (Mal 4:6 NKJV) The Lord is the only Being who is able to change a person’s heart.  The hearts of parents should ALWAYS be in favor of and in support of their own children.  Our hearts should always yearn for the best things for our children.

Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation . . .  (2 Cor 5:18 NKJV, emphasis added)

As followers of Jesus Christ, our desire should always be for reconciliation in our relationships.  If it doesn’t exist at the moment, it’s something that we should take to the Lord in fervent prayer.

It may happen in some families that after children have grown, they choose to disconnect totally from their relationship with their parents.  In some cases, the parents may not have a clue as to why this has happened.  In other scenarios, one or the other parent does know the reason.  It can be the result of one parent who was harsh, overly strict or critical of the child or children as they were being raised.  Or it can be as serious as some form of abuse.  Whatever the situation, it can result in grown children having very painful memories and deep anger and resentment against a parent.  In some cases, the adult children may be in counseling to deal with the emotional and mental pain they are experiencing and have experienced in the past.

Parents who find themselves in this situation need to scrupulously review their past behavior in their relationship with their child (or children).  They must take full responsibility for their own actions, and openly admit their faults to their family. 

If there is a pathway to open communication, the parent should apologize and repent directly to the child (or children) whom they have hurt.  Additionally, whichever parent was responsible would need to promise to change the way that they relate to their adult child, so that in future the relationship would be based solely upon positive and healthy input from the parent.  Then the parent should pray for God’s grace and help in fulfilling this goal. 

Copious prayer is needed in this situation by both parents!  The offending parent should ask God to correct them, give them wisdom and insight, and to reveal what their child (or children) truly needs right now.  Praying for God’s peace to reign in the relationship is also key.

If there is no communication between parent and child, then the one hope and solution available to the parent is to continually pray for God to bring healing and reconciliation into the relationship between them and their child.  In this case, it is also good to ask God to reveal to the parent where they made mistakes and how they sinned against their child.  Repent wholeheartedly to God for whatever He reveals, and determine to change the behavior.  Read books on good parenting of adult children, and seek counseling if possible.  Counseling can come through licensed counselors, group counseling, pastors, psychologists, or 12-step programs such as AA. 

As followers of Jesus, we must seek peace in all of our relationships.  (Rom 12:18)  Parents never stop being parents, even after our children are grown.  So it is pleasing to God for us to continue to pray for our estranged adult children, and to ask God to bless them and to continue to protect them and to fulfill His will in their lives.  It would be wisdom to also pray earnestly for healing and for reconciliation in the relationship with the estranged child or children.  May God’s peace reign in your life and your family in Jesus’ name.

Lord of the Living & the Dead

Lord of the Living & the Dead

As Christians, we belong to Jesus Christ.  Once we accepted Jesus as our Savior and Lord, we became a member of His family.  He remains our Lord from that moment on into and throughout all eternity.  How blessed we are!

For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.  (Rom 14:9 NIV)

But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead.  (1 Pet 4:5)

The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all—   (Ac 10:36)    

Jesus Christ is the Lord of both the living and the dead—and there is no conflict in His role.  He is Lord of ALL. 

Jesus created everything that exists and because of that, no one can claim any authority over creation or over mankind other than Him.  (See Exodus 19:5)

When the Scriptures speak of Jesus being the Lord of both the living and the dead, it is addressing the fact that Jesus is the Lord of all people: 

  • Those who are spiritually dead and those who are spiritually alive;
  • Those who are physically dead and those who are physically alive.

Jesus’ perfect sacrifice reconciled us to our Father God, and brought peace between us and the Father.  Jesus has established the ministry of reconciliation.  Glory to God!

How much more do we (all born-again believers) belong to Jesus since He has ransomed us from sin and from satan? 

There is a prophecy in Isaiah that reminds us that we have everlasting joy bestowed upon us:

So the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads.  They shall obtain joy and gladness; sorrow and sighing shall flee away.  (Isa 51:11)  Glory to God!

The Lord, our Rock

The Lord, our Rock

The Lord Jesus, is our Rock and our salvation.  The Bible refers to the Rock, our Savior, in several passages.  Here are just a handful.

The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior!  (2 Sam 22:47)

The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted.  (Ps 18:46)

Blessed be the Lord my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle—  (Ps 144:1)

. . . and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.  (1 Cor 10:4)

 And “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.  (1 Pet 2:8)

When the Israelites were in the wilderness, the Lord gave them water from a rock to quench their thirst and to meet their needs.  (Neh 9:15; Isa 48:21)  The Lord proved Himself more than once to His people as their Provider and their Deliverer.

As the Bible passage shown above demonstrate, Christ is called the Rock, our Savior.

In this day and age, many are offended at the gospel of Jesus Christ.  That is why He is also prophesied to be “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.”  There are so many religions and ideologies being espoused around the world, that the true path to salvation can be obscured and undermined.  Present-day Christianity is under attack.

Jesus was considered a criminal and a blasphemer—so as His followers, we can’t expect much better treatment than what our Lord received.  His sentence, unjust though it clearly was, was death.  Pilate was so disturbed by it that he washed his hands of all responsibility for it. 

However, the Lord lives!  Hallelujah!  We drink in His glory, holiness, and goodness.  We are made righteous by the sacrifices that Jesus made on our behalf.  We are reconciled to our Father God, and have a multitude of reasons to exalt and to praise the Lord!

Remember that the Rock is our foundation for faith and for eternal life!

Irrevocable Gifts & Calling

Irrevocable Gifts & Calling

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.  (Rom 11:29)

“Irrevocable” means that God won’t change His mind about what He has called you to do. If God has called you, that calling is still there, whether or not you’ve obeyed. And if God gave you a gift—if He gifted you along a certain line—that gift is still in you.

Therefore He says:  “When He ascended on high, He led captivity captive, and gave gifts to men.”  (Eph 4:8)

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ . . .  (Eph 4:11-12)

There are gifts that God has given to the church, and these are referred to as the five-fold ministry gifts:  apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers.  There’s also a gift of helps that we all can get involved in. 

As believers, we’re all called to share the salvation story (gospel) with others and to encourage them to trust in Christ for themselves.  It’s a matter of explaining how Jesus reconciled all of mankind to God, and sharing our own testimonies freely and joyfully.

Each member of the church of Christ has a role to play.  (1 Cor 12:27)  Maybe God has called you to the full-time ministry; or to be a businessman or an artist or a musician.  The list can go on and on, but whatever gifts, talents, and skills that He has given you—use them!  Appreciate them and enjoy them, and use them to bring glory to God. 

If you didn’t obey God, and haven’t responded to His call upon your life in a certain area, it’s never too late with the Lord!  Just turn to Him, talk with Him about your change of heart, and ask Him to open doors for you to walk through.  He will answer your prayers and bless you.

 

Proclaiming His Death

Proclaiming His Death

. . .  and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “Take, eat; this is My body which is broken for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” 25 In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.”  26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death till He comes.   (1 Cor. 11:24-26)

To proclaim means to announce, declare, make known, broadcast, or state publicly.  In the verse shown above, Jesus tells us to remember Him through the Communion ceremony.  He also says that as often as we take Communion, we proclaim His death till He comes.  Why is it important to proclaim His death?

As often as we announce Jesus’ death, we are making known the New Covenant He established by His blood.  (1 Cor. 11:25)  We are declaring the Good News that we have been reconciled to God through Jesus. 

We are broadcasting Jesus’:

  • Resurrection (Acts 4:33);
  • Triumph over sin and evil (2 Cor. 2:14; Eph. 4:8-10);
  • Soon return. (1 Cor. 11:26; John 14:3)

We are stating that we:

  • Are united together in the likeness of His death and in the likeness of His resurrection (Rom. 6:5);
  • Abide in Christ and He abides in us (John 6:56);
  • Are under the covenant of grace (2 Cor. 13:14);
  • Live in covenant with the One who has destroyed the works of the devil.  (1 John 3:1)

The Bible teaches us the importance of declaring the Truth in Christ:

He who speaks truth declares righteousness, but a false witness, deceit.  (Pro 12:17)

A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth; from the produce of his lips he shall be filled.  (Pro 18:20)

Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled. Who among them can declare this, and show us former things? Let them bring out their witnesses, that they may be justified; or let them hear and say, “It is truth.”  (Isa 43:9)

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach) . . . (Rom 10:8)

Partaking of Communion is a prophetic act—a declaration.  Did you know that actions can speak?  They announce our faith, obedience, and allegiance to Jesus Christ.  It’s good to remember when we take communion that in doing so, we proclaim His death in obedience to the Word of God.