May 19

In this section of the book of Ephesians we are dealing with the messages from God on the home—messages to husbands and wives, parents and children.  Timely, with Mother’s Day this past Sunday, and our Senior Sunday coming this Sunday.

I hope that you plan to be here this Sunday morning for our assembly and for our luncheon as we honor our three high school graduates, Noah Bradshaw, Seth Garcia and Cheryl Larson.  We are so proud of you and happy for you and your families in this important milestone!

Some of the greatest blessings we can give our children are encouragement and security, warmth and faith, hope and joy.  These things don’t just happen naturally.  In fact, if we leave things to happen on their own, we will instead end up with children who feel discouraged and insecure, hopeless and cynical, worldly.  They will be unable to find pure joy in life, because they have not learned where to look for these blessings.  And this involves more than just the parents.

David and Kiera do an outstanding job ministering to our children, young people and their families.  They devote hundreds of hours every month in all kinds of ways to help make a difference in these young lives—talking, texting, emailing, facebooking; going to sports events and concerts and plays and other presentations and ceremonies; planning and carrying out a holistic youth program that includes Bible classes and devotionals, retreats and camps, mission trips and service projects and so many other significant teaching opportunities.

But our parents and youth workers can’t do this on their own.  Our children need other examples in their lives.  Our children need you.

It makes a huge difference when our children grow up learning what it means to live a joyful, humble, unselfish life of trust and faith in the Lord, not just because of what they hear from their parents, and their preacher, and their youth minister, and their Bible School teachers.  They need to see Jesus modeled in front of them by all of us.  They need to be able to observe what it means to love their neighbors as themselves from each one of us.

How have you encouraged our children, young people, and young adults this week?  Would you make the list if I were to ask them, “Who comes to mind when you think of people that have helped you develop in your faith journey?” Or would you be on another one—a list of people that they would say have been nothing but critical of them and a stumbling block because of their attitude and behavior that seem so far away from the example of a crucified Son of God?

How can a young person stay on the path of purity?  By living according to your word.  I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.   I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.  Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees.  [Psalm 119:9-12]

 

Bill Allen

Dr. Bill Allen preached at South Fork from 2005 to 2015. He received a Bachelors degree in Bible from Oklahoma Christian in 1978, a Masters in Bible from Abilene Christian (ACU) in 1988, and a Doctor of Ministry from ACU in 1992. He now preaches at the West Erwin Church of Christ in Tyler, Texas.

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