June 8

Last week was a wonderful time together as our church family acknowledged the great accomplishments of our high school graduates and shared in their joy along with their families. Today we will hear specifically of some of the wonderful work that has been done in our children’s ministry over this past school year, especially appropriate as we finish our first school year using our new Journey Land Curriculum and plan.

I want to share a special thank you from me to all who work within our children and youth ministries. So many parents, teachers, assistants, helpers, workers in all kinds of areas!! Such a great diversity of gifts and talents you have chosen to use to help our children learn about the love and Word of God!! You are greatly appreciated, greatly needed, and greatly effective in helping develop faith in Christ within those who are the church of today and the leaders of the church of tomorrow. Thank you.

All of us have a role to play in the spiritual formation of our children. Consider these familiar words from Deuteronomy 6.

These are the commands, decrees and laws the Lord your God directed me to teach you to observe in the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, so that you, your children and their children after them may fear the Lord your God as long as you live by keeping all his decrees and commands that I give you, and so that you may enjoy long life. Hear, Israel, and be careful to obey so that it may go well with you and that you may increase greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.

Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.  Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates…

20 In the future, when your son asks you, “What is the meaning of the stipulations, decrees and laws the Lord our God has commanded you?” 21 tell him: “We were slaves of Pharaoh in Egypt, but the Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand.22 Before our eyes the Lord sent signs and wonders—great and terrible—on Egypt and Pharaoh and his whole household. 23 But he brought us out from there to bring us in and give us the land he promised on oath to our ancestors. 24 The Lord commanded us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today.25 And if we are careful to obey all this law before the Lord our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.”

Yes, “that will be our righteousness!” And more than anything else, we want that to be our children’s and grandchildren’s righteousness! Thank you for your undying commitment to live and sacrifice toward that end.

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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