Sunday, August 2, 2009

Graduating Up


So here we are in August, more than half-way through the Summer. When I was a kid, I thought that as soon as the last week of July was come and gone, my mind went to regretting the fact that school was so close.

You may say, that I am kind of jumping the gun here, but perhaps I am not alone.

In our small group, we certainly have a lot of young people and to my knowledge all of these kids have graduated from one grade and are moving up to another.

So, with that in mind, I thought that I would give some thought to both young people that are "graduating up" and their parents.

First, the youngsters...
  1. To borrow the John Piper line, "don't waste your" grade. Know that the Lord has called you to this time for a purpose of bringing glory to Him first and foremost. School and all that it comes with (drama, grades, fights, dances, new music, new friends, etc) sometimes feels like it is the most important thing in our lives. But that is not the case. School IS important, but know Christ is even more so.
    1 Peter 2:21--"For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in His steps."
  2. Don't forget the Word. Be in the Word. Stay in the Word. Know the Word. Pray the Word. Hear God speak to you in His Word. We all can be so busy doing "stuff" that we forget to feed on what can truly sustain us. Stay in the Word.
    Psalm 119:105--"Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."
  3. Don't forget the wisdom of your elders. I am not just suggesting myself here. There are a lot of wise men and wise women that are older than you are. Seek them out. Listen to their words. Ask them about their struggles, pain. Seek advise from people who have "been there" before. You may save yourself a lot of pain and heartache.
    Colossians 2:10 & 19, "You have been filled in Him, who is 'the Head of all rule and authority.' Not withholding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God."
  4. Don't forget the Church. I know of one of us who will be moving away for college and others of us will be joining the college bound in a year or so. When we move away from home we can easily slip into a routine of not going to church. Not being in fellowship with other believers. I know this to be true - even while I was at Bible college, no less. The saying is true, as a single coal is removed from pile of coals and thus looses it's heat, so the same for an individual when they are not part of church.
    Hebrews 10:24-25, "And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near."
  5. Trust the Gospel to be true. Trust in Jesus who has saved you. Whom should you fear, for who can stand against you?
    Romans 1:16a, "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes."
Parents...
  1. Show your kids that you are proud of them. This is not a time to "boast" about your freedom from your kids. The world does that. This is a time for you to encourage them by telling them how proud you are of them.
    Proverbs 23:24, "The father of the righteous will greatly rejoince; he who fathers a wise son will be glad in him."
  2. Pray for your kids. As our kids head out into the world, there are a lot of ideals, philosophies, and thoughts that are completely counter to who they are as followers of Christ. Go before the throne of Heaven and plead for their protection.
    Matthew 21:22, "And whatever you ask in prayer you will receive, if you have faith."
  3. Trust in our Sovereign God to sanctify them. This is His promise for you, for them. Rest in this. Trust God.
    2 Corinthians 3:18, "And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this come from the Lord who is the Spirit."
  4. Remember that you are your kid's parent for a specific reason. God placed you there. You have a huge responsibility. It's your job to raise your kids for the glory of Christ. Remember you don't do this alone, you do this through the strength of the Spirit of God, who is in you.
    Psalm 127:3, "Behold children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward."
We still have a while before summer is done... So don't panic. Enjoy this time with your kids.