–Next week marks four years in Israel: full and interesting
–Before coming to faith I thought about the significance of Rosh Hashana, beginning of a new year. What is important to us as Jews and new years in general? Someone is watching over us and preserving us. Another year of life. I thank God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ that He is the Watcher over Israel, the Preserver of our souls!
–Great joy for us that T, a new soul, has come into our life and that God is with us, that our house is under that grace of the New Covenant. I did not grow up in such a household, but I thank the Lord for His hand upon us. Tonight Randi and I want to dedicate T to God in Jesus’ Name as a token of our faith in Him and in His covenant.
–I want to share some thoughts which I had during Randi’s pregnancy, including the birth pains and the birth process, as well as the expectation of parenthood:
Ps 139:13-17 Fearfully, wonderfully made; from almost nothing to a living person; creation of God; true miracle. Bones, mind, brain, senses, eyes, speech: Something only the living God could do!
When I saw the head of the child (not knowing yet who “it” was), it was just a joy to realize the manner of our coming into the world, that God designed this way to do this! Truly, as it is written, nothing clean can be born of a woman! And yet how lovely and wonderful!
Rom 8:16-25 All creation experiencing labor pains. Can’t we feel them now? Jesus tells us that the last days leading up to His coming back will be like that. Some of us prepare in advance for the birth of our babies and for the post-birth period. Are we preparing ourselves for the process coming upon the world until such time as the Lord takes us? Are we placing our faith and obedience and trust in God to see us through the birth as well as to enable us to be of help to others? While with Randi during the birth, I was impressed with the controlled yet increasingly difficult contractions. I knew that God had designed this way and was encouraged that He was in control. It is different for each person and each birth. We need to help one another believe in our hearts that the Lord will guide us through.
Gen 3:16,20 Pain and sorrow in childbirth for the mother, out of which springs forth life! Life from the dead; bread from the earth. And her name is Eve, because she is the mother of all the living. Christ and the Church! Grace, blessing, joy!
Gen 5:3 Children are born in image of their parents – physically, emotionally, spiritually. All are born in separation from God due to inherited sin. T is a little sinner who needs a Savior! She needs to know Jesus Christ as her own Savior and Lord. Randi and I are entrusted with responsibility to train up T in such a way as to lead her to Christ. Only in Him will she be restored to the image of God in the likeness of His holy and righteous character by the power and life of the blood and the Spirit and the Word of God in her life. Just as God gave His Torah (instruction, laws, rules) to teach Israel of their sinful nature and consequences so that they might know their need of God’s mercy and grace in His love, so I think we have an example in this to instruct our children that they will not only recognize their need of God’s salvation, but also to want it – to want Him, who is a much better parent than we can ever hope to be. We gave our daughter the name T, which is a ‘date palm tree and fruit’; God gave His Son the name Yeshua (Jesus), because He will save His people from their sins.
Our heavenly Father is our pattern, yet we also need His grace to raise T. He forgives our trespasses as parents when we do not do or can not do all that His Word requires. Yet we want T to honor us – for her own benefit as well as ours – so we must trust the Lord to help us be worthy of her honor. Our Father in Heaven is the perfect Father, and sadly most do not yet know Him as their Father, rejecting Him and His love. This relieves us as mothers and fathers of a great burden and of any overwhelming guilt, and we can rest in His love and grace as we seek to know and to do His will.
Gen 18:19 Command children in the way of YHVH. What is the way of YHVH? Each child is different and we must consider them individually accordingly.
Jesus says that He is the Way: to the Father, to the Kingdom of God, to salvation and eternal life. What is His way? The way of the cross; of dying unto death; of willing, whole-hearted obedience and trust in His Father in Heaven; of love, sacrificing Himself for sinners and enemies to deliver us out of an evil world into that which is really life. He humbled Himself in service in His holy love, for the cross is God’s judgment upon sin and its works. Jesus humbled Himself and God has exalted Him. He is risen from the dead and awaits His return to sit on His throne to bring peace to Earth through righteousness!
2Pet 3:9-15 Knowing that the day is near, then how do we want to prepare ourselves and our children. Nothing is better for us and for T but that the Lord Jesus will return. Satan is the god of this world until the Lord is here. What can be worse than the devil ruling?! What could possibly be better than Jesus ruling?! No matter what our current blessings or troubles, whether in our personal lives or in society or in the nation or anywhere in the world, the day is near when the Kingdom of God will destroy all the kingdoms of this world and the fruit of them. We pray that we will be ready for His appearing.
We ask tonight for prayer for us that God give us the wisdom to raise T in His way and that she know that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father!
Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!