Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Death Resurrection & Hope - Part 3

 This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on April 14th 2024 by Colin. For the audio & video please click here.  For the worship please click here. 

Death Resurrection & Hope - Part 3


The resurrection is the greatest event in history. Jesus conquered over death, sin, and Satan. 


How many appearances of Jesus were recorded in the scripture? 

Acts 1:3 he appeared over 40 days to several people. 


John 20:1 - ”Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.“ ‭‭John‬ ‭20‬:‭1‬ ‭ESV‬‬

We see her devotion to Jesus. Early in the morning she went. 

”So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him." So Peter went out with the other disciple, and they were going toward the tomb.“ ‭‭John‬ ‭20‬:‭2‬-‭3‬ ‭ESV‬‬

”Then the disciples went back to their homes. But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb, and as she wept she stooped to look into the tomb.“ ‭‭John‬ ‭20‬:‭10‬-‭11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

What do we understand about Mary in these verses? 

She loves Jesus. She was weeping for Jesus. She was extremely devoted to him. She lingered. 

Because she waited, she got to see something the other disciples did not get to see. 

”And she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had lain, one at the head and one at the feet. They said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?" She said to them, "They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him." Having said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus.“ ‭‭John‬ ‭20‬:‭12‬-‭14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

Her waiting was rewarded by being the first one that Jesus appeared to after the resurrection.

”Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?" Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away." Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned and said to him in Aramaic, "Rabboni!" (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, "Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'" Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, "I have seen the Lord"—and that he had said these things to her.“ ‭‭John‬ ‭20‬:‭15‬-‭18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

3 times it says she was crying or weeping. She was longing to see Jesus. 

  1. Victory over despair- she goes from crying to rejoicing. That is the power of the resurrection. Even in our lives, the same power that raised Jesus from the dead is alive in us. 

  1. Victory over death - ”So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, "Greetings!" And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, "Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me."“ ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭28‬:‭8‬-‭10‬ ‭ESV‬‬

These women worshipped Jesus. When we encounter the risen lord and see him for who he is, the response should be to worship him. 

What is Jesus’ response to them? 

He appears to them and says do not be afraid. Today’s this country, it is dangerous to proclaim the resurrection, but we need to obey him. We must declare the gospel without fear 

  1. Victory over confusion - ”But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened.“ ‭‭Luke‬ ‭24‬:‭21‬ ‭ESV‬‬. The disciples on the road to Emmaus were confused about Jesus. When we are confessed about things, we need to go to the scriptures. Jesus explained from the scriptures, all the prophecies concerned himself. All through the Old Testament we see Jesus. 

  1. Victory over fear - ”Then he said to them, "These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled." Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,“ ‭‭Luke‬ ‭24‬:‭44‬-‭45‬ ‭ESV‬‬

  1. Victory over doubt- ”Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” ‭‭John‬ ‭20‬:‭26‬-‭29‬ ‭ESV‬‬. We might not have doubts about the resurrection of Jesus. But we can doubt about other things- will he provide, will he heal, will he rescue, from a trouble, etc. 

  1. Victory over failure - ”Simon Peter said to them, "I am going fishing." They said to him, "We will go with you." They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to them, "Children, do you have any fish?" They answered him, "No." He said to them, "Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some." So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, "It is the Lord!" When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. "“ ‭‭John‬ ‭21‬:‭3‬-‭8‬. ‭15‬-‭16‬ ‭ESV‬‬ Peter denied Jesus, but Jesus came and gave the grace and success at a time of failure for Jesus  ”Jesus said to them, "Come and have breakfast." Now none of the disciples dared ask him, "Who are you?" They knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.“ ‭‭John‬ ‭21‬:‭12‬-‭14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

  1. Victory over every other authority- ”Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age."“ ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭28‬:‭16‬-‭20‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The greatest event in history occurs. After that, what is the key teaching? It is the great commission. To go and make disciples of all nations. This is what God has called us to do. One day in heaven, Jesus will ask, where are your disciples? We need to be disciples and make disciples. 

”But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight.“ - ‭‭Acts‬ ‭1‬:‭8‬-‭9‬ ‭ESV‬‬

The ascension was a bodily ascension. We see Jesus’ victory over all things. ”And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven."“ - Acts‬ ‭1‬:‭10‬-‭11‬ ‭ESV‬‬

4 other appearances - when Jesus appeared to more than 500 at once. ”Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.“ ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15‬:‭6‬-‭7‬ ‭ESV‬‬ he also appeared to Peter individually and then to Paul on the road to Damascus. 

We’ve looked at the appearances of Jesus after resurrection. It is the greatest event of all history. Our faith rises and falls on the resurrection of Jesus. 

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English-speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.   

Friday, April 12, 2024

Death Resurrection & Hope - Part 2

 This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on April 7th 2024 by Colin. For the audio & video please click here.  For the worship please click here. 

Death Resurrection & Hope - Part 2

Last Sunday was Easter and we looked into the Resurrection of Jesus. We usually run through the Easter meeting and have big breakfast. We do not spend enough time on the most important event in history. A famous archaeologist spoke on National Geographic channel that he discovered the family tomb of Jesus and found bones in it. He also stated that finding the bones of Jesus is not a problem as it was the Spirit that was resurrected. Later that program was shut down. Satan always tries to disprove the resurrection of Jesus in many ways.

Matt 27:63-65 - 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.”

Jesus was called a deceiver, and the Pharisees thought the disciples would steal his body. So they requested Pilate for the tomb to be made secure. Pilate told them to take a guard. Most of the time, our guards are either sleeping or checking out their phones. But here, the Bible refers to 16 trained soldiers who guarded the tomb.

Matt 28:2-4 - 2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

On the third day, when Jesus rose, the guards witnessed it.

Matt 28:11-15 - 11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

In these verses, we can see the devil’s strategy. When the guards went to report what they have witnessed, they were given a large sum of money and asked to lie. From the first Easter, people have been trying to deny, disprove, discredit the resurrection. The resurrection of Jesus is very important. All the four gospels speak about certain things about the resurrection. There were angels at the time of Jesus’s conception, just before birth, birth, resurrection, and ascension. There were eye witnesses like Mary Magdalene, Jesus’s disciples who met Jesus after resurrection.  The disciples didn’t believe that Jesus rose from the dead. Jesus had to convince them. Today, we are going to look at the account of Easter.

Luke 24:13-16 - 13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles[a] from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him.

1. Disciples were disheartened.

On the day of Resurrection, two of Jesus’s disciples were going to a village called Emmaus. On their way, they were discussing everything that happened to Jesus. And when Jesus himself came up and walked along with them, they couldn’t recognize him.

Luke 24:17

17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”

They stood still, their faces downcast.

2. Disguised Jesus

Both the disciples were kept from recognizing Jesus. One of the disciple named Cleopas asked Jesus if he was the only one who does not know the things that have happened in the last few days. If we were in the place of Jesus our reply would have been different. “ Of course, I know. I was the one who suffered and was crucified.” But that was not how Jesus replied. Instead, he asked them what those things were.

Luke 24:19-24 - 19 “What things?” he asked. “About Jesus of Nazareth,” they replied. “He was a prophet, powerful in word and deed before God and all the people. 20 The chief priests and our rulers handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him; 21 but we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel. And what is more, it is the third day since all this took place. 22 In addition, some of our women amazed us. They went to the tomb early this morning 23 but didn’t find his body. They came and told us that they had seen a vision of angels, who said he was alive. 24 Then some of our companions went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they did not see Jesus.”

As the disciples explained the events that took place, Jesus gently rebukes them.

Luke 24:25 - 25 He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken!

The believers have believed one part of the prophecy and neglected the second half.

Luke 24:27 - 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

Jesus explained everything to them through the scriptures.

3. Revelation through scriptures

1)     Genesis 3:15

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring[a] and hers; he will crush[b] your head, and you will strike his heel.”

 

This is what God said to Adam and Eve after they ate the forbidden fruit. Here the offspring is Jesus. “strike on heel” is the suffering that Jesus went through and “crushed” is defeating the death on the cross.

2)     Genesis 22:2-13

2 Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

3 Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. 

In this passage, we see that Abraham was quick to obey God. Some of the theologists say that at this point, Isaac was a young man and not a small boy. We can see that Abraham was willing to sacrifice and Isaac was willing to obey. Jesus told Cleopas and others that Isaac was representative of Jesus.

3)     Exodus 12: 12-13

12 “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn of both people and animals, and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. 13 The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.

God commanded Israelites to sacrifice a lamb and put that blood on the door posts. This way, the angel of death passed over their houses. This was celebrated as Passover, a festival to the Lord. The lamb that was sacrificed was a representation of Jesus. When we put our faith in Jesus who has sacrificed his life, we are saved from eternal death.

4)     Isaiah 53:1-5 – this passage talks about Jesus.

V9 - He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
    and with the rich in his death,
though he had done no violence,
    nor was any deceit in his mouth.

This verse talks about the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea.

This way Jesus walked them through many more scriptures where he showed his representation in many events – when Moses lifted up the pole with snake on it, people looked at it and were healed of the diseases, Isaac was taken to hill, Moriah which was later called Golgotha, the place where Jesus was taken to be crucified.

4. Transformation of Disciples

Luke 24:28-32 - 28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus continued on as if he were going farther. 29 But they urged him strongly, “Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them. 30 When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

As Jesus was going farther, the disciples urged him to stay with them as it was evening. Jesus agreed and when he sat at the table to eat with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and gave it to them. As he began to give it to them, the disciples eyes were opened and they recognized Jesus. But Jesus disappeared immediately. The disciples realized that their hearts were burning because of the truth explained to them by Jesus. Because of that, without finishing their meal at once, they got up and started going to Jerusalem.

This is exactly what happens to us. When we read the word of God, it has the power to transform our hearts and energizes us.


Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English-speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.   

Thursday, April 4, 2024

The Easter Message

 This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on March 31st 2024 by Colin. For the audio & video please click here.  For the worship please click here. 

The Easter Message


Easter is celebrated differently in different countries. Shopping, eating, playing, Easter eggs, Easter bunnies, etc. Where do you get Easter from? This word has nothing to do with Christianity. It comes from the goddess of light Easter in pagan Anglo-Saxon culture. Easter meant something like this then, but today the meaning we attribute to it is remembering the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. 


So eggs and rabbits and all are fine, but we need to look at the truth. What is Easter all about? 


On Easter, we celebrate the bodily resurrection of Jesus from the dead. People can conquer a lot of things in their life, but no one can escape death. Houdini did amazing things all his life, he even said to his wife, if there is a way I will find it and come back. But the greatest kings, emperors etc. couldn’t conquer death. There is one who conquered death, i.e. Jesus Christ of Nazareth! 


”When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him. And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.“ - ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭27‬:‭57‬-‭61‬ ‭ESV‬‬


Fact no. 1- Jesus was dead and was buried. 


”The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate and said, "Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, 'After three days I will rise.' Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, 'He has risen from the dead,' and the last fraud will be worse than the first." Pilate said to them, "You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can." So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.“ - Matthew‬ ‭27‬:‭62‬-‭66‬ ‭ESV‬‬


There was a seal on the tomb and guards were guarding it. 


”But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise." And they remembered his words,“ - Luke‬ ‭24‬:‭1‬-‭8‬ ‭ESV‬‬


What happened before this? 


”And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay.“ - Matthew‬ ‭28‬:‭2‬-‭6‬ ‭ESV‬‬


This is one of the most attested facts of history. Anyone can make a claim, but Jesus appeared to his disciples. In 11 records in scriptures, it speaks of Jesus appearing to different people. 


”On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you." When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, "Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you." Now Thomas, one of the twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, "We have seen the Lord." But he said to them, "Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe." Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you." Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe." Thomas answered him, "My Lord and my God!" Jesus said to him, "Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."“ - John‬ ‭20‬:‭19‬-‭21‬, ‭24‬-‭29‬ ‭ESV‬‬


Jesus is saying that the disciples were privileged to see him in order to believe. But for the majority of mankind, we cannot see yet we believe. 


”Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.“ - John‬ ‭20‬:‭30‬-‭31‬ ‭ESV‬‬


Even this morning, as we believe, we can find life. We will all die, but we have this hope. Jesus Christ gives us hope that one day, when we die, death is just a doorway where we pass from earth into God's presence forever. 


When Christians die, we know we will see one another again. 


Results of the Resurrection: 


  1. New birth - ”Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,“- ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭1‬:‭3‬ ‭ESV‬‬. The owner of the resurrection is that we have a new birth. in our own lives as well we can see this. 

  2. Forgiveness of sin - ”And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.“ ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭15‬:‭14‬ ‭ESV‬‬. The resurrection is proof that Jesus’ sacrifice was accepted by the father. So our sin no longer remains. 

  3. We are given the Holy Spirit - ”This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.“‭‭Acts‬ ‭2‬:‭32‬-‭33‬ ‭ESV‬‬

  4. Our own resurrection - where we live for eternity is decided by where we put our faith today.  But if you put your faith in Jesus, this is your future - ”In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.“ ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4‬:‭4‬ ‭ESV‬


Today if you believe in Jesus this is the expectation you can have. Jesus is alive. Do you believe he is the Saviour of the world, that he died for your sin and he rose from the dead? If you believe this, your life can be changed forever.

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English-speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.   

Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Godly Parenting

 

This message was preached at Word Of Grace Church on March 24th 2024  by Colin. For the audio & video please click here.  For the worship please click here. 

Godly Parenting

 What does God expect from parents? All of us must recognize that children are a gift from God.

Psalm 127:3 - Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him.

We must know that God is involved in our children’s life before their birth.

Psalm 139:13-14 - For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

God loves children. What is God’s goal in us having children? In the garden of Eden, God’s promise to Adam and Eve was to fill the earth with people who know Jesus.

Malachi 2:15 - Has not the one God made you? You belong to him in body and spirit. And what does the one God seek? Godly offspring.

God is seeking Godly offspring. We realize that children can be demanding and whining. That’s because they are lost. They have a heart that is turned away from God.

Genesis 8:21 - The Lord smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: “Never again will I curse the ground because of humans, even though[a] every inclination of the human heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.

Proverbs 22:15 - Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far away.

Children are self-centred, angry, defiant, and whiny because foolishness is bound up in their hearts. Our role as parents is to help move them from this to Christ-centeredness. That is our prime responsibility. Our highest calling is to take our faith and put it in our children’s hearts.

2 Timothy 1:5 - I am reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.

The other responsibilities are –

1.     Provide for our children.

1 Timothy 5:8 - Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

It is our duty as parents to provide for our family and meet the needs of our family.

2.     Shower them with our love.

We must show love to them through words, hugs, kisses, serving, caring for them, reading for them, praying for them and spending time with them. Both mother and father must do this. Give them time, not just gifts.

3.     Teach and train them.

Children have an evil bent in them which makes them take the wrong path.

Ephesians 6:1 - Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.

Ephesians 6:4 - Fathers,[b] do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.

Deuteronomy 6:6-7 - 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 when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.

God says, take my Word, learn it, put it into practice and teach your children while sitting, walking, lying down and all the time.

The main responsibility is in the parents’ hands but not with the school teachers and Sunday School teachers. In different situations, draw them to God all the time. Pursue the right beliefs and right behaviour all the time.

Teach them to greet one another and respect one another.

It is hard work and not a one-time event. It is for life. As they grow, different things need to be addressed at different stages in life.

4.     Discipline them.

If children are not disciplined, they grow wild. We are instructed by God to discipline our children.

Proverbs 19:18 - Discipline your children, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to their death.

Proverbs 13:24 - Whoever spares the rod hates their children, but the one who loves their children is careful to discipline them.

Discipline is love.

Hebrews 12:7 - Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their fathers?

As parents, we love our children in different ways. One of the ways to discipline them is sometimes to spank** them. This should never be in anger. Before you discipline them, make sure that they understand the instruction given and how they have disobeyed. (**Spanking is to be used very rarely, in extreme cases of disobedience and one spank on the bottom is enough. We do not encourage spanking once the child is over 8 years of age, or in very rare cases). We do a whole training on bringing up children so this is just skimming the surface.

Always, discipline them in private but not in public. Don’t feel embarrassed to take them aside and discipline them.

All these responsibilities help our children to become :

1.     Respectful

1 Timothy 3:4 - He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full[a] respect. 

1 Peter 2:17 - Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

Teach your children to greet everyone and be respectful. They will keep forgetting and it is our job to keep reminding them. Teach them how to behave when they are  in other people's homes and in public places. 

2.     Responsive

Luke 2:51 - Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart.

Jesus obeyed his parents. 

The goal for obedience is to say just once and the children would immediately listen and follow. That’s the goal. It may not happen immediately and needs training.

3.     Responsible

We must give them age-appropriate responsibilities.

2 books can really help parenting – Strong-willed child and Dare to Discipline by James Dobson.

We must realize that we cannot change the hearts of our children. We are like farmers. We sow, water, and care for them but the change comes from God. We must be faithful in loving them, providing for them, training them, teaching them, disciplining them and leading a godly example. It is hard work but if we are consistent, the rewards are great.

Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again),  Spirit-filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English-speaking church in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that has people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the Great Commission into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service.  Word of Grace is part of a wider international family of Churches called RegionsBeyond.To know more about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.