Friday, January 23, 2009

Raising Children

For my daily devotions, I have been reading from the book Patriarchs and Prophets. The book covers from Creation to the reign of King David and discuses the role of our planet in the cosmic conflict between right and wrong. The author talks about the rebellion of Lucifer and fall of man and writes about how this ongoing conflict between God and Satan affects each of us. It does this by showing how the conflict worked itself out in the lives of men and women from the Old Testament. It's really a great book.

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Every now and then, I come across a passage that really means a lot to me. Here are a few such passages:

"God desires from all His creatures the service of love - service that springs from an appreciation of His character. He takes no pleasure in a forced obedience; and to all He grants freedom of will, that they may render Him voluntary service." (pg. 34)

Regarding why God didn't just destroy Satan, "Had he been immediately blotted out of existence, some would have served God from fear rather than from love. The influence of the deceiver would not have been fully destroyed, nor would the spirit of rebellion have been utterly eradicated. For the good of the entire universe through ceaseless ages, he must more fully develop his principles, that his charges against the divine government might be seen in their true light by all created beings, and that the justice and mercy of God and the immutability of His law might be forever placed beyond all question." (pg 42)

Regarding evolution: "Men are so intent upon excluding God from the sovereignty of the universe that they degrade man and defraud him of the dignity of his origin. He who set the starry worlds on high and tinted with delicate skill the flowers of the field, who filled the earth and the heavens with the wonders of His power, when He came to crown His glorious work, to place one in the midst to stand as ruler of the fair earth, did not fail to create a being worth of the hand that gave him life. The genealogy of our race, as given by inspiration, traces back its origin, not to a line of developing germs, mollusks, and quadrupeds, but to the great Creator. Though formed from the dust, Adam was 'the son of God.'"

About the fall of man: "Adam understood that his companion had transgressed the command of God, disregarded the only prohibition laid upon them as a test of their fidelity and love...he must be separated from her whose society had been his joy." Talks about being with God and the angels and blessings... "Yet all these blessings were lost sight of in the fear of losing that one gift which in his eyes outvalued every other. Love, gratitude, loyalty to the Creator--all were overborne by love to Eve. She was a part of himself, and he could not endure the thought of separation. He did not realize that the same Infinite Power who had from the dust of the earth created him, a living, beautiful form, and had in love given him a companion, could supply her place. He resolved to share her fate; if she must die, he would die with her." (pg 56)

"If the law could be changed, man might have been saved without the sacrifice of Christ; but the fact that it was necessary for Christ to give His life for the fallen race, proves that the law of God will not release the sinner from its claims upon him. It is demonstrated that the wages of sin is death. When Christ died, the destruction of Satan was made certain. But if the law was abolished at the cross, as many claim, then the agony and death of God's dear Son were endured only to give to Satan just what he asked; then the prince of evil triumphed, his charges against the divine government were sustained. The very fact that Christ bore the penalty of man's transgression is a mighty argument to all created intelligences that the law is changeless; that God is righteous, merciful, and self-denying; and that infinite justice and mercy unite in the administration of His government." (page 70)

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This morning, I was reading about Abraham. There was one passage in particular that really stood out to me and has been on my mind all day long. If you know me at all, you know that one thing I want to be more than anything is a wife and mother (ok, I guess that's two things). What an awesome responsibility that Christian parents have to raise their children to love and fear God!

"On the part of too many parents there is a blind and selfish sentimentalism, miscalled love, which is manifested in leaving children, with their unformed judgment and undisciplined passions, to the control of their own will. This is the veriest cruelty to the youth and a great wrong to the world. Parental indulgence causes disorder in families and in society. It confirms in the young the desire to follow inclination, instead of submitting to the divine requirements. Thus they grow up with a heart averse to doing God's will, and they transmit their irreligious, insubordinate spirit to their children and children's children. Like Abraham, parents should command their households after them. Let obedience to parental authority be taught and enforced as the first step in obedience to the authority of God. . . Not until parents themselves walk in the law of the Lord with perfect hearts will they be prepared to command their children after them." (pg 142-143)

I don't know about you, but that makes me desire even more to spend time with God and make sure that my relationship with Him is strong. I want to be a good mother one day and clearly that starts with being a good daughter of God.
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