Blessings my COOL friends as we share this message “Parenting 101” shared by Rob Dubock “Weekly Reflections”
PART 1: Weekly Reflections (19th – 24th September 2011).
We seem to have lost the plot when it comes to understanding the direct nature of our line of contact with the Almighty. Under the Old Testament Covenant with Jehovah the Children of Israel chose not to have direct contact with God and appointed Moses as their spokesman on Mount Sinai. This wasn’t always the case; in the Garden of Eden the Lord had walked with His creation in the Garden and clearly had a close one-to-one relationship with him before Adam destroyed this through his disobedience.
This however wasn’t the end of God’s direct contact with us by a long shot, prior to the time of Moses and the Children of Israel, God spoke directly to Noah, and before that to Cain and Abel, in fact whether correcting us or helping us He maintained direct contact with all His children on an on-going basis.
God was immediate and with all of us until the Children of Israel in their fear of the power and majesty of God asked Moses to intercede on their behalf with Jehovah and bring His commandments to them without their personally having to directly interact with God. In this arrangement was born the seeds of the legalism and formal rituals that plagued the Children of Israel for centuries and to a certain extent are with the Jews even now.
As a father of two fairly athletic sons I was a vocal supporter/spectator at many rugby matches, water polo games and baseball/softball tournaments. Was I shouting for the teams they were in? Of course I was, but only because my sons were in those teams. I was there for my sons and would have supported whichever team they played for whether it won or lost. I am quite sure I am not alone in this, mothers and fathers throughout the ages have wanted to support their children whenever they were able. Would I have sent somebody else to watch them on my behalf – no chance, I wanted to be there for them because they were my children and I loved them.
The moment other people are interposed between you and those you love whether by their request or not, as in the case of the Children of Israel, you are not speaking directly to the person(s) you love and that direct bond of love and support is diluted. The Israelites set up a number of rules and regulations to control their interaction with Jehovah, all of which were overseen and interpreted by the Prophets and priests. ‘Father’ God became a remote and overpowering figure, when all He wanted was to be there for His creation in an immediate sense, just like the parent who claps at the school play or commiserates with their son or daughter over a lost game. We became observers of the rules and regulations, experts in the Laws of God losing our direct connection to the God of Love.
Jesus Christ changed all that, He told all humanity to look to the intentions of His Father not the letter of the law when seeking to obey God. He wanted us to ‘see the beauty of the flower, not understand the minutiae of its creation’. This is also what Jesus Christ did for us when He died and then rose from the dead; He created the pathway for us all to commune directly with God. Remember what He said to His disciples, “If you know Me you know My Father,” and, “I am the Way, the Truth and the Life..” God wants us to speak directly to Him 24/7/365 and ask Him to be with us in everything we do, not just the ‘godly’ activities. It is our acknowledgement of His presence in the small triumphs or defeats of our day to day lives that will create in us the understanding that God is with us all the time because He loves us beyond our understanding of love and above all wants to be in our lives.
We have been given the immeasurable gift of being allowed to communicate directly with our Creator yet many of us choose not to, we have freedom of choice so let us not squander our earthly opportunity to talk to our Father in prayer listen to His wisdom and experience His love..
Have a Blessed Week
Part 2: Weekly Reflections (26th – 30th September 2011)
In my post ‘Parenting 101? I was attempted to convey the message that God wants to have a personal, one to one relationship with each and every one of us, in the same way that any parent wants to relate to their children. Parents want to be there for the big things, for the graduation ceremony or the wedding celebration or even the winning score in the game, but this is sometimes a symptom of their wanting to live their own lives again through their children. The true measure of a parent’s relationship with their children is being with them for the small things, the insignificant almost forgotten requests made in passing, sometimes painfully ignored. Parents want to be there for it all, but sometimes fall short of the mark when the support that is required of them is not earthshakingly important.
Fortunately for us this is not the case with God. The problem that we have is in believing that God is interested in us to the same extent that we are interested in our children. Well to tell the absolute truth He isn’t, He surpasses our love and interest beyond our wildest expectations.
We can all understand a parent’s love for their prodigal child; oh you’ll shout and perform if your kids do something bad, or don’t live up to your expectations, but you will still love them and care for them. But how can we begin to understand the depth of a love that would sacrifice a sinless child who was perfectly obedient in all respects, to pay for the sins of prodigal sinful children? Jesus Christ died for the sins of all mankind, obedient to the death to the will of God the Father, so God has in legal terms ‘proved His bona fides (good faith)’ to all mankind in the most extreme manner.
The above reminds me of a sermon on the extent of God’s love preached by a minister to a youthful congregation one Sunday. As part of his sermon he told the true story of a father and son and the son’s best friend who were all out in a boat fishing on a river near a high waterfall. For some reason the boat they were in capsized near the waterfall and all three of them were in danger of being swept to their deaths over the waterfall. The father managed to grab hold of a passing branch on the river bank and then tried to reach his son and his son’s best friend to pull them to shore as they were being swept past. But he couldn’t reach them both and was faced by the unenviable choice of saving one or the other.
The father knew his son had accepted Christ as his Saviour and was leader of the youth within the local church and strong in the Lord; on the other hand his son’s best friend for one reason or another hadn’t yet accepted the Lord, and was living his life without a thought for others, although not an ‘evil person,’ none the less someone whose path was taking him further and further from the Lord. The man reached out and caught the hand of his son’s best friend and pulled him to safety and watched helplessly as his son was swept to his death over the waterfall.
When he was later asked why he had saved his son’s best friend and not his own son, he said that it would have been what his son wanted. His son knew the Lord and knew that he would meet his father again in heaven, but his best friend had no such assurance and saving him would give him the renewed opportunity to discover the Lord and achieve eternal life where they could meet again.
The preacher rounded off his sermon by drawing a comparison between the love shown in the sacrifice of the father in saving his son’s best friend and the love shown by the Almighty when He allowed His Son to be crucified for the sins of mankind.
After the service two of the younger members of the congregation approached the preacher and said that they couldn’t believe that the story he told as part of his sermon was true, no father would do something like that! The preacher pointed to an old man sitting in the front row of the church to the side and said to the two boys, “Come, and let me introduce you to my best friend’s father, he’ll be able to tell you if the story is true or not….”
The above story may be apocryphal existing as it does in several formats, but in it there lie the seeds of a truth that we cannot escape. We may not want to believe that a father would sacrifice his son to save his friend, but isn’t this exactly what God did with His own Son? The greater truth however relates to the temporary nature of our mortal lives measured against the offer of eternal life in Jesus Christ. If you truly believed in the offer of eternal life, I think you would approach the time you spend in this world entirely differently, the material things of the world would ‘grow strangely dim’ in the ‘light of His glory and grace!’
Have a Blessed Week
COOL friends if your would like to read more of this messages posted by Rob Dubock visit “Weekly Reflections” www.coolfellowship.com/weeklyreflections
Cool friends be encouraged as “Good parenting is key, use the WORD to direct you, and the Holy Spirit to guide you each step of the way. Godly parenting is best” so be inspired to be best.
Blessings and do be encouraged to be the BEST, have a blessed week.
Gavin Bruce Ferrier – CMI Founder
COOL Ministries International – COOL Cyber Church