Bringing Up Royal Sons and Daughters (Part 3)

Crown Free Pixabay imageWe talked in the last two posts about how to instill in our children what it means to be sons and daughters of our Father in heaven — the value they possess because they are part of the royal family, their authority as royalty, the discipline required in order to carry out their royal role well, and how they should use their position to serve and bring blessing to others.

The King’s sons and daughters must also be aware of the privileges which are theirs. If they don’t know what is available to them, how can they put their royal bounty to good use?

Too many Christians live like hopeless, helpless beggars, rather than the royalty they are. They are afraid that God will deny them most of what they ask, to keep them “humble.” Because of poor teaching, many of us have a very sorry notion of what relationship with our Father in heaven is supposed to be like.

We can help the Church break free of the beggar’s mentality by planting biblical truth in our children. They need to know the privileges God delights for them to avail themselves of. He is a generous Father!

The storehouse of royal provision is limitless — “exceedingly abundant above all that we ask or think” (Ephesians 3:20)!

The apostle Paul said, “… All things are yours” (1 Corinthians 3:21).

2 Peter 1:3, 4 announces, “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him Who has called us to glory and virtue, whereby are given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature ….”

How very mind-boggling! All means all, but let’s look at a few specific privileges we possess, which we can study together with our children:

1.) Access to the Father at all times:

Hebrews 4:16“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”

Ephesians 2:18“For through Him [Jesus] we both have access by one Spirit to the Father.”

Ephesians 3:12“In Whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.”

2.) Provision for all our material needs:

Philippians 4:19“But my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”

Matthew 6:25-34 — This classic passage assures us that our heavenly Father wants to meet our basic needs, and that there is no need to worry about whether He will take care of us or not.

2 Corinthians 9:6-12 — Verse 8 says, “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, so that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work.”

One of the names by which God has revealed Himself is Jehovah-Jireh (YHWH-Yireh) (Genesis 22:14) — “The Lord Who provides” or “The Lord Who will see to it.”

3.) Healing:

Isaiah 53:5 “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.”

James 5:14-16“Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: and the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that you may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

Mark 16: 17, 18“And these signs shall follow them that believe: in My name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

There are dozens of Bible verses which tell us that God desires to heal us. Here is a link to more of them.

4.) Answers to prayer for all needs:

Romans 8:32“He Who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”

John 15:7“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.”

This is just a brief starter listing of the privileges which are ours as sons and daughters of our heavenly Father. I have a page at my website, Encouragement from God’s Word, which lists many more.

Previous — Part 2

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My Latest Book FREE

Teach Your Kids to Hear God!

Teach Your Kids to Hear God!My newest book, Teach Your Kids to Hear God! will be released for sale in major e-book stores September 1, 2016.

In the meantime, we are offering it as a free e-book with any purchase from our website of Character Building for Families (either Volume 1 or 2), now through August 31, 2016.

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  • Prayer

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Bringing Up Royal Sons and Daughters (Part 2)

In our last post, we began talking about teaching our children what it means to be part of God’s royal family. I shared some ideas on how to cultivate royalty consciousness and, at the same time, build a servant attitude in them. Let’s look at a few more things sons and daughters of the Most High King need to know:

Royal sons and daughters have authority.

As members of God’s royal family, eventually we will rule with Jesus. The apostle Paul said that in the end of the age we would judge the world and even angels (1 Corinthians 6:2, 3). Even now we possess spiritual authority over many things. We grow in learning to wield our authority effectively as we mature in our relationship with Jesus.

One area in which our children can immediately begin to exercise their authority is prayer. Teach your children that their prayers make a difference and that their heavenly Father delights to answer them. Help them to understand that as they pray for others who have needs, they will make people’s lives better. Encourage them to form the habit of looking for ways they can be a blessing through prayer.

Teach them verses such as John 14:13, 14: “And whatever you shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you shall ask anything in My name, I will do it.” There are many other prayer promises, such as

  • 1 John 5:14, 15
  • Mark 11:22-24
  • Matthew 7:7-11

You might want to study with your children the Bible passages which assure us of receiving answers to prayer. I have a list at my website to get you started.

We can also begin helping them understand how to use their royal authority in spiritual warfare. Even small children need to know what to do when the evil one comes against them — because he doesn’t wait until they are grownups to start. Although young children cannot yet grasp all the concepts connected with spiritual warfare, they can begin to use the basics.

Have them memorize James 4:7“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Tell them that they can call on Jesus to help them if they are afraid, feel worried, have bad dreams, feel tempted to sin, or have bad thoughts. Teach them to say, “Bad thoughts (or fear, etc.), go away right now, in the name of Jesus.” Some children are able from an early age to see into the spirit realm, both angels and evil spirits. They need to know that if they see an evil spirit, they can command it to leave, in the name of Jesus. Emphasize that all of our authority lies in Jesus’ name.

Explain and have them memorize verses such as

  • 1 John 4:4: “You belong to God, little children, and have overcome them [evil spirits]: because greater is He Who is in you, than he who is in the world,” and
  • Luke 10:19: “Behold, I give to you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

Emphasize that Jesus has promised to protect them, so there is nothing to be afraid of. Tell them that He is infinitely bigger and greater than the devil.

Royal authority does not ever give us the right to tyrannize over people. For instance, an older child might be given responsibility to help care for younger members of the family. He or she would have a measure of delegated authority, but the heart attitude must be one of patience, kindness, and respect for the weaker ones, rather than bossing.

Our royal authority is a large subject, which can gradually be expanded upon as our children mature. However, the next point is inseparable from authority.

Sons and daughters of the King must learn to lead disciplined lives.

Jesus was absolutely without sin, and yet even He had to go through a training process. Hebrews 5:8, 9 says, “Although He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. And being made perfect [complete; finished], He became the author of eternal salvation unto all those who obey Him.” Jesus came into the fullness of God the Father’s plan for Him by patiently obeying and enduring trials. We (and our children) have to be willing to go through that process, too.

The apostle Paul said, in Galatians 4:1, 2“… The heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ from a servant, though he is lord of all, but is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.” There is a time for royal sons and daughters to learn from those who are more mature than themselves. Obedience and submission to parents and others in authority over them is a condition to coming into the fullness of their inheritance privileges.

In addition to obedience and submission, children must begin learning to discipline their tongues and actions to be loving and gracious, according to God’s commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves. James 2:8 calls this commandment “the royal law.”

Next time, we’ll talk about some of the privileges which go with being part of God’s royal household.

Previous — Part 1 
Next — Part 3

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Bringing Up Royal Sons and Daughters

Imagine with me for a moment that you have gone back several centuries in time, and that you are a noble in a king’s court. Your particular responsibility is to oversee the king’s children, so that when they are grown, they will know how to live their royal life in a way which brings honor to their family line and their kingdom.

Of course, you would see to it that the children were educated in all the knowledge available for that time period. For the young princes, you might instruct them in how to skillfully handle the weapons of war. You would make sure the princes and princesses were strong and physically fit, by getting exercise and healthy food. And you would teach them the fine points of elegant etiquette, protocol, and all the things which would go into carrying themselves with royal dignity.

It’s not that much different from what we should do with our modern-day sons and daughters, for indeed, they are royalty. Besides being ours, they are the children of the King of the universe. They need to be well taught in how the King’s sons and daughters should behave — to be conscious of who they are and walk out their position with great grace.

How can we help our children become conscious of their place in the royal family, and how can we prepare them for the responsibilities ahead? There is a lot to it, but let’s hit some of the highlights.

We start by building a consciousness of their royal heritage in them. We can do this by reading and explaining to them Bible passages which talk about being our heavenly Father’s sons and daughters.

Romans 8:15-17 is a good place to start. It tells us that, through Jesus, we are now God the Father’s adopted children. As such, we are full heirs and joint-heirs with Christ. We can explain to them that adopted children are not second-class family members. They are loved just as much as biological children, and they enjoy equal privileges. It is the same in God’s kingdom. Amazing, isn’t it?

In 1 John 3:1-3, the apostle John declared that we are different from the world around us, because we are the sons of God. He explains that because we are already sons, and will come into yet greater things when Jesus appears, we should prepare now for our future glory by purifying ourselves. He goes on, in 1 John 3:9, 10, to say that a supernatural change has taken place inside of us, so that it is as if we carry God’s royal DNA. Therefore, the children of God behave much differently from those who are not His own. They are “led by the Spirit,” according to Romans 8:14.

Study and discuss these passages with your children.

Build in them the concept of being servant royalty, not tyrants. There’s nothing worse to deal with than people who are spoiled and self-centered. They seem to think that the world revolves around their personal comforts, never stopping to think about the happiness of others. They trample people in the pursuit of getting what they want. We have certainly seen some kings / royal families on the earth who were like this. How unfortunate for the rest of mankind!

Servant royalty, on the other hand, are committed to using their position to better the lives of their fellow men. They are aware of their responsibility to lift up the weak and needy, rather than oppressing them.

Jesus is the best example of how to behave as a servant king. Use Matthew 20:25-28, John 13:1-7, and Philippians 2:3-15 as your textbook in teaching your children how to become servant royalty. In our home, we memorized that Philippians passage. (If you would like a ready-made Bible study which goes into greater detail, my book, Character Building for Families, Volume 1  has two units,  Deference and Servanthood, which delve deeper into this topic.)

In our next post, we’ll look at more ways to instruct our children in the royal lifestyle.

Next — Part 2 

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The Rules of Sonship

Crown, via Pixabay Free Images[This is a repost of a light-hearted article I wrote in 2011 for my other blog, Out of the Fire. Lord willing, in the days ahead, I will write a little more extensively on teaching our children how to think and live as sons and daughters of our heavenly Father. What better place to learn about our position in the ultimate royal family than in our Christian home schools?]

And all creation’s straining on tiptoe just to see
The sons of God come into their own.
from a song by The Fisherfolk

Romans 8:19 puts it, “For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly awaits the unveiling of the sons of God.”

I got to thinking one day about what it means to be the sons of God.  (“Sons of God” includes women, by the way.)  And I came up with a list — sort of a “Wouldn’t it be nice if we all understood who we are in Christ and acted that way?” kind of compilation.  So here it is.  I hope you will enjoy it.

#1:  Sons know that since God their Father thinks they are wonderful, Sister Effie’s opinion about them doesn’t count.

#2:  Sons serve each other, but are nobody’s slaves. They don’t let any man “own” them.

#3:  Sons don’t get offended by intimidation tactics. They smile and stand tall because they know who they are, even if the intimidator doesn’t. (I’ve had a hard time learning this one.)

Yertle the Turtle, by Dr. Seuss (affiliate link)#4:  Sons and Dr. Seuss know there are Yertle-the-Turtles in the Kingdom. They just refuse to be part of the stack.

#5:  Sons trust their Father to meet their material needs. He’s got the universe at His disposal, after all.

#6:  A son remembers there are other sons in the family and shares generously with them.

#7:  Sons are secure in their destiny-callings and don’t try to usurp someone else’s.

#8:  Sons also know there is plenty of destiny to go around, so jealousy of other sons isn’t necessary.

#9:  The King’s sons know the privileges of royalty and appropriate them.

#10:  There is no caste system or waiting line to an audience with the King. All sons have equal and instant access.

#11:  Royal sons have a gracious demeanor. They treat others with respect because honor is ingrained in their hearts.

#12:  Sons don’t make a big deal about other sons’ mistakes and faults.  That’s just the way family is, quirks and all.

#13:  Sons know no man can take away from them what their Father has given them.  Their destiny/mantle/calling is secure in Him.

#14:  Sons understand the authority backing them. Their Daddy bears the title, Supreme Potentate of the Universe.

#15:  Sons wear their royal robes inside out. (Their beauty starts on the inside and radiates to the outside.)

#16:  Sons know Father is a God of His Word and can be trusted.

Can you think of any more rules of sonship that I’ve missed?  Why not post them as a comment?

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Character Building for Families

Citizens of Two Kingdoms (Part 3)

Christian flag, by Pastor Cjay, via PhotobucketLet’s review the main points of this series thus far:

1.) We are citizens of two kingdoms — our country and the kingdom of heaven.

2.) When the two kingdoms conflict, our allegiance to Christ’s kingdom comes first.

3.) We teach our children that conflict will come, but that Jesus will help them be overcomers in the midst of it.

4.) God expects us to take our place as patriotic citizens of our nation. In doing so, we are His ambassadors, for Christ’s glory.

5.) As patriots, we do our part to uphold and preserve the freedoms which are ours under our Constitution. We do this not only for ourselves, but so that all people can live with dignity and fulfill their God-given purpose.

6.) We should be gracious in our speech toward our governmental leaders, even if they are not doing their jobs well.

Colossians 4:5, 6 says, Walk in wisdom toward those who are without [outside the family of God], redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer every man.” One of the best ways to live as good citizens of both the heavenly and earthly kingdoms is to redeem our time well through investing it in prayer for our nation, its people, and its leaders.

Our natural tendency is to spend our time griping about the state of the nation and the failings of its leaders. However, complaining accomplishes little, and it even displeases the Lord. On the other hand, prayer according to God’s will releases change into people and circumstances. If we will ask Him to, the Holy Spirit will show us how to rightly pray. Our prayers will be saturated with His grace and love, especially as we persevere in them.

A spiritual consequence of prayer is that we grow in love for the people we pray for. So, as we set ourselves to intercede for our leaders, our hearts will soften toward them, and our speech about them will take on a much more gracious tone.

Take time often to pray together as a family for our nation. Your combined prayers will produce results, and doing it together is also the most effective way to teach your children how to go about it.

Here are a few key Scriptures to use as prayer springboards:

1 Timothy 2:1-4 — I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men: for kings and for all who are in authority, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, Who desires for all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

2 Chronicles 7:14 — If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Proverbs 14:34 — Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people.

And here are some topics to get you started:

  1. Pray for revival and a third Great Awakening to  come to our nation.
  2. Pray for people’s hearts to be softened so that they will desire Jesus as their Lord.
  3. Pray for the Holy Spirit to bring fresh love for Jesus into the Church.
  4. Ask God’s forgiveness for personal sins and for the sins of the nation.
  5. Ask for the salvation of government leaders. Pray for them to be enlightened in the ways of the Lord.
  6. Ask for wisdom for government leaders, so that they will make right decisions for the nation.
  7. Pray for the exposure of evil in government and that righteous justice would be enacted.
  8. Pray that God would raise up righteous leaders to replace corrupt ones (without naming names).
  9. Pray that God’s mercy would rest upon the nation.
  10. Pray protection from harm for the nation, and that innocent people would be kept safe. (Use Abraham’s prayer for Sodom, in Genesis 18:17-33, as a model.)

This concludes the Citizens of Two Kingdoms series.

If you need additional help in instructing your children in how to live as Christian patriots, my book, Character Building for Families, Volume 1, provides five outlined lessons on this subject in the Loyalty unit.

Previous — Part 2

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Citizens of Two Kingdoms (Part 2)

Christian Flag, by Pastor Cjay, via PhotobucketLast time, we talked about teaching our children that their citizenship in God’s kingdom takes priority over any national allegiance. While this is so, we should also make them aware that heavenly citizenship carries with it a responsibility to help our nation be a stable, God-honoring place to live, where all people are treated with dignity and are able to live out the purpose for which they were born.

Although not perfect, and certainly not on a par with the Bible, the U. S. Constitution was largely founded on biblical principles and, I believe, bears the stamp of having been inspired by the Lord for this nation. We should be diligent to use and actively preserve the freedoms laid out in the Constitution — always for Christ’s glory and for the well-being of those around us.

Some Christians take the position that Jesus and the apostles did not try to influence the government of their day, and that therefore we should not get involved either. However, conditions were quite different back then. There was not much freedom afforded to most of the people under the Roman Empire. Since we do have certain clearly stated freedoms, we should exercise them.

There is biblical precedence for this. The apostle Paul, when he was about to be whipped without a trial, asserted his rights as a Roman citizen to avoid scourging (Acts 22:25-29). At another time, he insisted on his right to appeal to Caesar (Acts 25:9-12). So, we see that he exercised his rights as a citizen to the full extent they existed.

God desires for some of us to be activists in government. That might mean running for political office or assisting others who are running or are already elected.  Becoming informed and informing others, so that we can contact leaders on specific issues, is another avenue of participation in the governmental process.

Focusing a lot of time and effort on these activities is not for everyone. However, we can all help to make our country better through voting wisely and by praying for our leaders and even would-be leaders. We should ingrain these patriotic duties into our children.

In our day, when respect for leaders is almost nonexistent, we must also teach our children what the Bible says about honoring those in public office. I know, I know. It is difficult to keep a civil tongue about unrighteous politicians who abuse their positions or exhibit a lack of integrity.

Even the apostle Paul didn’t control his tongue completely at all times. In Acts 23:1-5, he was hauled before the Jewish council. The high priest, who at this point in Israel’s history was an elected governmental official besides being the spiritual leader, commanded that Paul be struck across the face. In outrage, Paul reacted, “God shall smite you, you whited wall! Do you sit in judgment over me according to the law, and yet command me to be smitten contrary to the law?”

Paul was angry, and rightly so! He had been treated unjustly. But, when he was reprimanded for being disrespectful toward the high priest, he acknowledged his error: “I did not realize, brethren, that he was the high priest. For it is written, ‘You shall not speak evil of the ruler of your people.'” Although the high priest had done wrongly, Paul was not justified in responding poorly himself.

Respect for leaders was Paul’s consistent theme throughout his epistles. Take a look at Romans 13:1-8, for instance. We should teach our children, using the Bible as our textbook, to respect those who bear governmental authority. However, we must also teach them by example — not permitting ourselves to descend into angry name-calling when we don’t like what our leaders are doing. And, if we fail, openly repenting for our wrong speech also teaches by example.

Paul also said, Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer every man” (Colossians 4:6). Bringing Christ-honoring “salt” into discussions, and at the same time staying gracious with our words, takes restraint and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. But that is what we need in this hour. And that is what we must instill in our children, too.

Next time we’ll talk about how prayer brings change to a nation, and how our children can be a part of that.

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Next: Part 3

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