God’s Child from the Beginning – Preaching Notes

God’s Child from the Beginning

 May 5, 2013

Psalm 139:13–16

13 For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.

14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works;  my soul knows it very well.

15 My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.

16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Matthew 18:1–6

1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”

2 Calling to him a child, Jesus put him in the midst of them

3 saying, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

5 Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me.

6 Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”

God’s Gift of Life

We all come to The Human Community in the same way, we are born into it.

Psalm 139 speaks about God’s knowledge of our lives before our mother’s became aware of of life.

What is going on during those initial five weeks before our knowledge of life?

The Psalmist tells us, “God is knitting and weaving us together … in the unknown depths of the womb” (Psalm 139:13 and 15).

The language of Psalm 139 is reminiscent of Genesis 1 which speaks of God at work in the “formless void of darkness over deep waters.” (Genesis 2:2)

“As you do not know the way the spirit comes to the bones in the womb of a woman with child, so you do not know the work of God who makes everything.” (Ecclesiastes 11:5, ESV)

“You clothed me with skin and flesh, and knit me together with bones and sinews.” (Job 10:11, ESV)

The Psalmist does not simply credit the gift of our life to the hand and work of God, he declares that he is “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).

John Calvin wrote: “We are so wonderfully made, that our organization infinitely surpasses, in skill, contrivance, design, and adaptation of means to ends, the most curious and complicated piece of mechanism, not only ever executed ‘by art and man’s device,’ but ever conceived by the human imagination.”  

God’s Ordained Dependence

When we receive a gift we not only have the pleasure of enjoying the gift, we have the responsibility of caring for the gift.

There is no gift which needs as much care as a child.

Infants, while they have a mind and spirit of their own, are 100% dependent upon others from the moment of their conception.

Children are born, needing community.

Children need to be cared for physically and spiritually.

We frequently fret over our ability to provide for our child’s physical needs.

Children need to know they are loved.  They need security, safety, and comfort.  They need home.  Children need to know WHO to trust, not WHAT to trust.

Children are tender, vulnerable, and easily bruised.  They bruise from the inside out.

Hedges of Protection

“Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” (Matthew 18:6)

Throughout scripture we are instructed to protect the life and the spirit of all children, from conception through their youth.

Why is this so important to God?

Four different times we read in scripture:  “The iniquity of a father is visited upon his children and his children’s children to the 3rd and 4th generation.” (Exodus 20:5, 34:7, Numbers 14:18, Deuteronomy 5:6)

How many times has someone said about you or about your child: “He is just like his Dad! She is just like her Mom!”

If parents are loving, kids are more likely to be loving.

“Guard the deposit entrusted to you.” (1 Timothy 6:20).

The blessings of a good parent extend to the 3rd and 4th generation.

What is the legacy we need to leave for our children.

A Child’s World View

Babies want and demand our attention.

Babies so much love being the center of universe, they assume they will hold this place for the rest of their lives.

They do not relinquish this role easily.

Unless taught differently a child will grow up into an ego-centric monster.

What do Children Need?

Children need a world-view which does not revolve around them.

The greatest need of every child is to know about God and His never-ending steadfast love for them.

“You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”  (Deuteronomy 6:7–9 – ESV)

A child needs this heart knowledge of God.

Paul writes lyrically in 1 Corinthians 13 about how empty and meaningless life is without love.

A child, a teen, an adult who has everything of the world, but does not have the knowledge of and a love for God through Jesus Christ, has nothing.

Parents, your most important challenge and the most significant achievement of parenting is o move child from their self-centered universe into a God centered-universe.

While this seems to be an overwhelming challenge.  It isn’t.  If you can teach a child only one thing, your child will have faith.

The Faith of a Child

In Matthew 18:3 Jesus tells us to have have the faith of a child.

The central component of a child’s faith is trust.

From the day a child is born, he is trying to figure out WHO he can trust in life.

Children instinctively know they are vulnerable.

Your task as a parent is to teach your child that he can trust God.

I tell parents that their faith becomes the first faith of their children.

The spiritual life of a child is centered in WHO he can trust.

For a child grace is knowing WHO to trust, not knowing all that will happen today or tomorrow.

Your task as a parent is to help your children learn that God is the only one you can trust with all of your life.

In his farewell address the prophet/priest Samuel spoke to all of Israel, the children of God, saying:

“Trust the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart. For consider what great things he has done for you.” (1 Samuel 12:24)

Children never forget who to trust.

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