Here is your special edition From His Heart Newsletter we call REAL.
We trust the insights below will be a blessing to you. Scroll down to view the following articles in this edition.
- Jesus’ Heart for the Next Generation
- Q & A with Jeff - The Importance of Children's Ministry
- From Debbie’s Heart - Impacting Your Kids for Christ
- A Note From Jeff - Passing the Baton
- Your Gifts at Work - Changing Hearts
by Dr. Jeff Schreve
Right now, there’s a generation being born and raised who face a world obsessed with self. They’re a part of the digital generation where life is lived out on cell phones and social media. They learn how to present a positive image online, but the reality is many of them are lonely, lost, and insecure. What are we supposed to do?
Without question, the Lord wants you and me to be focused on reaching this next generation. They are important to God, and they should be important to us as well.
Let’s take a look at Mark 10:13-16 to see what Jesus thinks about the children and young people in our churches and families…
“And they were bringing children to Him so that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw this, He was indignant and said to them, ‘Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them; for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.’ And He took them in His arms and began blessing them, laying His hands on them.”
There are three important truths that jump off the page as I read this story. First, Jesus has a special love for children. The disciples thought they were doing Jesus a favor by running interference and stopping these lively little kids from interrupting Him. But Jesus said, “No! The children are important to me.” Was He busy? Absolutely! But Jesus was never too busy to minister to a child.
Second, Jesus wants children to come to Him. While the disciples tried to push them away, Jesus called out, “Permit the children to come to Me; do not hinder them.” Now, it is right to call adults to come to come to faith in Christ. But Jesus says, “Don’t forget: I want the children to come to Me, too." Jesus knew the future belonged to the children!
Finally, Jesus wants you and me to have a heart for children. Our Lord wants us to be like Him. Children are not an interruption. They are a priority. Jesus came to earth “to seek and to save that which was lost,” and that especially applies to the next generation. There are many who are already lost, and plenty more who will be if we don’t take the time to share God’s love and His Word with them. Time is running out.
Jesus says to you and to me today, “I want you to have a heart for others and live beyond yourself.” Start looking at those who are coming behind you and see them as Jesus sees them. Love them as Jesus loves them… and let the next generation be reached for Christ through us!
- The Heart of the Matter - Children's Ministry
Q: How important is ministry to children?
A: Not long ago, George Barna did a survey of roughly 1,000 born-again Christians. He wanted to find out how old believers were when they first came to faith in Jesus Christ. Of those surveyed, 43 percent came to faith in Jesus before they were 13 years of age. Wow! That statistic tells you how vital it is to reach kids for Christ. They are making crucial life decisions at very young ages. So could there be a more important ministry than teaching our kids the gospel? I don’t think so.
Q: Should we avoid telling children about sin and judgment?
While every child is a special and precious gift from God, the harsh reality is that special and precious gift is a sinner, just like everyone else. David said, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me” (Psalm 51:5).
When children understand the difference between right and wrong, then they’re accountable to God. While we must be age-appropriate in our teaching, children need to be taught at a young age about the consequences of sin and the love of the Savior. Children want and need the security that only Jesus offers. I encourage you to take time to reach the children. Jesus did.
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Have you ever had the humbling experience of hearing words come out of your child’s mouth that you wish they hadn’t said? And even MORE humbling to realize that they were simply repeating what they heard you say??? I have… and it’s not fun.
Listen, children are VERY observant. Very little escapes their attention. From the moment they enter this world, they have one primary need: To figure out how life works by watching, listening, and recording everything around them. As parents, OUR job is to teach them how life works best, and that’s by doing things God’s way!
By watching us, they learn how to respond to life. They learn what is important and what isn’t. So what are your words and actions teaching your children or grandchildren? What things are they seeing and hearing from you that are shaping the value system they will have for life? Are you exhibiting to them that God’s way is the best way and that Jesus needs to be number one in their life?
Here are some practical things that will help your children understand God’s love for them:
- Make being INVOLVED in a local, Bible-teaching church your priority as a family. (Participate and model what it looks like to love, care, and serve others. Be in attendance every week.)
- Teach them, by example, that their relationship with Jesus is THE most important thing in life. More important than little league, dance lessons, sports, TV shows, etc.
- Help them understand who they are and how they are wired… to see their uniqueness as a gift from God.
- Introduce them to the Word of God. Use it to teach them how life works best: To honor and respect their parents and those in authority, to be unselfish and put others first, and to be kind, compassionate, and loyal.
Are you going to do everything right? NO! But it’s NEVER too early to start teaching your children what the gospel is all about and that Jesus loves them and has a great plan for their lives. AND… if you and your child are both breathing, it’s NEVER too late to impact their life for Christ. Start today!
I helped write a daily devotion for children to last all year long. It's called Bedtime Devotions with Jesus. I think it would be a wonderful place to start in teaching your children about God, Jesus and why He loves them so very much. Bedtime Devotion
It's the ministry's gift to you for your support of any amount to From His Heart today, so thanks for caring about your children's growth in Christ and for supporting From His Heart. Jeff explains more in his article below ... or you can click here to get your copy now.
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I heard a statement years ago and it’s so true. It says, “A person all wrapped up in self makes for a very small package.” You and I don’t want to be people like that. We want to be people who are more concerned about others than ourselves. And that is especially true when it comes to the children and young people in our lives.
Psalm 145:4 says, “One generation shall praise Your works to another, and shall declare Your mighty acts.” You see, life is kind of like a relay race. You have the baton, and your job is to pass that baton to that next generation. In turn, they must declare His works to those who come after them.
Today, I want to encourage you to follow Jesus’ example and bless those children in your life by passing on the baton of faith. Pray for them and be an example to them. Teach them the truth from God’s Word. That will bless the heart of God!
It was Winston Churchill who said, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” When you do give, remember the tremendous impact you’re making in the lives of so many. God bless you!
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Thank you for helping to make the following testimonies possible through your support of From His Heart!
“Your ministry is a special blessing to me as I got born again watching one of your programs in 2007. My life was forever changed, and I have since become an active member of a ministry.” —Georgia
“You have touched so many lives with your ministry than you can imagine. God is truly working through you.” —Sam
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