Teach the children to know the world, know Him

By Pastor James Groleau

St. Johns Lutheran Church

School has started and many congregations throughout Austin have also started their children’s education programs.

It is important to remember God has told us to teach our children about the world, and Him, well. Certainly we must teach our children how to live and thrive in the world. We should also teach them how to live a life of faith. The Bible says in Deuteronomy 4:1, “Listen to the statutes and the rules that I am teaching you and do them that you may live,…” God reminds us that a people who are obedient to God are a people blessed by God. Teaching our children well is a necessary and important part of that.

How do you do it? Deuteronomy 11:18-21 gives us a good place to start. “Take these words of Mine to heart and keep them in mind. Write them down, tie them around your wrist, and wear them as headbands as a reminder. Teach them to your children, and talk about them when you’re at home or away, when you lie down or get up. Write them on the door frames of your houses and on your gates…” In other words teach them always. That is part of what Church, Sunday School, and after school Bible programs are about.

Why is that important? We know God loves us, died for us, and saves us. We know the important stuff so why do we need to learn more? The Bible tells us in Ephesians 6:12, “This is not a wrestling match against a human opponent. We are wrestling with rulers, authorities, the powers who govern this world of darkness, and spiritual forces that control evil in the world.” Satan is very real. Our weapon against him is God’s Word. The whole armor of God is described to us in Ephesians 6:13-18, “For this reason, take up all the armor that God supplies. Then you will be able to take a stand during these evil days … Fasten truth around your waist like a belt. Put on God’s approval as your breastplate. Put on your shoes so that you are ready to spread the Good News that gives peace. In addition to all these, take the Christian faith as your shield. With it you can put out all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Also take salvation as your helmet and God’s Word as the sword that the Spirit supplies…”

There are all sorts of evil things that come from evil hearts. There are too many to number and we see them all the time in this world. When we come together for worship, or you in your homes, to study God’s Word, you are putting into your heart things that bring cleansing and healing to your heart. They clean you up on the inside, and so clean up what comes out of you that others see. It makes a difference.

Now that doesn’t mean you have to walk around with your big ol’ Bible, quoting passages from memory, everywhere you go. We live in this world and need to function in this world. God’s Word teaches you how to function as a man of honor and integrity. It teaches you how to live as a godly woman of grace.

When it comes right down to it the Bible is only a collection of words. The book has no power. The Church does not grow special holy forests for the paper, nor does it raise special holy cows for the leather. If God’s Word is just a bunch of words, than the Book is just a book and it really has little worth at all, but it is not just a book. Every word is the Word of God on every page. This is God revealing Himself to us; showing us that He loves us; showing us that He saved us; showing us that what waits for us is something wonderful. So teach it to your children, and to their children, and leave for your family an eternal legacy founded in faith.

May God’s blessings be on all the teachers in the schools and in the churches.

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