Ephesians 6:4b – Bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. (NIV)
A grandmother purchased a book designed to introduce teen-aged readers to Jesus Christ. After reading it herself, she mailed it to her adolescent grandson for his birthday. About a week later, she received a letter from the lad thanking her for the book. He had read it right through and had enjoyed it. His grandmother was thrilled and told her neighbours.
We often underestimate how much adults can contribute to the potential in the life of a youngster growing up in God's world.
Mary and Joseph did not fully understand the very oneness that Jesus and His Father God shared even from the time God's angel had told Mary, as a virgin, "You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. His kingdom will never end" (Luke 1:31-32a,33b). The name "Jesus" means "God delivers or saves".
It was customary for Mary and Joseph, among many other people from their hometown, Nazareth, to make the long annual trek to Jerusalem to worship God among relatives and friends from many places. The year when Jesus was twelve, Mary and Joseph took the lad along to worship with them at the temple in Jerusalem. Then, while enroute back to Nazareth, Mary and Joseph did not at first miss Jesus, thinking that He was trekking with relatives and friends; but when they could not find Him anywhere among the sojourners, they turned back to Jerusalem.
- After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. … His mother said to him, "Son, why have you treated us like this?" … He asked, "Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?" But they did not understand what he was saying to them. Then he went down to Nazareth and was obedient to them. But his mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. (from Luke 2:46-52 NIV)
Even though Jesus was the Son of God, He, who was also a human son, thrived on the contributions of His environment, too.
Parents of today (and all who can be para-parents) must be sure that youths are receiving suitable biblical teaching and admonition. But first, they must be very sure that they themselves are getting adequate, growth-producing, Christian enrichment to create an atmosphere of enjoyment of worship, so that they can set the stage for the youths' growth in the grace of our loving Lord. The younger folks need the assurance of sensing God's presence in hearing the Word of the Lord as they go together beyond the home to worship God.
Prayer: Teach us to take it all to You in prayer. We are always a needy people in Your sight, but thank You for Your promise that You will always hear, answer us, and supply all that we need. May grandparents, parents, their friends, and youths enjoy training and instruction, then worship our loving Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.