Image (c) depositphotos.com/ krapelsJesus' parable of the houses built on the rock and sand are told a lot (Matthew 7:24-29). I think one reason they are so popular is because we can all relate to the word-pictures it paints. When in your life have you felt like a house battered in a storm? Have you ever felt your foundation slipping? I'll share a bit about my greatest storm on Friday. Today I want to share what got me thinking about it. This past Sunday our Children's Minister was at camp with our third through fifth graders. She asked me to lead the short teacher meeting before Sunday school. The meeting is typically about five minutes where our Children's Minister shares a teaching tip, biblical truth to reinforce for the kids, and/or announcements we teachers need to know. Then we pray together before going to finish preparing for the morning. I followed our Children's Minister's lead and shared something God kept putting before me the week before: change. Last week was definitely a week of change in my life. My mother is starting chemo and we learned a bit about how that would work. Some things I was really looking forward to fell through. We also completely changed the topic and outline of the Bible study I've been working on writing. (See more about that in this blog.) I learned later that the location for kids camp fell through as well. God provided a new location within hours and worked out all the other changes that were necessary. Last week was definitely a week of change. Oh! Not to mention school is starting soon and daily routines will change for many of us. Promotion Sunday at our church is in three weeks and we will all be getting new groups of kids in Sunday school. When that happens, the kids Sunday school classes will all be starting a new curriculum. Change, change, change. I don't know about you, but I don't like surprises. I take that back. I like little surprises (like flowers, birthdays, visitors in Sunday school, etc.), but I don't like big surprises (like cancer, moving, etc.). I like to know what is coming and plan for it so I am better prepared. (Maybe that's why I usually have a Plan B, C, D...). This is something God has had to break me of many times (and still does from time to time). Needless to say, all this change last week had me a bit off kilter and upset. But then I remembered the truth God showed me when my life really fell apart. God is still there. He is with us no matter what happens (Psalm 139). He is with us through bad times and good. He is always willing to give us His strength when we fall short. All we need to do is trust in Him. Even when we forget, He is still right there with us. God never changes.
"I am the Lord, and I don’t change." Malachi 3:6 (ERV) See also James 1:17.God's Word (the Bible) is always true and never changes either. That means the central truth we teach children and hold to ourselves never changes.
“Listen, people of Israel! The Lord is our God. The Lord is the only God. You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. Always remember these commands that I give you today. Be sure to teach them to your children. Talk about these commands when you sit in your house and when you walk on the road. Talk about them when you lie down and when you get up." Deuteronomy 6:4-7 (ERV)This central truth is Jesus, who fulfilled the Old Testament and is coming back one day to bring all of history to completion.
"For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by CephasThis is the truth we cling to when life seems to skew around us: Jesus died for our sins, fulfilling the promises of Scripture. He was buried and rose again on the third day, proving He conquered sin and death forever. We just need to turn away from our sins and trust in Him. In comparison, nothing else really matters. (See more in this video.) Do you cling to that truth? Do the children in your care know this? Even if they are young and don't completely understand right now, lay that foundation. Then they will have it to look back on and remember when life seems to spin out of control.
, then by the twelve.After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time." 1 Corinthians 15:3-8 (NKJV)
"I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies." Psalm 18:1-3 (NKJV)