Wednesday, January 23, 2008

How Should we then live?

This question has been on my mind alot since our Staff Prayer Retreat yesterday. I was able to make it to 2 1/2 hours of it, and we had a wonderful time of discussion and prayer. One thing we discussed is knowing that things are not going to get better as we speed towards Christ return, but that things are progressively going to worsen, especially for Christians! How then should we live? I thought this statement was in scripture and myself and my Wednesday morning group of Sisters searched. Come to find out it is a paraphrase of something Francis Shaffer(?) said based on 2 Peter 3: 11-18(amp):

11Since all these things are thus [b]in the process of being dissolved, what kind of person ought [each of] you to be [in the meanwhile] in consecrated and holy behavior and devout and godly qualities,
12While you wait and earnestly long for (expect and hasten) the coming of the day of God by reason of which the flaming heavens will be dissolved, and the [[
c]material] elements [of the universe] will flare and melt with fire?(C)
13But we look for new heavens and a new earth according to His promise, in which righteousness (uprightness, freedom from sin, and right standing with God) is to abide.(
14So, beloved, since you are expecting these things, be eager to be found by Him [at His coming] without spot or blemish and at peace [in serene confidence, [
d]free from fears and agitating passions and moral conflicts].
15And consider that the long-suffering of our Lord [[
e]His slowness in avenging wrongs and judging the world] is salvation ([f]that which is conducive to the soul's safety), even as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the spiritual insight given him,
16Speaking of this as he does in all of his letters. There are some things in those [epistles of Paul] that are difficult to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist and misconstrue to their own [
g]utter destruction, just as [they distort and misinterpret] the rest of the Scriptures.
17Let me warn you therefore, beloved, that knowing these things beforehand, you should be on your guard, lest you be carried away by the error of lawless and wicked [persons and] fall from your own [present] firm condition [your own steadfastness of mind].
18But grow in grace (undeserved favor, spiritual strength) and [
h]recognition and knowledge and understanding of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ (the Messiah). To Him [be] glory (honor, majesty, and splendor) both now and to the day of eternity. Amen (so be it)!
So based on this I have questions as far as what you feel we as Christians should be doing? Most importantly since I am the Director or Children's Ministries at our Church and so feel the urgency that our children know Christ and the power of His resurrection, what is most important to their spiritual life? How do we prepare them for the very real possibility of persecution in our time? Am I making sense? Am I prone to hysterics, and making a mountain out of a mole hill? Sometimes I think that within the church we are so busy with programs and such that we are missing out on what is BEST!
I would love to hear your thoughts. I hope that I made sense! Please feel free to either e-mail me or leave a comment. There are so many women out there in Blogdom that I have come to respect and appreciate as Sisters in Christ, whose wisdom has helped me so often. I appreciate any insight you may have.
Thanks and God Bless!


Chad and Tammy said...

We have talked to our kids about the persecution in places like China. This led to some really good questions like: "What if they ever tell us that we can't be Christians?" and "Would we have to hide to worship God?"

We don't want our kids to live in fear, but I agree with you that persecution here is a really good possibility! I think it's been good for our kids to think seriously about how they would respond in a situation where they were asked to deny Christ or face punishments (or even death). We just feel that our kids do need to be prepared to take a stand at all costs.

Mari said...

Yes - your post makes sense. I think it is so easy to focus too much on programs and not enough on the important things. I agree that our kids face the possibility of persecution and it scares me to think about that. I think Chad and Tammy are on the right track to talk about it with their kids. I have found in my life that I respond to things so much better when I have thought out how I should respond beforehand. I'm glad you posted this, because it's a good thing for us "old" people to think about too!

Diane said...

Such a good point... I guess I feel that this is where my passion has been concentrated on lately - urgency to tell children about God and telling them about eternity. My position now as mission coordinator is clearly from God's appointing and I feel very honored (and somewhat overwhelmed) to be put here. My feeling is to "educate" the kids - making little disciples - so they can join the battle against Satan!

Thanks for posting this, Kim!

Anonymous said...

Kim, The time I have spent in the children's program at church has shown me so much! Our kids our so aware of our God. They speak it and live it.That happens because of the parents they were given and the direction they get from all who take the time to show them how to live for Jesus.It's so important to start guiding them very young.The teenage years come with a lot of temptations and they need our LOVE and time more then ever.Take a walk through our high school and you'll see the persecution that our kids are under everyday.We all need to understand how times have changed since us 40 year olds have been in school.I see great examples of living for Christ in our church and trust my kids with the leaders that God has put before them. Thanks Kim for your devotion,Patty