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— by CHANCIE MARTIN CHANCIE MARTIN
                                                         Bible and Parenting

  In my previous entry, I started talking about a new season of my life that I was fighting to not go in. You know the one where your youngest starts school and you’re afraid the rest of your time with them will fly and the next thing you know they will be graduating from high school.

  In our family, my parents have 16 grandkids, soon to be 17 grandkids. It seems that when one grandchild hits a major milestone in their life the rest will soon follow. Our next milestone is driving. Oh boy! Thank goodness, Hunter has two more cousins in front of him before we hit that milestone. I’m having a hard enough time excepting my babies are starting school in another month!

  Whenever I feel alone or distant, I turn to my devotionals for a pick me up along with my other inspirational devotional books. Which as I write this and read it back, I’m a little embarrassed about it. I am so thankful that God isn’t the same with me! Actually if you really think about it, where would I be if God only came to me when he needed me? I would still be waiting until the day I die because God doesn’t need me, I need him! God wants me. As a parent, the whole God our father thing really started making more and more sense to me when I took into account how I felt about my own relationship with my own children, my husband, my parents and my friends. Being parents to a soon to be 14 yr old, 12 yr old, 9 yr. old, and 4 yr old twins who all want to know why about everything, really opens my eyes to how I can understand why God put Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden, why he flooded the earth, the plagues he sent and the list can go on and on! I’ve been tempted to kick a few out of the house a time or two! What I began to see with my own children is how I feel when my children only want to be with me when they want something and as soon as they get it, they are gone to find something else. But, it not just my children, its how we all tend to be with our own relationship with God. Now, please don’t get me wrong, I have great children. They do want me around at other times as well and they are very loving and respectful. But, just as I am, we have our moments. I really do try to have daily time or at least a few days a week to read in my devotional or just thumb through my Bible reading the beginning pages introducing each book of the Bible. But, then I think about what I give up on a daily bases compared to what God gave up just so he could get a chance to spend eternity with me. God gave up his first and only son to save us for our sins. Jesus didn’t just go through a small amount of torture but according to Matthew 27:27-31

      27-Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into headquarters and gathered the whole company around Him. 28- They stripped Him and dressed Him in a scarlet military rode. 29-They twisted together a crown of thorns, put it on His head, and placed a reed in His right hand. And they knelt down before Him and Mocked Him: “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30-Then they spit on Him, took the reed, and kept hitting him on the head. 31- When they had mocked Him, they stripped Him of the robe, put His clothes on Him, and led Him away to crucify him.

  Why would someone do that for me? Why would he do that for people that deny his father? He was serving his Heavenly father. Abraham was the only person who came so close to doing a similar act with his promised Son, Isaac in Genesis 22. Because God is such a gracious, loving and forgiving God, Abraham was spared at the last second. He had the knife in his hand, ready to slay his son when God sent an Angel of the Lord to stop him. I could not even begin to imagine what thoughts were going through Abraham’s mind as he tied his son to the altar. The same son God had promised to Sarah and Abraham at a very old age and then have God test Abraham by telling him to sacrifice him to the Lord. I started to think about the whole story and how dedicated Abraham was to serving the Lord and how Jesus suffered crucifixion for us. As a parent, I hope and pray that I’ll never have to do anything close to what Abraham had to do but also as a parent, I know that the Love I have for my own Children will always surpass any pain I could endure as long as I know it will take the pain from then even if means I have die a horrible death to do it. I am by no means taking away from what Jesus did for us. Nowhere did I say I’d die for all to have everlasting life. I’m human and imperfect, Jesus isn’t. The point I’m making is this, take one person that means the world to you whether your spouse, children, siblings, parents, etc. now multiply that Love times a million or more that’s almost close to God’s love for us. Would you give your child up to serve God? Would you give up your life even if it meant torture to protect your love one? Would you let your own child or family member suffer the same torture for the same people that put him on that cross to have everlasting life? Maybe it wasn’t your child but it was God’s son. If God is your Father, then that makes Jesus your family member. In Matthew 26:37-42, it lets us know Jesus was fully aware of what was about to happen to happen to him. This takes place right after the last supper, Jesus takes Peter, James, and John to the Garden called Gethsemane to pray.

     26:37- He (Jesus) began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. 38-Then He said to them, “My soul is swallowed up in sorrow---to the point of death. Remain here and stay awake with Me.” 39-Going a little farther, He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.”  40-Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping. He asked Peter, “So, couldn’t you stay awake with Me one hour? 41- Stay awake and pray, so that you won’t enter into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” 42-Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, “My father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, Your will be done.”

  He repeated this prayer and went away one more time. Jesus knew what He was fixing to go through. Jesus’ sorrow resulted from His anticipation of His physical, emotional, and spiritual suffering, especially His alienation from His Father as He bore the sins of the world on the cross. The cup that Jesus was faced was God’s wrath against sin. With the words: if it is possible, let this cup pass , Jesus asked His Father to provide forgiveness by some other means other than His sacrificial death. Jesus knew God’s power made it possible for Him to evade the power of Jewish and Roman executioners, but He did not want to reject the Father’s plan to provide salvation to His people.

  A few weeks back at youth camp our speaker had used Abraham / Isaac and Jesus and Our Father, God in his sermon. He opened my eyes to see the similarities in the Old Testament and the New Testament. So many times in the Old Testament, we get glimpses of the Great Plan God has in store for us through his own Son, our Savior. Just like Isaac, Jesus was the promised Son. Unlike Isaac, Jesus was not spared from death on a cross. Similar to Jesus, Abraham was fully committed to serving God. In contrast to Abraham who was permitted to spare his only son, God did not spare His Son. God had a perfect plan that took a Perfect Son to complete for all.