Daily Success
Institute in Basic Life Principles

Command 38 : Render Unto Caesar | Day 265

Render Children to God!

The parents recognized that their children belonged to God. (See Psalm 127:3.) They also understood their responsibilities to lovingly care for, protect, and train the children God had entrusted to them.

However, when opportunities for significant kingdom ministry were made available to their teenagers, the parents refused to send them out for reasons that sounded spiritual but came from hearts that were selfishly holding on to their children. They had never given their children back to the Lord or dedicated them to His service. As the teenagers grew older they began to feel trapped and soon left home under circumstances that grieved their parents. The result was that neither God nor the parents got the children.

Children who are trained in the ways of the Lord and never sent out to be salt and light in the world can be as ineffective for God's kingdom as those who were never trained.

Elkanah loved his wife Hannah, but nothing he did could take away the sadness of her heart. She grieved because she had no children. Elkanah tried to reason with her that he was better to her than ten sons, but she rejected all comfort and finally prayed, "God, if You give me a child, I will give him back to You." God responded to her petition by giving her a son whom she named Samuel. Hannah kept her promise to give her son back to the Lord, and Samuel became a great prophet in Israel. (See I Samuel 1:1-28.)

Isaac was the son of promise, yet God instructed Abraham to place him on the altar. When Abraham took the knife to kill Isaac, he was demonstrating complete trust in God by not withholding even his beloved son from the Lord. (See Genesis 22:1-18.) In a similar way, God wants every father and mother to hold back nothing from Him, including their children.

Historians agree that John Wesley was one of the eighteenth century's most influential religious leaders in England and colonial America. When he was asked what had influenced his dedication to God, John explained that as a boy he was almost killed in a house fire. Following this event, his mother impressed upon him the fact that God had an important work for him to do and had spared his life as "a brand plucked from the burning fire" for this very purpose. It is this sense of spiritual duty, affirmed and blessed by parents, that God wants every child to have.

Parents should instill in their children a desire to serve the Lord and then send them out with blessings to do it.

I still remember the impact that it made on me when my father and mother released me for Christian ministry with their full blessing. They continued to give me counsel but allowed me to make decisions that I felt were in line with God's call on my life.

Over the years, I have watched many parents hold back their children from serving the Lord. Careful protection and training of children in the ways of the Lord are vital, but we must not lose sight of the reason for this training and equipping--to prepare them to be effective salt and light in the world. Have you consecrated your children to the Lord, and do they know it? If not, I encourage you to do so today. Then, begin instilling in them the vision of being mighty soul winners and disciple makers!

“Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's” (Matthew 22:21).

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Contributing writer: Bill Gothard