THE MOST DEADLY VIRUS
(protect your kids from infection)
Romans 1:18-21 NLT
But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who push the truth away from themselves. For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts. From the time the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky and all that God made. They can clearly see his invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing God. Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. The result was that their minds became dark and confused.
Have you ever, really, seriously pondered and reflected on this passage of scripture? Have you ever understood, if you look carefully at this profound passage, the direct implication that this is actually the very root of all the wicked, sinful, wretched, cruel, barbaric evils of mankind!??! Read verse 26-32 of Romans 1. Do you see all the sinful, evil things listed there! They fill you with disgust, don’t they?
Yet, the very root of evil, the worst of the worst, is a heart that refuses to worship and honor God! The heart that refuses to express to him, through all the days of our lives, our gratitude and our thanks for all the things he has given to us, provides for us and does for us! The heart that refuses to acknowledge, honor, and worship him as the Lord God Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, the Giver of all the good things we have! The Great Provider of all the blessings that we enjoy every single day of our lives!
Do you see what happens as a result? Our minds and thoughts, become dark and confused!! How many of us have experienced a teenager like that? Full of dark thoughts, aimless and confused! How many of us have experienced it ourselves!?
Friends, the most deadly virus in the world, is the insidious attitude of an ungrateful, unworshipful heart towards God. I have been stunned how quickly our hearts can grow cold, callous, and ungrateful to God. In fact, I have found that unless I cultivate this and practice gratitude to God every day of my life, I too am soon getting cold and hardhearted.
I am personally convinced that the greatest therapy in the world, the single greatest protection from the dark, confusing thoughts and emotions that can envelop a human heart and mind, is the practice of sincerely acknowledging God from my heart each and every day, in prayerful worship, and in offering daily to God, from my thoughts and my mouth, my heartfelt, sincere thanks, and gratitude for all he has done for me, all he has given me. In fact, I personally do this several times each day. I have intentionally developed a habit of mentally reflecting often during my day on all the different things I have to be thankful to God for.
Our children must see this in us, we must cultivate it in ourselves every single day, and help them cultivate it in their own hearts if we are to see them saved from a life of sin and destructive behavior.
We must help our children become sincere worshippers of God and thankful in their hearts to God. This is what prepares them to embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ.
The foundation of a healthy mental, psychological, and emotional life is a heart that worships and honors God and gives him thanks!
I will tell you something else. Having had 4 children myself, and now 12 grandchildren. What the Bible says in this passage above is also true in the hearts of little children. God has put the knowledge of himself instinctively in their heart. In other words, there is something wonderful to work with already there, that God placed in your precious little kid’s hearts, for you, dad, and mom to work with!! God has given them an instinct towards God and of God. I have observed in all 4 of my kids and in all 12 of my little grandchildren, as little children, they have hearts that are very easy to talk to God about with. WE MUST NURTURE AND GROW THAT.
Here are some suggestions to help you.
1. Practice and model this every day yourself. Take the time in your own daily life, to get alone and honor and worship God in prayer for who he is, for all his marvelous works. Express with your mouth thanks to him, by specifically enumerating in prayer: Lord, thank you for my wife. Lord, thank you for my job. Lord, thank you for giving me my children as gifts from you. Lord, thank you for this home you have provided for us to live in, as we could be living in a dirt-floored hut. Lord, thank you for the wonderful vehicle you provided to get us around safely. etc, etc, etc. In addition, pray out loud in their presence so they can hear you pray to God, and honor and thank him in prayer.
2. Take time at the dinner table to each go around and share something you are thankful to God for.
3. Remind your children often that God has been so good to us. Explain to them how he has been so good to you.
4. Keep a blessing list/journal. Fill it with the lists of blessings God has given to you and blessed you with each year. Include the dates by your journal entry. Share it frequently with your children. Keep it updated and current with the most recent praises, blessings and provisions of his kindness and faithfulness.
5. Take time with your children to reflect and talk to them about the wonders of God and the marvelous things he has done. This is the command of Ps. 78 NLT. Read that Psalm and let it sink into your heart and mind. Practice it!!!
Friends, we have been incredibly and lavishly blessed by God. It is the greatest privilege in the world to know him, to worship him, to return thanks to him for all his many kindnesses, his amazing provisions, his faithfulness, unfailing love, and mercy to us!