Friday, July 19, 2013

Nothing Can Hinder the Lord

This week I was talking with some other dads at our church about how difficult it is to rear our children to understand both grace and law.  We all recognized this is a tough tightrope to walk!  After all, nearly every New Testament letter was occasioned by either too much reliance on the law (human behaviors and efforts) or a perversion of grace into a license to sin or to live a lax life.  Both errors fail to do justice to the cross of Jesus.

Of course, this concern is even broader than understanding the gospel.  Any honest parent, I'm sure, would be led to some worries about whether they're doing a good job raising their kids rightly in all aspects of wise living.

But thank God I was reminded of this simple truth that evening: The God who gave us children in the first place, the God who has put authority and responsibility into parents' hands, who is himself a loving Father--it is this God who cares more about our children than we do!  He cares more about their faith and salvation than we ever will.  He is the one who designed his great saving plan and sent his Son to die for sinners, at great cost to himself.  He is the one who sends his Spirit to open the eyes of the blind to see the light of Christ's glory (2 Corinthians 4:4, 6).  He is the one who finds immense joy in recovering his lost sheep (Luke 15:3-7).  He is the one who delights in wisdom (Proverbs 8:30; 3 John 4).  As the Westminster Confession of Faith reminds us*, God uses our best efforts to rear our children in the way of the Lord Jesus without exasperating them (Ephesians 6:4), but he is not confined by how well we do.  After all, he is the one who, in his wisdom, has entrusted the passing of his covenant to the next generation into the hands of finite, weak sinners, and so he too will provide amazing grace to see that his purposes for our children are fulfilled.  Why are we sitting there looking at ourselves?  No wonder we have fears about parenting.

"Come, let us go ... .  It may be that the LORD will work for us, for nothing can hinder the LORD from saving by many or by few" (1 Samuel 14:6).
* "God, in His ordinary providence, makes use of means, yet is free to work without, above, and against them, at His pleasure." (5:3)