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There was an old house that had to be torn down on the property where our home now stands. It had a stone foundation that was crumbling making the house unsafe; and eventually, it would have collapsed. Even though the house was old, it was a shame to have to tear it down; however, it wasn’t worth replacing the foundation. My understanding is that preventative maintenance through the years would have preserved the foundation, and the house would not have had to be demolished.
We have known many families that once were strong for the Lord, but over time we have observed them crumbling. You can look at how sweet and innocent the young children are. Then, add a few years, and you will begin to see a hardness in the countenances’ and general appearance of those children. With more time, their conduct is similar to the conduct of those in the world. I often wonder: Do the parents not see what is happening with their children?
Men are usually very tuned-in to the condition of their vehicles. Let there be the slightest noise that occurs when turning a corner, a minor pull on the wheel while driving straight, or a vibration at highway speeds, and Dad is aware of it. While we depend on our vehicles for transportation, they are inanimate objects that will eventually end up as scrap. Though they have no eternal value, still we are aware of problems with them that could lead to a breakdown.
On the other hand our children have eternal value. Are we dads thinking about and concerned with the condition of our children’s hearts? Is a child’s spiritual status the most pressing concern on a dad’s heart? Our children’s lives will be greatly influenced by the foundation that we lay while they are in our homes.
The Lord knows each situation, but I have a few thoughts that might help some dads avoid the path mentioned above. John 8 records a fascinating discussion by Jesus with some Jews. In John 8:31-32 we read: “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” When we base our whole life on the Word of God, we will continue to be free from the bondage of sin. D.L. Moody summarized the essence of that verse with this statement: “The Bible will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from the Bible.”
Here the foundation is being laid by the Lord for life in Christ. “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works” (2 Timothy 3:15-17). What is shocking is how few professing Christians are actually in the Word every day. I’m convinced that the less a family is reading the Bible the more likely they are to drift. “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). Each still has to exercise his will in obedience to the Word, but when the quiet whisper of Scripture isn’t in one’s mind, the shouting of the world will likely overpower it. Scripture needs to be fresh daily in our lives.
“Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you” (John 6:53). Jesus is definitely not saying that someone is to physically eat His flesh and drink His blood to have spiritual life. He explains to His disciples in this verse that follows. “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63). His Words are life to us. Jesus is using an analogy to help us understand. Just as food is digested into nutrients that pass through our blood nourishing every cell within us, God’s Word needs to completely fill and govern every aspect of our lives.