The Only Message Some Will Hear
Matthew 7:20: Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Matthew 5:16: Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
John 13:35: By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
James 2:14: What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.
This devotional was written by Evangelist Wil Rice.
Recently, I saw the son of an old friend. I hadn*t seen my friend for some time, but his son, whom I really didn*t know, spent a week with us at the Ranch. I was amazed to get to know him and see him in action because as I observed the son, I felt as if I was looking at my old friend. His mannerisms and facial expressions were almost exactly like his father*s. How did he learn to be so much like his dad? Had his dad told him, *Look, Son, when you are happy, here is how you smile. When you are pensive, here is how you furrow your brow.*? No, he didn*t do that. He just showed his son by living. The only message your kids will hear is the one they see.
In I Thessalonians Paul was talking to young believers, some of whom were experiencing difficulties. In I Thessalonians 1:5 Paul says, *For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.* The good news of the gospel came from Paul to these young disciples in words, but it also came in manner. These disciples had observed what kind of man Paul was, and that gave Paul*s words power because his actions lent them credibility.
Now, whether by design or by default, you are discipling your kids every day, and the only message your kids will hear is the one they actually see. You won*t have to sell your kids on anything when you give them yourself. I Thessalonians 2:8 says, *So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because you were dear unto us.* He was saying, *We didn*t just give you words; we gave you a life. We gave ourselves to you and thus you were more apt to embrace the message we spoke.*
In I Thessalonians 2:7, 11 Paul compares himself to a mother and a father. Verse 7 says, *But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children.* Verse 11 says, *As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children.* So, Paul compares himself to a parent.
If Paul was discipling these people in a wonderful way and the best comparison he could think of was that of a parent, then don*t you think as parents we ought to exemplify these things, virtue, care, love, and patience, towards those who follow us?
I want to say the right things to my kids, but more than anything I want my life, my attitude, and my actions to show them what I tell them because the only message they are going to hear is the one they see.