Recently I have been sharing that God is watching His children grow and mature, like a Master Gardener. Isaiah 61:3 calls God’s people “a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor” and in Isaiah 60:21 God says we are “the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands.” I described our Heavenly Father as a “garden walker,” as one who lovingly examines young hearts and lives to see what is sprouting and how well things are growing.
Last week I shared that God is watching His children grow and mature, like a Master Gardener. Isaiah 61:3 calls God’s people “a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor” and Isaiah 60:21 God says we are “the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands.” I described our Heavenly Father as a “garden walker,” as one who lovingly examines young hearts and lives to see what is sprouting, how well things are growing, if weeds are competing with His good seed, and if the bugs of sin and distress are causing harm.
I have been comparing God to a Master Gardener watching His children grow and mature. Isaiah calls God’s people “a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor” and “the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands.” I described our Heavenly Father as a “garden walker,” who lovingly examines young lives to see how well things are growing.
I suggested that we as adults can place good seed from God’s Word in children’s hearts, watching for signs of new spiritual life and protecting those young spiritual shoots.
August is a month when gardens are being harvested and we begin enjoying the fruit of our labors from May and June. I enjoy gardening because I love to watch living things sprout, develop and bear fruit. Perhaps that is part of the reason that I enjoy being a principal at Heartland Christian Academy in Bemidji. This is my fifth start of school there, and I have had the privilege of watching little fourth graders become 8th grade young men and women of God. I believe that God is watching His children grow and mature, as well.
Before the summer is past and school starts up, many families plan for a summer vacation. With gas prices so high, perhaps you will not be traveling as far from home as you may have in the past. It is still important to have some time away as a family, and I would like to encourage you with ideas to make a vacation a time of rich emotional and spiritual adventure.
The awesome experience of summer Bible Camp is a time when many children have the ultimate experience to get into a Christian environment, experience some independence from home, and learn to spiritually fly. Some of my earliest and best spiritual memories center around the Bible camp experience. Everyone from the counselors and keynote speakers to the camp handyman had an impact on me that I will never forget.
Last week I shared with you that Jesus followed very effective leadership development principles in his work with the disciples that can effectively apply to the upbringing of our children and grandchildren. I suggested that Jesus trained his followers with teaching, correcting, personal modeling, and providing hands-on opportunities for trial and error, as well as evaluation. We looked at teaching, with an understanding that godly principles should be a part of everyday discussion.
Last week I was sharing with you about the kind of independence that we should be fostering in our precious children. You recall the verse, Proverbs 22:6… “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” There is much work to be done and much wisdom required between the “train” and the “go.”
If all goes as planned, you should be hearing this broadcast just before our national Independence Day. For this week’s Heartland Focus, I would like to share with you some thoughts on independence as it applies to our children and grandchildren.
During the month of June, I have suggested in these Heartland Focus broadcasts that summertime is a great time to be deliberate about praying for your children: prayers for their spiritual growth and stability in challenging times, for their protection when faced with temptation, prayers for doors of opportunity to open for ministry and witness, and prayer that the love for God’s Word and worship with God’s people would not take second place to any summertime plans.