Open Heaven 2 September 2023 Topic: Protect Them First
Memory Verse: Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets. (Matthew 7:12)
Bible Reading: Luke 15:11-32 (WEB)
11 He said, “A certain man had two sons.
12 The younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me my share of your property.’ So he divided his livelihood between them.
13 Not many days after, the younger son gathered all of this together and traveled into a far country. There he wasted his property with riotous living.
14 When he had spent all of it, there arose a severe famine in that country, and he began to be in need.
15 He went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed pigs.
16 He wanted to fill his belly with the husks that the pigs ate, but no one gave him any.
17 But when he came to himself he said, ‘How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough to spare, and I’m dying with hunger!
18 I will get up and go to my father, and will tell him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in your sight.
19 I am no more worthy to be called your son. Make me as one of your hired servants.”’
20 “He arose, and came to his father. But while he was still far off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21 The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
22 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring out the best robe, and put it on him. Put a ring on his hand, and sandals on his feet.
23 Bring the fattened calf, kill it, and let’s eat, and celebrate;
24 for this, my son, was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.’ Then they began to celebrate.
25 “Now his elder son was in the field. As he came near to the house, he heard music and dancing.
26 He called one of the servants to him, and asked what was going on.
27 He said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and healthy.’
28 But he was angry, and would not go in. Therefore his father came out, and begged him.
29 But he answered his father, ‘Behold, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed a commandment of yours, but you never gave me a goat, that I might celebrate with my friends.
30 But when this your son came, who has devoured your living with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him.’
31 “He said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours.
32 But it was appropriate to celebrate and be glad, for this, your brother, was dead, and is alive again. He was lost, and is found.’”
Open Heaven 2 September 2023 Message:
The elders have a proverb that says you first chase away the fox before you ask the hen, “Why did you stray?” In Mark 4:35-41, when there was a storm in the boat and the disciples woke Jesus up, He first stilled the storm before saying, “Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?”
This is how Jesus treats us His children. He will first solve the problem before scolding you. Why then do many parents or guardians leave their children to be devoured by the fox when they see that they have strayed?
When the children God has planted around you err, protect them from the error they have made first to ensure it doesn’t destroy them, before you turn to discipline them.
A father, for example, may throw out his daughter because she got pregnant out of wedlock. Such an action would further expose the girl to the fox already trying to destroy her.
At the end of the day, that child may get into worse problems, especially if she finds help from the wrong set of people. Children must not be cast away because they made a mistake.
With all the mistakes you make, God continues to call you His child. Should there be discipline? Yes, of course. Children should be disciplined when they misbehave, but first, fix the problem and keep them safe.
While you discipline a child, it should always still be clear to that child that you love them. There is something called tough love.
A child will know if the real reason you are taking an action is to protect your reputation or out of your love for them.
Nothing hurts a child more than to experience lack of love from the parents. I know it can be disappointing when children don’t meet up to their parents’ expectations.
I am a father too and sometimes I would have taught my children to behave a certain way, only to hear that they did the opposite outside of the home.
However, let us remember that we do the same thing to God and He doesn’t cast us out. He chastens us because He loves us.
Your labour over all the children God has planted around you will not be in vain, in Jesus’ name.
Open Heaven 2 September 2023
Points: Father, please give me the patience and wisdom to protect and discipline the children around me with love, in Jesus’ name.
Hymn: Wonderful Story Of Love