Open Heaven 2 September 2023: Protect Them First
MEMORISE: 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?
BIBLE READING: LUKE 15:11-32 (KJV)
And he said, A certain man had two sons:
12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.
14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.
16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.
17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!
18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.
20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.
22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.
25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing.
26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant.
27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.
28 And he was angry, and would not go in: therefore came his father out, and intreated him.
29 And he answering said to his father, Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends:
30 But as soon as this thy son was come, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou hast killed for him the fatted calf.
31 And he said unto him, Son, thou art ever with me, and all that I have is thine.
32 It was meet that we should make merry, and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.
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.
PRAYER POINT: Father, please give me the patience and wisdom to protect and discipline the children around me with love, in Jesus’ name.
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: EZEKIEL 28-30
Thank you for studying today’s Open Heaven – Protect Them First – written by Pastor Enoch Adeboye
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Open Heaven 2 September 2023