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The Pastor’s Piece – May 23, 2021

May 23, 2021

Today’s column is meant for parents and grandparents. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them.” We have a job to do.

Our son graduated from the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine on May 8, 2021. It’s been a long road. We are thrilled because he took a job close to home and our new granddaughter will live close by. He will be working as a licensed DVM for Northern Illinois Veterinary Services in Stockton, Illinois. He is licensed to practice in both Wisconsin and Illinois.

Because of the times in which we live, we, his parents, were not allowed to attend his graduation ceremony at the University of Wisconsin. He’s 26 years old and 21 of those years he’s been in school. It seems like they could have found a way for the parents to share in this momentous occasion.

But here we are. What a crazy time to be alive. I’ve been hearing from a few of you that you’ve been reading the Book of Revelation lately. That’s a good idea because Revelation gives us the big picture about the return of Jesus to the earth.

Someone wrote a gospel song called, “I’ve Read the End of the Book, and We Win.” That’s a catchy title, but it would be better to say, “I’ve Read the End of the Book, and He Wins,” because that’s the real message of Revelation. Jesus wins. Since He is the Captain of our Salvation, when He wins, everyone who has Jesus wins with Him. That’s a truth we need to keep telling ourselves because it is all written down in the Bible in black and white (and red). We’ve got nothing to fear!

The bad guys won’t win. Evil won’t win. The Covid won’t win. The politicians won’t win. Not even your arch nemesis will win! Jesus wins and we win with Him!

I’ve been hearing now more than ever that this is a crazy time to have kids because it’s looking like things might get worse. Who knows what our children will face in the future?  Godly children and an ungodly culture don’t mix well. Light and darkness never have gotten along.

But remember this, your children belong to the Lord. That’s why you can raise them with confidence. After all, they are God’s children too. It’s not as if you are all alone. Psalm 127 &128 tell us that children are a heritage from the Lord, a reward from Him, like arrows in the hands of a warrior, and like young olive trees growing around your table. Your children belong to the Lord, and He loves them even more than you do. There’s just one catch, Proverbs 22:6 tells us to “train up a child in the way he should go.” That puts the onus on us, the parents, to teach our children of God’s redemptive love.

We can live without fear in these unsettling days. Does that mean nothing bad will ever happen to our children? No. Does that guarantee they will never be touched by the troubles of this world? No, of course not. But it does mean your children are in God’s hands, and He promised to take care of them. And even though we live in tumultuous times, our God is the same God He’s always been. He is still the Solid Rock of our salvation. He never changes.

Raising children is like planting seeds in your garden. Every seed is a statement of faith that better days are ahead. It reminds me of a quote attributed to Martin Luther about what he would do if he knew the world was going to end tomorrow. “I would plant an apple tree today,” he replied.

That’s exactly right.

We don’t know when Jesus is coming. It could be today or tomorrow, or it might not be for a thousand years. The signs all around lead us to believe we are living in the Last Days. But no one knows the day or the hour of the Lord’s return. I think it is near, and I hope it is soon. But whether near or far, we know Jesus is coming again.

Until then, let’s raise our children for the Lord.

You may feel unprepared for the days ahead. Most of us feel the same way – it’s normal to not feel prepared –  But if harder days are ahead, we won’t have to walk through them alone. We have God’s Word, we have the Holy Spirit. The world can do many ungodly things, but it cannot separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

In that confidence, we will march forward with faith in our hearts and with the joy of the Lord as our strength. We were made for this. God put us in this world at this time, at this place, to do His will and to bring glory to Him. Like Esther in the O.T. – we were born for these times. The world needs a Godly influence now more than ever.

(Kevin Cernek is Lead Pastor of Martintown Community Church in Martintown, Wisconsin).