There are paths we choose in life that forever change our destiny. Sometimes the choices seem small, even insignificant, such as becoming friends with someone, speaking negatively about another, or getting too involved in an activity. Sometimes it is our lack of getting involved, lack of judgment, or lack of resourcefulness. Having the wisdom to choose wisely comes from God’s written Word. God has given us many historical examples that will direct us to choose our paths wisely. I often bring up these examples when I am counseling people, and I am routinely met with a blank stare. How can people expect to know the will of God if they don’t know how God dealt with people in almost the same situation?
This week a man we had known as a child came back to visit us. Some years ago he left our community to go to college. For the last 10 years he has been pastor of a church. The visit was sweet and filled with laughter as we recalled the past. We marveled at the path God has taken him down, and how small decisions had major impact on the way his life developed. Our old friend’s maturity, soberness of mind, and loving kindness were made manifest as he spoke of those he ministered to. We were made glad by his cheerful account.
As he stood to leave he turned and said with such a profound assurance, “Brother Pearl, your greatest disciples were not the adults that you so faithfully taught the Word to; they were the children who sat at your feet playing, disrupting, and catching a word of teaching here and there. These are the ones whom God has used.” After he left, Mike stood there looking amazed and commented, “It is hard to believe he was that foolish, immature teenager we once knew!”
Adults are already made; they are who and what they are, and it is usually all they will ever be. It is a rare adult who will leave all he has and go serve on the mission field or decide to be a teacher or pastor. If a pastor can get adults enthused to witness, that is a real victory. But the children are waiting for direction as to what they should do and where they should go. They are tomorrow’s best disciples—or not, depending on whether Bible teachers overlook them or teach them.
Parents have a natural instinct that makes them look for a church that will teach their children to know and love the LORD. Today most churches are sadly missing this great opportunity. Instead they gear church toward entertaining the adults, and the children are kept out of the way and busy while parents learn and worship.
It is a rare church meeting where the Scripture is read, except for a few out-of-context verses. It is even rarer for the Scripture to be read to children. Many children will grow up in church having heard the same five verses over and over, but nothing more. God says in 1 Timothy 4:13, “Till I come, give attendance to reading . . .” Church is more a social event—a Christian country club—not a place to train disciples. Our letters from you reflect your desperation for your family.
I have an idea that will enable you to be a constant teacher, even if you are the busiest person alive. On Amazon, you can order an MP3 of the entire Bible read by Alexander Scourby. He did the recording many years ago, but it is still the very best reading of God’s Word you will ever hear. I love listening to it. His voice is so clear, and he reads the Word with such beauty, reverence, and authority. The stories in God’s Word come alive, captivating my mind so completely that I don’t want to stop listening. It is better than any message by any preacher that I have ever heard, and children seem to love it as much as I do. Every evening you could continue the MP3 right where you turned it off the night before and let your little ones listen to God’s Word being read as they drift off to sleep. From infants to young adults, it will do an eternal work in their hearts. If you make this a nighttime habit, your children will listen to the Bible read all the way through many times. All that God chose to teach man could be filed away in your young child’s mind. “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:15).
God’s Word is living. It is effectual, able to do exceedingly more than you could ever do teaching principles, concepts, telling sweet stories, or doing workbooks. And all it would take to fill your child’s mind and soul with this glorious Word straight from God is available at the click of a button. Night after night you will be presenting God’s “facebook” to your children. Fill their souls with what God wants them to know. You are making disciples.