Thursday, 25 March 2021

Honour Your Parents

 Scripture:  Exodus 20 v 12:  "Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee."  This is one of the Ten Commandments.

Deuteronomy 5 v 16: "Honour thy father and thy mother, as the LORD thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee."  

Matthew 15 v 3 - 4: "But he answered and said unto them, Why do ye also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition?
4  For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother: and, He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death." Words of Jesus.

When we look upon the chaos and confusion of this world, and its getting more disastrous every day, one of the saddest things is the breakdown of families through divorce and the rebellion against parents that is far greater than any pandemic.

There are certain extremely irresponsible parents that neglect, reject and abuse their children, causing emotional, mental and physical harm to them, and it is difficult to find any qualities to admire or respect in them.  Many children have been removed from such families into proper care to try repair the hard lives they have suffered.

It's easy to condemn such parents, but until we have walked a mile in their shoes to discover what misery in their own upbringing has deformed them, and taught them all the wrongs they now inflict on their own children, we should not judge too harshly.  

Jesus died for the sins of us all and all sin carries the death penalty.  For the wages of sin is death.  This penalty was laid on Jesus so that when we believe in Him and are born again, we enter into real life.  As we grow in grace we start to uplift those around us from gutter to glory.  We get involved in some sordid events in the lives of others and need to be obedient to the Lord in how we handle them.

By His love and mercy these broken lives can be made whole and they can become fruitful.  People who have suffered greatly and been set free by Jesus have great understanding of others who come bearing deep hurts.

Our God came to transform us from darkness to light, and the offer is to all humanity no matter what they are guilty of.  Through the Blood of Jesus we are cleansed of all sin.  We are made holy and set apart to God for His purpose.

Maybe our own parents let us down, to whatever degree, but if we forgive them and take the light of God's Word to them, they can be changed by Him into people worthy of honour.  Sometimes it takes many failures before they see the true light but through these trials we learn patience, develop faith, grow obedient ourselves.

If we have good parents but we are rebellious against their authority, we dishonour them.  For this there may be many untimely deaths through drug and alcohol abuse, causing reckless behaviour, causing car accidents and overdoses.  Especially applicable to those who curse their parents.  So if this sounds like your lifestyle, repent - change your mind - turn your life over to Jesus and see the blessings of God bring out the very best in you.

When we see the lowest of the low being exposed let us say, there, but for the grace of God, go I.  Let us be thankful to Him for showing us the better way, and let us have the kind of heart David Wilkerson had when he saw on TV a murderous teenager called Nicky Cruz, being imprisoned.  God told him to move to New York and work amongst the worst gangs to change their lives.

Nicky Cruz now runs the organisation called Teen Challenge started by David Wilkerson, near Times Square in New York.  They worked together for many years until Dave passed into glory.  Thousands of neglected, angry, street children were saved and healed by this ministry.  And its still happening.

We can all do something to uplift those around us.  Pray, give, get involved, touch lives with the love of Jesus that turned our lives around.  We may not see, nor know, until we all get to Heaven, how many lost souls we brought with us.  

Let us honour our parents by being thankful they brought us into the world, no matter if they were not the best human beings.  We all need saving and being changed into the likeness of Jesus.  We may be the only hope our parents have of eternal life in Heaven.  Remember, what we do for others is how we will be treated by God.

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, we must obey Your commandments and honour our fathers and mothers, give them respect for all they have done for us.  If they have not earned that respect let us do it by faith because You know the end from the beginning.  We give thanks to You for healing our wounds and bruises through Jesus and that we have survived our journey through this world by Your divine protection.
We know that when we honour our parents that honour is also for You, Father.  In Jesus' name. Amen.