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|3/8/2013||Point of View: Why we take our children on mission trips|
|View All Articles by RYAN HELMS|
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First, God is love and we are His children. Our critics are not our enemies but our dear friends and family who are sincerely concerned for the well being of our children. We need to love our critics and be patient with them even as God in Christ Jesus has been patient with us.
Even though some will have unconverted hearts and not understand our perspective, we still need to love them. It is not our work to convince them or correct them; this is God’s work alone through the Holy Spirit. Other critics are saved, but do not have a Gospel-centered worldview. To show your love toward them, pray that God would change all of our hearts to love the things that God loves.
Indeed, there are legitimate concerns that our children might die. Still, our children who are in Christ are already dead for they have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer they that live (Gal. 2:20). Furthermore, those in Christ should try to live in the reality that they will never die again but will evermore live with God (Ps. 23:6). A friend of mine, who lost his daughter in a car accident, realized through the grief that God was causing Him to focus on heaven instead of earth by helping him think of his daughter being in heaven. We need to live in the reality that “our best life” is yet to come when we are glorified in His presence. If we think of our children as already dead to this life and alive to Christ it will help us not be so worried about this life and be consumed with our life in Christ, including storing up our treasures in heaven.
Further, our children do not belong to us but to God (Ps. 127:3). The Lord has entrusted our children to us so that we lead them to be disciples of Jesus Christ, (Deut. 6:7). When our children realize that God through Christ Jesus is reconciling the world to Himself, they will realize it is not about them and will want to join God in His global mission (2 Cor. 5:17-21; Matt. 28:18-20; Rev. 5:9).
Additionally, mission trips gives tremendous one-on-one time with our children to experience the graces and mercies of God in our faith together. We pray together, read the Scripture together, share the Gospel together and help each other. It is a wonderful time of being together in our shared family of faith.
Lastly, our God is in absolute control. I know my inner circle gets tired of hearing me say that. I get weary of having to live it when I doubt it at times. Nevertheless, it is absolutely true. There is no place on earth our God has not made His personal presence manifested (Ps. 139). God will take care of us in life and in death. Our children are going to physically die one day and that date is outside our control. Even though we think we can change this fact, a day has been appointed by God for people to die (Heb. 9:27).
I have committed my children unto Him to do whatever He sees best for them. I am striving to trust Him by believing: “He works all things after the counsel of His own will” (Eph. 1:11) and “for our good” (Rom. 8:28). Our God loves our children more than we ever could and is committed to His glory in their lives. His glory is the ultimate best that could happen to them whatever that may be in living or dying. We can trust His guaranteed comfort in both scenarios because He has promised not to leave us or forsake us. God certainly is enough in any circumstance in which believers find themselves.
As the Psalmist has said, “Whom have I in heaven but You? And besides You I desire nothing on earth” (Ps. 73:25). As the song, “All I Have Is Christ” says, my prayer for my children and your children is to one day honestly say to the King of Kings, “Use my ransomed life in any way you choose.”
Ryan N. Helms is pastor of New Zion Baptist Church in Bonifay
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