Christian social networking for Bible Study and Spiritual Growth.
RAISING A TENDER PLANT
TEXT: ISAIAH 53:2; LUKE 2:51-52
Isaiah 53:2 – For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.
51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.
52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
(1) From conception to infancy;
(2) From infancy to childhood;
(3) From childhood to youth;
(4) From youth to adulthood.
(1) As a boy, He sanctified the fun of playing with others and establishing the relationships of siblings and friends.
(a) As a youth, He sanctified the importance of obedience and honor to our parents.
1) As a man, He sanctified the power of resisting temptation.
(1) No instances of supernatural knowledge or of miraculous deeds are recorded in connection with His early years.
(a) The idea is conveyed to our minds that He lived a simple, blameless life, unconscious of the high calling that lay before Him.
1) He was subject to His parents in the same way that ordinary children are while they are too young to think and act for themselves.
a) And neither His siblings nor His neighbors and friends saw anything in Him to prepare them for His role as the Messiah in adulthood.
b) He had a childish innocence that did not reveal who He really was.
(1) When confronted by His worried parents, He told them of His purpose and calling while here on earth – His personal responsibility to God.
(1) But His obedience to them is of a higher cast than that which He had formerly rendered.
(a) It is an intelligent, voluntary acceptance and discharge of duty, such as can only come with maturity of age.
(1) He was a remarkable man in that He was completely and wholly human, indicated by the words, “He shall grow up…”
(a) Yet, He was divine.
(1) He came into the world just like every other baby; and
(2) He was moldable – He had to be formed.
(a) Jesus was born with all of the qualities that would make Him the Messiah, but He had to be formed…
1) He had to grow into it.
(1) You see, there are some things that God has planned to do, has made provision for doing, and desires to do, but that He will not do until a man or a woman is in place to work for and receive what God intends to give.
(1) Is your responsibility.
(2) You are the “tiller of the ground” in your child’s life.
(1) God knew who each child’s parents would be.
(2) He knew what each child’s life would be.
(3) He knew when he or she would come to be dedicated into His service.
(4) He knew where each child would live and grow, and from where his influences would come.
(1) Proverbs 22:6 – Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
(6) Fertilization, and…
(7) Soil are chief factors affecting plant growth.
(a) And any one of these factors in incorrect proportions will prevent proper plant growth indoors.
(1) You see, discipline is necessary – even biblical – but if meted out in unnecessary proportions or incorrectly, it can damage the child physically, mentally, and ultimately spiritually.
(2) In the same manner, food is necessary for survival, but it must be given in proper proportions or else eating disorders will be created.
(a) Too little will leave your child malnourished while too much will cause your child to suffer from obesity.
(1) This plant, the Red Abyssinian (or Monrovia) Banana, is a plant that is durable, but must have bright light in order for it to grow.
(a) And, if allowed, can quickly grow from 15 to 20 feet tall.
(1) Your children are going to have very different likes and dislikes, and you must work with them accordingly.
(1) Spiritual light is also the most essential factor for the spiritual growth of your children.
(a) The amount of time your children spend in the light of truth will directly affect their spiritual growth.
(b) The light of God’s Spirit is necessary, both in the church and especially in the home, because this is where their real spiritual strength and energy come from.
(1) First, it washes out all the excess salts (fertilizer residue).
(2) Second, it guarantees that the bottom two-thirds of the pot, which contains most of the roots, receives sufficient water.
(a) In that same manner, prayer must be a consistent source of refreshing for your children.
(b) It is good to pray with them on a daily basis, but sometimes you will need to pray until they are drenched through and through with the power and presence of God in their lives.
(1) Likewise, children are surprisingly resilient, and very forgiving and even willing to forget when things aren’t as warm as they should be, or when the atmosphere in the home is a little too hot or too cold.
(2) They can tolerate normal temperature fluctuations that are the home and marriage.
(a) But if your temperature fluctuations are consistently drastic, your children will suffer mental and spiritual damage.
(1) In the same manner, children must have some room for physical and spiritual ventilation.
(2) If you force them to be spiritual all the time, you will quickly “dry them out” and overtax their inner-man, and doing so will cause long-term damage to them spiritually.
(3) Every now and then you should allow them room to “ventilate.”
(a) Sometimes that could mean just giving them some room to go out and romp and run and jump about.
(b) Sometimes that may mean allowing them to speak their minds without drastic consequences.
1) Your children, like you, can think on their own and they deserve to be able to do so on occasion; however, a steady diet of this will destroy them.
(1) In the spiritual sense, you should provide a consistent diet of the Word of God.
(1) This will allow you to head off any serious problems before they really start.
(a) This type of checking up may include things such as…
1) Visit their bedrooms to see what they are hanging on the walls or hiding under their beds;
2) Check their emails to see with whom they are communicating and what they are communicating;
3) Visit their My Space or Everyone’s Connected web page to see who they are connected to, what they are saying and what is being said to them or about them on their site.
a) This is invasive, I know; but it is necessary if you plan to protect your child from the traps and snares of Satan.
Minister: Do you now present your child before God, in solemn dedication?
Parents: We do
Minister: Do you consecrate yourselves as parents to bring up your child in the nurture and admonition of the Lord?
Parents: We do.
Minister: Do you promise to instruct him or her in the teachings of Jesus Christ, and in the practice of prayer, and to guide him or her in the development of Christ-like character?
Parents: We do.
Minister: Do you promise to try to the best of your ability so to shape the home life of your child, both by family devotion and by your words and your example, that he or she will at the proper age most naturally come to an open confession of Christ, and into the fellowship and service of the church?
Parents: We do.
(Lay hands upon each child’s head as it rests in its’ parents’ arms)
Minister: In the name of the Lord Jesus I dedicate this child, Taylor Gabrielle Willis; Hailey Dickens (Henry); Bryce McKenzy Broussard; Mallie Alyse Broussard, to God and His holy service.