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If We Would Only Let Him

If We Would Only Let Him
Bestowing Gifts To a Child

If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! Matthew 7:11

I remember as a child being given the promise of discipline if we did not behave.  But equally, there were promises of blessing if we, as children, would simply obey.  It's true children tend to lean towards obeying because of the blessing they will receive, moreover than a threat of discipline.  I personally believe it is essential for a child to obey solely on the basis of obedience, and not because they have a gift awaiting them, but I also believe there are times where blessing a child with something special when they have obeyed and done their best is warranted.

My wife and I went with our oldest daughter, Rachel, to go and pick up our grandson Titus from school.  It was a Friday and his week was over.  In his class the teacher has implemented a system of three colors and a pin to help the parents identify how the child is doing in obeying the teacher's commands.  Now this is much different than the boat oar with holes drilled in it for paddling that I experienced in school as a child.  

So the system goes like this:  

   -Green is for when the child has been obedient and has demonstrated very good listening skills.
   -Yellow is for when the child has been somewhat obedient, and has demonstrated acceptable listening skills. 
   -Red is for when the child has not been obedient, and has not demonstrated good listening skills.
   -And when the child's nameplate has been taken off and is placed on the chalkboard, and is accompanied by a red mark, then the child has expressed willful disobedience and has not obeyed the teacher.

Each day the child goes through this system of being graded on their ability to listen and obey.  At the end of the week, if the child did not acquire any red marks, then the child is given the gift of opening a treasure box where they would pull out a small toy to reward them for their good behavior.  

As I thought about this system, I thought of the many great aspects of it, and the unfortunate consequences.  One of the great aspects of the system is the parent is made aware of their child's propensity to either obey, or to act independently of what they were asked and disobey.  This should give the parent an idea of the need for correction in the child's life, thereby avoiding any habitual patterns.

Correct your son, and he will give you rest; Yes, he will give delight to your soul. Proverbs 29:17 (NKJV)

As we sat in the car awaiting Titus, I had a flashback from when our girls were young, and how my wife started a pattern of always making a big deal when Rachel and her sister Shayla did well on their testing.  It seemed as if our girls loved this attention and reward.  And as such, they both excelled in their schoolwork.  Today, we had planned on taking Titus to McDonalds and allowing him to get a happy meal with a toy, and to play on the playground, as this was what he liked.  

Unfortunately, upon Titus arriving at the vehicle, I could see his countenance was down, and so we asked him how his day had gone.  He said, "good", but his voice didn't have his usually fun-natured tone to it.  We asked him what kind of toy he received from the treasure chest, since he had green colors all week long, and it was then he told us he didn't get to go to the treasure chest because he had received a red color next to his name that day.  

We were bummed for him, and we talked about the reasons why this happened and asked him if he understood why.  The system seemed to be working, and he understood fully the consequences of his actions.  Unfortunately, it also meant we were not going to be able to take him to lunch at his favorite place either.  In actuality, I think we were even sadder about this turn of events, because we wanted to bless him.

I started to think about how God must feel the same way about us when we blow it.  I thought about how many times God probably wanted to bless me, only to have to withhold His blessing because of my selfish actions?   Think about this for a little bit.  If obedience to God equals a green mark, and if disobedience to God equals a red mark, how would your chalkboard look at the end of the day?

I want to encourage you today to think about your actions - whether or not they are in God's will, or if they are just actions deserving a red mark.  God wants to bless each of His children in an amazing way, if we would only let Him.  

STUDY QUESTION: What can we learn about God's ability and desire to give us good things according to Matthew 7:11?

PERSONAL INVENTORY: Are you consistently getting green marks or red marks?

APPLICATION: Seek to listen to God and to obey His commands.  Seek to please Him in everything you do.

Father, thank You for Your love and mercy.  Thank You for teaching me Your ways.  Help me to remember the things I have learned Lord, and to implement them into my life.  In Jesus' precious name, amen...

 Be Blessed, Pastor Scott

Copyright ©2017 by Pastor Scott Wright.
Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000