I love my children, my rainbow baby daughter and her younger brother. They have brought so much joy into our lives, and continue to do so even though they no longer live at home. I’m proud of their achievements at school and university, and they’ve both gone on to have good careers. I love that they are great parents who love their own children. I love that they are decent law abiding young people who know right from wrong. I love the way they are sociable and have lots of friends. I love the care they have for each other, for their parents, and while they were alive, their grandparents.
I want my children to be happy, to continue to be successful, to raise their children well and to be good citizens, but beyond that I have a desire for them that is far more important. This is my greatest desire. I want them to live their lives to please God, and to do all they can to love and honour him. To put it in other words, I want them to glorify God.
Why do I want that for them? Why do I consider it so important, and does it really matter? After all, many people live their lives without God. That’s true, but that’s not how we’re meant to live. It’s my earnest belief that we were created by God to live for him, and only in that way can we be truly happy. So when I say that I want my children to live lives that please God, I’m saying that I want them to be truly happy. I’d be a bad parent if I didn’t want their happiness.
It’s interesting to see what the Bible says about the creation of man. We read, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them.” (1) The first thing God did for mankind, man and woman, was to bless them. That’s what he wanted to do, it’s what he still wants to do. Sadly man sinned and sinning ultimately became so bad that it led to God’s judgement and the Great Flood where all lives were lost except Noah and his family. We then read, “God blessed Noah and his sons.” (2) Keep reading through the Bible and you will see that God’s ongoing desire was to bless and he kept doing it time after time to those who lived to please him.
God’s greatest blessing was the giving of his Son Jesus to die for us. Even though we have continually sinned against God he has blessed us with his love, and that love is so strong, so powerful, God chose to sacrifice his own Son to give us eternal life. Jesus agreed with this and willingly gave up his life, but in doing so he was able to defeat sin and death and came back to life. Three days after he died he was raised from the dead, and we now have this wonderful promise, “he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.” (3)
Until now, and because of sin, we have been held in death’s grip, but most people don’t realise there are two deaths. There’s the death we all face when we leave these bodies behind, but there is also a second death, an eternal death that was the fate of all because of sin. Now though, we can escape this second death by trusting in Jesus, accepting his sacrificial death on our behalf and living for him. This life can be fully enjoyed because it is the life God intended for us. You will receive God’s continual blessing and by far a more fruitful and satisfying life than one lived without him. Every life needs Jesus right at its centre if it’s to be a truly happy life. A life lived without him, or lived with him at the periphery, will be nowhere near as satisfying. Make Jesus your centre and live to please him.
- Genesis 1:27,28
- Genesis 9:1
- Romans 8:11