Many years ago, a young store clerk was up for a raise in salary and possibly a promotion. One day the president of the company decided to take the star employee out to lunch. But as they were making their way through the cafeteria line, the president saw the young man hide a pat of butter under his napkin so that he could avoid being charged. The president determined then and there that the young man could not be fully trusted and therefore he never received the advancement.
One day, while a mother was trying to shop for groceries, her small child was acting up. Regardless of how the mother tried to make the little boy behave; he remained defiant. A woman nearby commented, “How in the world could someone continue to put up with such an unruly child?” The mother thought for a moment and then she replied, “Because he’s mine!”
Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly there was a great calm. (Matthew 8:26 NLT)
The disciples found themselves in the midst of a terrible storm and to make matters worse, Jesus was sound asleep! If only He had rebuked the waves as soon as the first spray splashed into the boat, there would have been no reason for them to fear. But He didn’t. Instead, Jesus went to sleep and He stayed asleep. At a moment when the disciples needed Him most, Jesus appeared to be unconcerned.
It had been a long day and the new first grade teacher was completely exhausted. Yet, before she could dismiss the children and let them go home, she had to help many of them put on their galoshes. As she was wrestling the last pair onto a little girl, she heard a small voice say, “These aren’t mine.” In a moment of despair the teacher yanked the galoshes back off, almost taking the little girls legs with them. Just as she got the last one off, in total innocence the little girl looked up, smiled and said with great pride, “They’re my sisters. She let me wear them today!”
Take your Bible and turn with me to Ephesians 6:4. Today I want to talk to you about ‘Raising Champions for Christ.’ I’m sure that it’s the desire of many of you to raise a son or daughter who will become a champion for Christ, but how do we do so? None of us is a perfect parent and none of us raise perfect children; yet we can raise children who will know and love the Lord. Look with me once again at the book of Ephesians.
Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
One day a boy was walking down a road and came upon a man laying bricks. “What are you doing?” the boy asked him. In an angry tone the man replied, “Can’t you see? I’m laying bricks!” The boy continued down the road and came upon another man who was also laying bricks. “What are you doing?” the boy asked him. “Oh son, I am doing something very wonderful. I’m building a cathedral for God!”
Many years ago, a businessman began to build a tavern in a town that had never had such places. When a church nearby discovered the man’s plans, they became upset and decided to pray, asking God to intervene. One night there was a terrible thunderstorm and lightning struck the tavern, burning it to the ground. When the businessman heard of the church’s prayer meetings, he hired a lawyer and sued them for causing the fire. In defense, the church hired a lawyer stating that the fire was not their fault. Hearing of the court case, one citizen of the community commented, “It seems that the businessman believes more in the power of prayer than the church!”