(God's Heritage ~ God's Jewels)

I Will Save Thy Children

There was a time in my life when I said to God: God, I don't want to go to heaven if my son isn't going to be there with me.  That was a strong, immature statement to make, but it showed the love and strength of the bond a mother had for a child. Of course, today, I love the Lord dearly and desire to go to heaven whether my son makes it or not. But I pray most earnestly that he will be there too.

I know it's disturbing and heartbreaking to see the road to heaven going one way, and our adult children seem to be traveling the exact opposite--following the ways of the world--partaking in its spirit and customs. My son is not living a life of debauchery and crime. On the world's standard, he leads a pretty respectable life just like the rich young ruler in Jesus' day. But something is missing. The Lord and His church are not top priority in his life right now. I pray most earnestly that he will return to the God of his childhood--to the simple faith he once knew.

I am greatly encouraged by God's promises and counsels listed below, and I hope that those in a similar situation will find these encouraging as well.

Prov 22:6 promises that when we train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

The story of the Prodigal Son in Luke Chapter 15 gives us a vivid picture of the character of God--a loving Father who is forgiving, longsuffering and patient, anxiously waiting for a wayward son to return. At one point in the prodigal son's life, he acknowledged that he had sinned against Heaven and his father and now wanted to come home to him. Here's the story in part:

I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants. And he arose, and came to his father.

But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him. And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry: For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

Doesn't that story buoy your spirits up and give you hope and encouragement in your efforts to win a loved one back to the fold of God? Here are more encouraging counsels even for those parents who did not raise their children in the Lord. Remember we were all prodigal children before we came to the Lord.

The prayers of Christian mothers are not disregarded by the Father of all...He will not turn away your petitions and leave you and yours to the buffetings of Satan in the great day of final conflict. It is for you to work with simplicity and faithfulness, and God will establish the work of your hands. --Child Guidance, p526.

The influence of a praying, God-fearing mother will last through eternity. She may die, but her work will endure. --Testimonies to the Church, Vol 4, p500.

With joy unutterable, parents see the crown, the robe, the harp, given to their children...The seed sown with tears and prayers may have seemed to be sown in vain, but their harvest is reaped with joy at last. Their children have been redeemed. --Child Guidance, p569.

I Will Save Thy Children

Do our children belong to us solely with no accountability toward God regarding how we rear them? Let's look at what the Bible has to say about children.

Deut 6:2,6-9 - "That thou mightest fear the LORD thy God, to keep all his statutes and his commandments, which I command thee, thou, and thy son, and thy son's son, all the days of thy life; and that thy days may be prolonged. . .And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates."

Ps 127: 3-5 - "Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."

Ps 128:3-4 - "Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD."

Prov 4:1-4 - "Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and attend to know understanding. For I give you good doctrine, forsake ye not my law. For I was my father's son, tender and only beloved in the sight of my mother. He taught me also, and said unto me, Let thine heart retain my words: keep my commandments, and live."

Eph 6:2 - "Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise."

Eph 6:4 - "And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord."

The devotional book, Reflecting Christ, p175 reads: "We would solemnly impress upon fathers, as well as mothers, the grave responsibility they have assumed in bringing children into the world. It is a responsibility from which nothing but death can free them. True, the chief care and burden rests upon the mother during the first years of her children's lives, yet even then the father should be her stay and counsel, encouraging her to lean upon his large affections, and assisting her as much as possible...

The father is in one sense the priest of the household, laying upon the altar of God the morning and evening sacrifice, while the wife and children unite in prayer and praise. With such a household Jesus will tarry, and through his quickening influence the parentsí joyful exclamations shall yet be heard amid more exalted scenes, saying, "Behold I, and the children whom the Lord hath given me. Saved, saved, eternally saved! freed from the corruption that is in the world through lust, and through the merits of Christ made heirs of immortality!" --Testimonies to the Church, Vol 1, p547.

Parents, do not neglect the work waiting for you in the church in your own family. This is your first field of missionary effort. The most important work you can do is to place your children on the Lord's side.

On fathers and mothers, God has placed the responsibility of saving their children from the power of the enemy. This is their work, a work that they should on no account neglect. Those parents who have a living connection with Christ will not rest until they see their children safe in the fold. They will make this the burden of their life. --Testimonies to the Church, Vol 7, p10-11.

In the day of final reckoning, fathers and mothers will be required to answer in regard to their children. Parents will be asked what they did and said to secure the salvation of the souls they took upon themselves the responsibility of bringing into the world. Did they neglect their lambs, leaving them to the care of strangers? Fathers and mothers, are you allowing your children to grow up in impurity and sin? A great good done for others will not cancel the debt you owe to God to care for your children. The spiritual welfare of your family comes first. Take them with you to the cross or Calvary, laboring for them as those that must give an account. --Mind, Character, and Personality, Vol 1, p162.

In the great day of reckoning when God asks "Where are the children that I entrusted to your care to educate for Me, that their lips might speak My praise, and their lives be as a diadem of beauty in the world, and they live to honor Me through all eternity?"  I pray that by God's grace our response will be that of Is 8:18. "Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion."

A comment on this text is found in Reflecting Christ, p168, which says: "Then, Christian friends, fathers and mothers, let your light grow dim--no, never! Let your heart grow faint, or your hands weary--no, never! And by and by the portals of the celestial city will be opened to you; and you may present yourselves and your children before the throne, saying, 'Here am I, and the children whom Thou hast given me.'  And what a reward for faithfulness that will be, to see your children crowned with immortal life in the beautiful city of God!"

I Will Save Thy Children

The work of salvation--the work of saving our children--involves our cooperation with Heavenly agencies. God and His angels have a part to do, and we have a part to do as well. Notice what Job did in behalf of his children.

Job 1:5 - There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil. And there were born unto him seven sons and three daughters. His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.

And his sons went and feasted in their houses, every one his day; and sent and called for their three sisters to eat and to drink with them. And it was so, when the days of their feasting were gone about, that Job sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning, and offered burnt offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that my sons have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts. Thus did Job continually.

According to this text Job offered a sacrifice for each of his children--ten adult children, ten burnt offerings, in the event that they had sinned and cursed God in their hearts. What is the comparable thing to do today since we do not sacrifice animals this side of the Cross? Prayer, is it not? We need to pray for our children. Our prayers rise up before God like sweet smelling incense.

One day, I heard a preacher say that there are three kinds of prayer that people pray--Casual, Committed, and Combat.

Casual prayers are just that--casual. We ask the Lord to bless and protect this person and that person, etc.  Committed prayers are those prayers we offer in behalf of the people in our prayer list. We are committed day in and day out, week in and week out, month in and month out, etc., to pray for them. We pray until the prayers are answered. When the prayers are answered, we note the date and check them off the list.

Combat prayers are those petitions we send to God for help in removing our children from enemy territory. This is more complicated and more involved. This is where we agonize before God, we wrestle with Him, as did Jacob, and not let Him go until He blesses us, until He removes our children from the hands of the enemy. This prayer combined with fasting is what we need to reclaim our children from Satan's grasp. This prayer is ongoing, and we may not see the result this side of Heaven.

When Abraham learned that his nephew and his family and others were taken captives by the enemy, the king of Elam, what did he do? Inspiration says that he prepared for war. He took his 318 trained servants and pursued the enemy. The attack was so vigorous and unexpected that it resulted in a speedy victory. The King of Elam was slain and his panic-stricken forces were utterly routed. Lot and his family, with all the prisoners and their goods, were recovered, and a rich booty fell into the hands of the victors.

The great controversy between good and evil is waging strong. See Battle for the Mind.  Satan, the enemy has taken our children into his camp. Like Abraham, let us with combat prayers pursue the enemy and remove our children from his camp and bring them into God's camp. This requires a struggle, but we are to march forward and onward for the battle is the Lord's. If we are faithful in preservering combat prayers, He will not fail us. He has promised to save our children.

I Will Save Thy Children

Isaiah 49:24,25 - "Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? But thus saith the LORD, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children."

Margaret Davis, a noted Christian writer, compiled two volumes of the Spirit of Prophecy called What Must I Do to Be Saved?  One chapter in her work is entitled He Will Save Your Children. This contains timeless quotations and excerpts that should bring hope and encouragement to parents with children who have outgrown the God they've learned about at their mother's knee and have gone out into the world.

Those who will consent to enter into covenant relation with the God of heaven are not left to the power of Satan or to the infirmity of their own nature. They are invited by the Saviour, "Let him take hold of my strength, that he may make peace with me; and he shall make peace with me." Isa 27:5. The spirits of darkness will battle for the soul once under their dominion, but angels of God will contend for that soul with prevailing power. The Lord says, "Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? But thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children." --Is 49:24, 25; Desire of Ages, p258, 259.

One day, I was reading my Bible at work. It was lunch time and nobody was there. The place was quiet and solemn. In that hour, my cubicle became a sanctuary, my desk an altar, the light above my desk was like God's shekinah glory enshrouding me. In that sacred moment I met with the great God of the Universe. With tears streaming down my face, I pleaded with Him for grace and mercy. I begged, I bargained, I did everything a mother would do in behalf of an erring child. As I was doing so, a thought came to my mind so forcibly it was as if I was being commanded what to do: Pray for the holy angels who excel in strength to chase away the evil angels who are enticing Michael away from God.

God's presence was almost tangible. I felt I could reach out and touch Him. A feeling of peace flooded my soul, and I knew that He had just given me the solution to a problem so complex, so overwhelming it was consuming me. I would pray for the holy angels who are strong and mighty in power to chase away the evil angels with their seductive temptations.  I came to view Satan as nothing but a defeated, fallen foe. When Christ hung upon Calvary's cross two thousand years ago, He vanquished Satan's kingdom and assured victory for His people.

I knew victory was mine that day. The burden I was carrying for so long was lifted and joy and peace filled my heart. I praised God for I knew He loves and cares for Michael even more than I could ever love and care for him. I knew He was at the helm and in control. Everything was going to be all right. His comforting presence, His reassurance and His promise to save my son were treasured and locked deep within the chambers of my heart like a holy shrine, a memorial of His great love for me.

Since I had the Bible opened right there before me, I looked at it, and a verse from the page jumped out at me hitting me right between the eyes. This verse wasn't highlighted in yellow, pink, or blue like other verses in the chapter, which happened to be one of my favorite chapters in the Bible, but God was talking to me through that one passage, confirming in my heart and mind the thought that He had already impressed indelibly upon my mind earlier. "Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word." --Ps 103:20.

I Will Save Thy Children

I was praising God for His promise that the angels who excel in strength will contend with him that contendeth with me, and He will save my child. This is a beautiful promise we need to continually claim in behalf of our children.

His hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear; and if Christian parents seek Him earnestly, He will fill their mouths with arguments, and for His name's sake will work mightily in their behalf in the conversion of their children. --Testimonies to the Church, Vol 5, p323.

And even when our prayers for our children do not seem to avail much, continue to pray for the Bible teaches that we are not to be weary in well doing. Someday, our prayers and our efforts will be rewarded.

Parents and teachers lie down in their last sleep, their lifework seeming to have been wrought in vain; they know not that their faithfulness has unsealed springs of blessing that can never cease to flow; only by faith they see the children they have trained become a benediction and an inspiration to their fellow men, and the influence repeat itself a thousandfold...Men sow the seed from which, above their graves, others reap blessed harvests. They plant trees, that others may eat the fruit. They are content here to know that they have set in motion agencies for good. In the hereafter the action and reaction of all these will be seen. --Education, p306.

I was but a youth and thoughtless,
As all youths are apt to be;
Though I had a Christian mother
Who had taught me carefully.

There came a time when pleasure
Of the world came to allure,
And I no more sought the guidance
Of her love so good and pure.

Her tender admonitions fell
But lightly on my ear,
And for the gentle warnings
I felt an inward sneer.

But mother would not yield her boy
To Satan's sinful sway,
And though I spurned her counsel
She knew a better way.

She made my room an altar,
A place of secret prayer,
And there she took her burden
And left it in His care.

And morning, noon and evening
By that humble bedside low,
She sought the aid of Him who
Understands a mother's woe.

And I went my way unheeding,
Careless of the life I led,
Until one day I noticed
Prints of elbows on my bed.

Then I saw that she had been there
Praying for her wayward boy,
Who for love of worldly pleasure
Would her peace of mind destroy.

Long the conflict raged within me,
Sin against my mother's prayers,
Sin must yield - for Mother never
While she daily met Him there.

And her constant love and patience
Were like coals upon my head,
Together with the imprints
Of her elbows on my bed.

And so at last the fight was won,
And I to Christ was led,
And mother's prayers were answered
By her elbows on my bed.

--Author Unknown

I Will Save Thy Children

I shared this experience many times before, but I will share it again because of the lesson it taught. My mother had the most beautiful Christ-like character I have ever seen. Looking back, I could see why. No matter what time in the wee hours of the morning I woke up, whether it was 2, 3, or 4 in the morning, she was up either reading her Bible or praying. It seemed to me that Mother never slept. Her prayers were the longest prayers ever uttered. I remembered hearing her pray, went back to sleep, and when I woke up, she was still praying. I knew that she was praying for her family, her children--their salvation, their health, their jobs, etc. As a concerned child, I would get upset with her, tell her to go to sleep or she would get sick. I guess she never really needed long hours of sleep like some people do. She never complained when our small children were making noises at play and keeping her from 'catching up on her sleep'.

The time came when we no longer could take care of Mother at home. We were all working, and she needed 24-hour care. Reluctantly we put Mother in a nursing home. Usually in a crisis or when in pain, people's true character shines forth, whether it be Christ-like or unChrist-like. The nursing home where we placed Mother was pitifully understaffed which meant that the workers were not able to take care of Mother the way we wanted them to. But we were paying them a lot of money and expected Mother to receive the best of care.

When we came to visit Mother one day, she was soaking wet from perspiration and who knows what else and was shivering from the cold. We got terribly upset, my sister especially. She threatened to report this to the Head of the nursing home and get whoever responsible for this elderly abuse fired. My mother just calmed her down and said: These people are so nice to me. They've always taken care of me. They're just extremely busy right now. Leave them alone. They'll take care of me at their proper time.

Even though Mother was in pain and in some physical discomfort, she was always smiling, always cheerful, always pleasant, always happy and hopeful. Doctors and nurses never failed to comment on how pleasant and cooperative she was. Why did Mother manifest such Christ-like character in such an adverse condition? She knew her Lord. Those early morning hours spent with the Lord were not for naught; they availeth much. By beholding Christ, she became Christ-like. What a lesson, what a testimony her life had been to me.

Parents, we need to spend quality time with God so we can know Him in a more personal and intimate way just like the way my mother did. If we want our children to come to God, they must first see Christ in us. They must see the lovely Jesus--meek, lowly, loving, forgiving, compassionate, patient, tender, and kind--in us. When we are Christ-like, our children will be influenced to be Christ-like. Their friends also will be influenced in the same way, and the rippling effect goes on and on and on. Only eternity could tell the many lives that were influenced and changed for good by the life of just one Christ-like person. Oh, how we need to reflect the image of Christ in our lives especially as the day approaches when He will return to this world to take His children home.

I Will Save Thy Children

Prepare for the coming of the Lord. This is the preparation day. Set your own hearts in order, and work earnestly for your children. An unreserved surrender to God will sweep away the barriers that have so long defied the approaches of heavenly grace. When you take up the cross and follow Christ, when you bring your lives into conformity to the will of God, your children will be converted. The world will take knowledge of them that they have been with Jesus and have learned of Him. In word and deed they will bear witness of the power of Christ's grace. --What Must I Do to Be Saved? p752.

What this is saying is that when parents are converted, their children will be influenced for good, and they in turn would make their decision for Jesus Christ and be converted.

When fathers and mothers are converted, there will be a thorough conversion of their principles of management. Their thoughts, their actions, their habits will be converted; their tongues will be converted. There will be no strife and contention in the home. There will be no loud, angry talking in the home. The words will be of a character to soothe and bless the people around them.

The revelation of His own glory in the form of humanity will bring heaven so near to men that the beauty adorning the inner temple will be seen in every soul in whom the Saviour dwells. Men (our children) will be captivated by the glory of an abiding Christ. And in currents of praise and thanksgiving from the many souls thus won to God, glory will flow back to the great Giver. --Christ's Object Lessons, p420.

How do we give glory to God? When the beautiful character of Jesus is reflected in our lives, our children will take notice. The glory of Christ's character in us will captivate them! Thus, we give glory to God. This is how we win our wayward children to the Lord. This is how we get them out of enemy territory. Then when Christ's character is reflected in their lives, more glory will flow back to God. "We don't win our children by strategy, or by argument or display. They will be won by parents in whom they see the living Christ reflected. They will be won by parents in whom they see a change. Parents to whom something has happened!"  --From Marjorie Lewis Lloyd.

What an awesome responsibility parents with young children have to be converted and instruct and bring up their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. What an equally awesome responsibility parents with adult children have to bombard the throne of grace with combat prayers in behalf of their children who have been ambushed by the enemy on their way to the Father's House.

If we are faithful, the Lord will send His holy angels, strong and mighty in power, who will contend for our children's soul with prevailing power. "Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? But thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children."

I Have Returned

I have returned to the God of my childhood,
To the same simple faith as a child I once knew;
Like the prodigal son I have longed for my loved ones,
For the comforts of home and the God I outgrew.
I have returned to the God of my childhood,
Bethlehem's Babe, the prophet's Messiah;
He's Jesus to me, Eternal Deity;
Praise His name, I have returned.

I have returned to the God of my mother,
With unfailing faith for the child of her heart;
She said bring them up the way that you want them,
Thank God when they're grown, they'll never depart.
I have returned to the God of my mother,
I learned at her knee He's the lily of the valley;
He's Jesus to me, Eternal Deity;
Praise His name, I have returned.

I have returned to the God of my father,
The most God-like man a child could know;
I just heard a shout from the angels in glory,
Praising the Lord a child has come home.
I have returned to the God of my father,
Creator of heaven and earth, God of the universe;
He's Jesus to me, Eternal Deity;
Praise His name, I have returned.

I have returned to the Yahweh of Judah,
On my knees I did fall where the wall now stands;
This lesson I learned as I've worked my way homeward,
The Saviour of all is a comfort to man.
I have returned to the Father of Abraham,
The shepherd of Moses who called Him the great I am;
He's Jesus to me, Eternal Deity;
Praise His name, I have returned.

--Marijohn Wilkin

Update on Michael, his testimony and website (Three Angels' Messages of Revelation 14)

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I Will Save Thy Children

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