From time to time we have special days set aside to focus on particular ministries of Grace Baptist Temple. Last Sunday evening we focused on our youth ministry, R.U.S.H. Today we want to focus on the ministry of our school, Grace Baptist Academy.
It was in the late summer of 1974, that the Grace Baptist Temple launched the ministry of the American Christian School. Having completed a recent addition to the church it was immediately put into use. Five years later the name of the school was changed to more closely identify it as a ministry of the church and became known as the Grace Baptist Academy. Due to increased growth in the enrollment of the school, plans were made to build again. In April of 1995, we were able to move into our present facilities. Next year we will begin our thirtieth year of providing quality Christian education to this community. To God be the glory!
This morning we welcome all parents and friends of Grace Baptist Academy. The Grace Baptist Academy exists today because this church has a vision for reaching today's young people who will be tomorrow's leaders. Our vision for children is further evidenced in a solid Sunday school; Kids Klub and Junior Church programs; an exciting and challenging youth department; and of course the Grace Baptist Academy where we minister the Word of God daily to the boys and girls who are enrolled.
There are a variety of good reasons that parents choose to enroll their children at GBA. We have a great staff, great facilities, great curriculum, and great history in providing Christian education to children in this community. Another reason that many choose GBA is our philosophy of education. Every organization should have a stated purpose for existence. As a ministry of the Grace Baptist Temple, GBA's purpose statement is clear:
It is our goal to provide a good quality education along with a solid Christian foundation for each of our students. We believe that God has given to parents the responsibility to rear their children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. It is our desire to work closely with parents in this endeavor; we are not here to reform, but simply to assist parents accomplish the stated purpose.
When we speak of education, most people will automatically associate education with formal schooling. But learning begins long before a child begins kindergarten. From the moment a child is born, he becomes a student. He begins to learn from what he sees and hears. He responds to the influences of his home and his environment. The world becomes his classroom and, generally speaking, his parents become his first teachers. Parents, ours is an awesome responsibility isn't it? Let me share with you some thoughts from God's Word on how to meet that responsibility.
Being a parent is a full-time job. There are no Spring breaks or Summer vacations from being a parent. The teaching of our children is to be a continual effort, but it seems there are some special times that we can be most effective in our endeavor to teach truth to our children.
Read: De. 6:1-9
I. When Thou Sittest in Thine House
A. House vs. Home
1. Unfortunately many people are homeless.
2. No, I am not talking about people who on the street…
3. I am talking about people who have houses, but they really do not have a home.
4. Too often we could just as well have hotel rooms, a place to sleep and change clothes before heading out the next morning.
5. A home is built upon relationships with our family.
B. Determine to make your house a home.
1. This is done by spending time with your family.
2. Sitting down together and actually talking.
3. Our conversations need to be about the goodness of God, and the importance of serving Him with our lives.
4. Children learn about the importance of having a personal relationship with God from observing their parents.
5. Story of a little girl who went to school.
a. Teacher announced on the 1st day that she was an atheist.
b. She asked how many of the children were atheists.
c. All but one little girl raised their hands in order to please their teacher.
d. The teacher focused on the one little girl.
e. She proclaimed that she was a Christian.
f. Teacher asked why…because of my parents.
g. Teacher sought to embarrass the little girl and asked, 'If your parents were morons, what would you be?'
h. The girl, said, 'I guess I would be an atheist like you.'
6. Make your house a home and take time to talk with your children about the importance of trusting Christ as their Savior.
a. Don't just tell them, but take the time to show them.
b. Show them from God's Word how much God loves them.
c. So much that He sent His only begotten Son, Jesus to die on Calvary for their sins.
d. That they can be saved simply by grace through faith in His finished work.
e. When thou sittest in thine house…
II. When Thou Walkest in the Way
A. This is a reference to our day-to-day activities.
1. Children need to see Christ in our lives on a daily basis.
2. Jesus Christ is not just our Savior on Sundays; He is our Savior every day of our lives.
3. Take advantage of the time you spend with your children doing everyday tasks to teach them of God and His Word.
B. Better than formal education.
1. One of the problems with school is that often we are trying to teach children when they aren't ready to learn.
2. If we as parents will take advantage of daily teaching opportunities both we, and our children, will benefit greatly.
3. Consider the multitude of questions that open the door to teaching about God's grace and goodness.
4. "Why is the sky blue…why is the grass green…why does the rain fall…why do the birds sing…how does the wind blow… where do the clouds go?"
III. When Thou Liest Down and When Thou Risest Up.
A. When thou liest down.
1. There is something very special about these times with your children.
2. I loved to watch my children as they slept, now I do it with my grandchildren.
3. Bedtime is a wonderful opportunity to talk with them about the events of the day.
4. Often the children will take this time to share their thoughts or spiritual concerns.
5. In times of storm or fear… this is a perfect time to pray and to share the promises of God's Word with them.
Ps 4:8 I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety.
B. When thou risest up.
1. Getting up on the wrong side of the bed can impact our entire day.
2. Of course we know that it isn't so much whether it is right side or left side.
3. But that saying has to do with our attitude in the morning.
4. Some will say that they just aren't morning people…but that is just an excuse isn't it?
5. Mornings are a great time to encourage and teach our children.
6. At GBA each morning is started with prayer.
Ps 5:3 My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.
7. How we begin each morning can determine the course of the day for our children and us.
Ps 143:8 Cause me to hear thy lovingkindness in the morning; for in thee do I trust: cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee.
This morning we have looked at some principles to help us take advantage of teaching opportunities with our children. The Bible tells us that our children are a gift from God. As parents we must make every effort to teach them the truth of God's Word. But we cannot teach something that we do not know. Are you born again? Do you know the joy of a personal relationship with God? You can trust Him today.
Joh 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus. Will you trust Him this morning? Come now and commit your life to Christ…only then can you be the proper example for your children. Christian parents, are we living for the Lord? Our children learn how important God is in our lives as they observe how we live. If worshiping and serving God isn't a priority with us, our children will see and learn from our example.
Perhaps you would like to come and pray for God's strength and grace as you rear your children in His way.
Eph 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.
Come today whatever the need might be, and let God have His way in your life.