“Where no oxen are, the crib is clean: but much increase is by the strength of the ox.” Proverbs 14:4
Let us ever remember where our harvest used to come from –and still does. “Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox comes an abundant harvest.” [NIV]
The Reynolds’ families were farmers. We grew crops and raised livestock. My father had to get up at 5:00 a.m. to milk the cows and clean the stalls. When my cousins, George and Bruce inherited the farm they got tired of this schedule –and sold all the animals. They bulldozed the fencerows and planted crops using modern machinery. For years the old barn stood empty –the cows are now gone and no one has to clean the stalls. Monetarily they were successful, but the barn is sadly gone.
This may work for farms, but not for churches and not with families. Our culture encourages limiting children and modern churches are accepting it and focusing on the needs of adults. Worship has largely replaced Teaching. Evangelism dominates discipleship. Many churches are doing away with Sunday Schools and closing their Christian schools. The church buses have been sold, the nurseries are dark and the cribs stand empty.
We should remember that 80% of all converts to Christianity are converted under 14yrs of age. One-half of Africa’s population is under 15 years of age. Due to AIDS, many Africans will never reach adulthood. The future of God’s church is still in our children.
Let us not follow our culture in devaluating and aborting children. Yes, children are noisy, take our time and tie us down. They keep us awake and dirty the house –and the church. They break things, mess their pants and cost us money –and they don’t pay tithes. But, Oh, they are our future!
In our own church fellowship, Brother Howell. Brother Jones and Brother Tenny –all came to know Christ as Sunday School kids from unsaved homes. Where will our next leaders come from?
I well remember listening to the radio to a rendition of ‘Handel’s Messiah’. Suddenly the conductor heard a child’s cry; stopped the performance and said, “Take that child out!” I trust that will never happen in our churches. When we no longer hear the cry of a child – we are a dying institution. We will have clean cribs – but darkened nurseries. Let us put our money and our efforts into that which produces the majority of our converts to Christ – our children.
Let us restart our Christian Schools along with the buses. Let us combine and emphasize Sunday Schools along with Worship Service on Sunday mornings. Let us not allow our churches to be closed and empty most of the week!
“And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them; and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of God.” Mark 10:13,14
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