WHAT IS YOUR CROWN OF BOASTING?
“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth,
though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ”
(1 Peter 1:7).
Are you preparing for the Coming Day? The day when our Lord Jesus Christ returns from Heaven? What will we present to Him on that day? Paul writes about what He is preparing for the Lord Jesus. He doesn’t mention any material things or aspirations of building a great organization. Instead he talks about his babes in Christ.
When writing to the new Thessalonian believers, he says: “For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy” (1 Thessalonians 2:19, 20 ESV). What will be your glory when Jesus comes?
What a challenge to us as mothers. We have such a powerful ministry right in our own homes. It’s right at our doorsteps. We don’t have to go any further. God has given us precious lives to lead to salvation and to nurture, train, and teach to be ardent disciples of the Lord. We have the responsibility to pray and pour into their lives so we can present our children to the Lord at His coming—sanctified and blameless in body, soul, and spirit (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
We have no greater ministry. The Lord Jesus will not be interested in our presenting our career to Him. Or our material possessions. Or the great name we made for ourselves. He looks for cleansed, purified, and holy sons and daughters. They will be our “crown of boasting.” They will be our “glory” and “joy” on that day.
But it cannot happen without our intercession, dedication, sacrifice, and pouring out our lives. As we read the entire epistle of Thessalonians we find Paul’s example of what it takes for this to happen.
Paul was like a “nursing mother” to these new babes in Christ. He says in 1 Thessalonians 2:7, 8 (ESV): “We were gentle among you, like a nursing mother taking care of her own children. So, being affectionately desirous of you, we were ready to share with you not only the gospel of God, but also our own selves, because you had become very dear to us.”
If Paul could be like a nursing mother, surely, we can embrace our mothering role with all our hearts. We know that a nursing mother is available to her little babe day and night. She pours out of her life. She doesn’t try to save her own life. She loses her life to find it (Mark 8:35).
Be encouraged, dear mother, you begin discipling your children from the moment they are born. You not only nurture your babe with sustenance from your breast, but with powerful thoughts, visions, and prayers from your heart. Every moment of nursing is powerful and ministers into the life of your child who is an eternal soul. Not one moment is lost.
YOUR PREPARING THEM FOR THE COMING OF JESUS BEGINS AS A NURSING MOTHER!
2. LIFE EXAMPLE
As our children grow they learn more from watching our lifestyle than what we teach them. They emulate our way of life (1 Corinthians 4:15, 16; 11:1; Philippians 3:17; 4:9; 1 Thessalonians 1:6; and 3:9).
Paul could say to these young Christians: “You are witnesses, and God also, how holy and righteous and blameless was our conduct toward you” (1 Thessalonians 2:10). Not only for our own sake, and for God’s sake, but for our children’s sake we must seek to live holy lives.
3. TEACH AND COMMAND
Nothing happens in life without making it happen. Our children do not become our “glory” by hoping it will happen. What was Paul’s example? He says: “For you know how like a father with his children, we exhorted each one of you and encouraged you and CHARGED you to walk in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into his own kingdom and glory” (1 Thessalonians 2:11, 12 ESV). It takes constant encouraging, urging, teaching, and even commanding.
Abraham was a great example of parenting. God said that all the nations of the earth would be blessed because of Abraham and one of the reasons was because of his parenting. God said in Genesis 18:19: “For I know him that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment.” He didn’t let his household work things out for themselves. He COMMANDED them in the ways of the Lord. Read also 2 Thessalonians 3: 4, 6, 10, 12 and 4:2-7.
It is a constant and daily duty. Read Deuteronomy 4:9; 6:6-9; Psalm 78:1-8; and Isaiah 28:10,12.
“Dear Father, I want to be ready for Your coming. I want my children to be ready for Your coming. Please strengthen me to be a responsible mother as I get my children ready to present them to You. I want them to be my joy and crown at Your appearing. Amen.”
I have a royal command to prepare my children for the coming of the Lord.