The three “R’s” used to be readin’, ‘wrightin, and ‘rithmetic, right? In home school, at least at my house, we have a different set of “R’s.” They are respect, reasoning, righteousness, and responsibility. If I succeed at teaching them those things, I have zero doubt that my kids will succeed in whatever it is they choose to do in life. Even if their paths and choices lead to failure, they will succeed in character, integrity, and wisdom if just these four things are instilled in them.
“Then Jesus said to him, ‘Be gone, Satan!’ For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'” ~Matthew 4:10
“What?! Why would he say that?!” exclaims my indignant nine year-old.
“Why would Jesus tell the devil to worship God?! He will never do it!!”
“Just because we know someone is not going to listen does not mean God does not want us to tell them the truth. Truth has two purposes. One is grace for those who will listen and change by it. The other is condemnation for those who will refuse it.
In other words, Jesus’ faithfulness in telling the truth of the scriptures to those who do not listen is actually what he will point to when he judges them. It is not just sin that will condemn people, it will be also the saving grace God gave that was refused.
The only sin listed in the Bible as unforgivable is the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. What that means is that when God shows up to teach us and offers His truth to us by grace and we disbelieve, dismiss, and ignore it, we cannot be forgiven because we have pulled the rug out from under the means by which he saves. If we refuse the Spirit of God when it speaks plain truth to us, we stiff arm God’s grace and we remain in stubborn, willful darkness.
We must learn to love the truth, girls. No matter how uncomfortable, difficult, or painful it may be for us to accept, we must always embrace truth. Never refuse or put off the truth of God when you learn it. The Bible says, “Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For he says, ‘In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you. Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now its the day of salvation.” ~2 Corinthians 6:1-2
There is a particular urgency to the truth. Today is the day. Don’t put it off. Don’t wait one more second. Take the truth to heart, now! Today! Do what is right, right away! That is how we are to react when met with the truth. Jesus is the Truth and he is the Way. If we are following him, we must obey the truth, and obey it quickly.
The next day Bible class resumes. We read Revelation chapter 16.
“Then I heard the angel of the waters say to God: ‘Holy One, you are the One who is and who was. You are right to decide to punish these evil people. They have spilled the blood of your holy people and your prophets. Now you have given them blood to drink as they deserve.’ And I heard the altar say: ‘Yes, Lord God All-Powerful, the way you punish evil people is right and fair.'” ~Revelation 16:5-7
This time my seven year-old protests.
“Doesn’t God say ‘Don’t do bad things back to people when they do bad to you?!’ Why is he doing bad to the bad people? He is disobeying himself!!!”
“God tells us not to take revenge. The reason we are not allowed to take revenge is because he is going to. He tells us not to repay evil with evil because if we do, we will be judged, too. God has to punish evil and he will punish evil because he is just and fair. He punished Jesus for our sins but those who do not love and obey Jesus will get their own punishment.”
“Education was, in fact, so important to the Puritans that it was required. By 1642, parents were required to teach their young children to read so they could know the Scriptures…The purpose of teaching was to learn the Word of God and defeat Satan, who was the deluder. So the law to teach was called the ‘Old Deluder Satan Act.'” ~Linda Lacour Hobar, Mystery of History, Vol. III
My lessons for the week are very clear.
1. Tell the truth even when your hearers refuse to listen.
2.Trust God to judge evil.
3.Remember that it is parents who are responsible for their children’s education.
4. The ultimate goal of educating children is knowing and understanding the Scriptures.