Heavenly Father we thank You for the gift and blessing of children. We desire that all within our family might be graced with Your salvation. May Your Word today be effectual in drawing each one of us ever closer unto Thee – Amen.
TAKE MY LIFE AND LET IT BE
Click here for tune.
Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.
Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.
Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.
Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.
Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.
Early in my ministry there was a faithful man of God who lived directly across the street from the church. He was faithful in church attendance and was graced with a heart of mercy and evangelism. Each week he would encourage the saints that were sick and weekly brought God’s Word to those in the nursing home. His ministry seemed to impact many, except those who were closest to him. God had blessed him with five sons. All five were prodigals. None followed in the way of the Lord. Two lived their lives out as drunkards, unwilling to provide for their own needs. His boys were a heartache. Once he shared his sad heart with these words: When they are young they step on your feet. As they grow old they walk on your heart.
The pattern we have seen repeated many times by the kings of Judah and Israel has been, like father like son. However, today we come to King Manasseh, the longest reigning (55 years) and perhaps the most wicked king who ruled over Judah. The reign of his father, King Hezekiah was good and glorious, however Manasseh did not follow in the way of his father. He was born three years after his father’s illness. The name “Manasseh” means, “forgetting”. Perhaps the joyful birth caused him to “forget” the pain and heartache of his illness. We have to believe that this godly king raised his son in the way of righteousness. Much of this chapter details the extent of Manasseh’s evil deeds. Read together verses 3-17 and discuss the extent of his depraved deeds. King Hezekiah did not live to witness his son’s evil reign. We can only guess the degree of heartache this prodigal son would have brought to his dad. Although we do not find it in this chapter, we learn that Manasseh’s life ended on a joyful note. The seeds of truth that were planted by a godly father began to take root under the power of God’s Spirit. The Book of Chronicles records that Manasseh repented of his sins later in life and obtained mercy from God (2 Chron. 33:11-17)!
Click here for Matthew Henry’s Commentary.
Truth in Practice
There are few heartaches in this life that are more painful than watching your children who were raised under the banner of truth walk away from God into the pathway of a life of sin. How sad it is to see little ones who once prayed and sang praises grow up to reject God and His will for their lives. Oh, how it hurts to see the ugly scars of sin deface their lives. What pain there is in knowing they are walking in the pathway of eternal ruin.
· Sometimes prodigal children are the product of faulty parenting. Be encouraged that our God is merciful to all parents and children who cry out for forgiveness and divine help.
· If you have been faithful in your parenting, don’t continue to bear personal guilt for your prodigal child. Continue to pray for God’s intervening grace. He is a God who is mighty to save! Rest knowing your child’s eternal destiny is in the hands of a loving and sovereign God. Remember, Hezekiah did not live to see his son’s repentance.
· For those of you with children at home, it is never too late for change. Remember, it is not right techniques alone that will change a child’s heart, rather the grace of almighty God. As parents be faithful to bring to bear the ordinary means of grace – prayer, the Word, worship, and fellowship. Pray today for your children and ask that God might save and sanctify each one of them.
Q. What shall be done to the wicked at the day of judgment?
A. At the day of judgment the bodies of the wicked being raised out of their graves, shall be sentenced, together with their souls, to unspeakable torments with the devil and his angels for ever (Dan. 12:2; John 5:28,29; 2 Th. 1:9; Mt. 25:41).