Message 8: The Truth About Children

Sept. 28, 2018 Robyn McKelvy

Session Transcript

Robyn McKelvy: One of my daughters just asked me what do I get to talk about. I get to talk about the truth about children. I wonder why? (laughter) But anyway, I'm going to tell you about the truth about children, but I can't start there. In order to start telling you about the truth about children, I have to talk about the Father of all children first.

God has always been, and He will always be. Amen? He is God. Amen? He is the creator of heaven and earth. Do you believe that? He is all knowing, all wise, and all powerful. He is all everything. Amen?

So in the beginning, God created all that was to be created, including man that He created in His image, after His likeness. God left mankind with eleven words, if you read the ESV, He left them eleven words. That was: “be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.” This was God's Plan A.

Now, if God's all knowing, there was never a Plan B. Amen? He knew that the serpent would try to get mankind to believe God was holding out on them. God knew that. He is all knowing. He knew Cain would kill Abel and be exiled. He knew that. He knows the enemy continues to steal, kill, and destroy everything God has created. But God had a Plan A.

How do I know this? Well, over seventeen times in Genesis alone, God says “be fruitful and multiply,” or promises to make someone fruitful and multiply. A lot of occasions in the Scripture it says, “And God blessed them and said be fruitful and multiply.”

So why of all things that God could bless us with, why did He tell us to be fruitful and multiply? Because this was God's Plan A. Okay?

When I first became a Christian, I wanted to do everything the Word of God said to do. I read that children were a blessing from the Lord, so I was like, “Lord, bless me.” So I was blessed with fifteen pregnancies. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. (laughter) And you know, there are some of those churches that you go to, and they say, “Who has the most kids?” And so I was over there, and the lady would be, like, “four,” or whatever, and I'm like, “If you need me to take off my shoes to count the rest, I will.” (laughter)

It's easy to think that childbearing is about us. Childbearing is not about us. Being fruitful and multiplying is not about just multiplying. God said be fruitful first. And so, how do you do this thing called being fruitful?

John 15 says this:

I am the vine, my father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. . . .

If you abide in me and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. By this my father is glorified that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples. As the father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in love just as I have kept my father's commandment and abide in his love. These things are spoken to you that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be full (vv. 5, 7–11 NIV84).

So what does it mean to bear fruit? If you abide in Christ, and His Word abides in you, you will find out how much God loves you.

Do you guys just want to sometimes kiss your Bible because it's so good to you? I do. If you get in God's Word, you will find out that:

  • He loved you enough to create you in His image.
  • He loved you enough to be with you every day for the rest of your life.
  • He loves you enough to never leave you or never forsake you.
  • He loved you enough to have His only Son sacrificed so that we might have eternal life.

(There should be some applause on that one. Okay? Sounds of laughter and cheers.) He loved us enough to do this for us.

If you walk around knowing how much God loves you, then there is going to be this unbreakable joy in you. This joy that nobody can break. Not even the trials that come at you will be able to steal your joy. Because you know what? The Negro spiritual says, “This joy that I have, the world didn't give it to me. (Guess what?) The world didn't give it, and the world can't take it away.” Amen!

So you have this abiding joy. So when you go out, you become a picture of God's image to this world. That was God's Plan A. Apart from you abiding in Him, being fruitful and multiplying . . . We need to just tell it like it is. If you aren't fruitful and multiplying, you are a branch bearing no fruit and cut off from Him.

This world is hungry for fruit. This world is hungry for truth. And so God wants us to be like fruit bowls full of fruit. And the more fruit you bear, He fills you and makes even more fruit available. But some of us are bearing no truth.

Think about this: If I had guests at my home, and I said, “We're going to serve some light appetizers,” and I had fruit there. How many people would think I was just plum looney if I put this out to serve them fruit?

In the same way, that's who you are, because you are not fulfilling your creative purpose. So in the same way, if you’re not bearing fruit for God, you’re not fulfilling your purpose, and you need to be put away.

Now, this is God's first great commandment to Adam and Eve before they had any children. God commanded mankind to bear fruit. God commanded mankind to be fruitful and multiply before Eve had any children. And guess what? God knew Adam couldn't bear no babies. So God wanted this thing to be more than just biological children.

So what does bearing fruit look like? It means that you have biological children, adopted children, grandchildren. Some of you are raising your grandkids. You have nieces and nephews. You have children (I learned this from my girls) you baby or nanny or babysit—those are your fruit. If you have step-children. If you're a teacher, you have students. Neighborhood kids, for a moment in time, children, and also spiritual children.

Now the world tells us by viral messages what to think. And the world tells us that children are a burden. But guess what God says? “Children are a blessing.”

The world tells us children cost too much to raise. God tells us, what? Children are a gift. And usually, if you are giving a gift, it doesn't cost the giftee nothing.

The world tells us that children are a headache. And God says, “Of such is the kingdom of heaven.”

God promises to provide all our needs. He gives us children to allow us to see who He is. God's amazing gift of children will point you back to Him as Father and you as child. Now, God does do this. He does tell us in His Word to train up a child. But what I'm learning about children is that God gives children to teach us about Him.

A newborn baby, you totally care for this newborn. In the same way, God wants us to be totally dependent on Him.

Now, poopy babies, when they stink they don't care how bad they smell. They come to you, and they're lifting up their arms. In the same way God doesn't care how bad you smell. He wants you to come to Him. (applause)

Children are constantly learning, ever teachable, and that is God's desire for us. He want us to constantly learn more about Him and be ever teachable.

When a child falls down, who do they look for? They look for their mommies, and they lift their arms up because they know their mommies can take away that pain. In the same way, when we fall down, when we fall down, when we have some troubles or some trials, we need to look up to the One we know that can take away our pain.

Now, toddlers . . . they know no strangers. We were at Andy's Ice Cream Custard Place, and there was a little girl just waving at me. But you know what she did? She stayed close to her daddy. She had her arm around her daddy’s leg. She stayed close because she knew, “I can be kind, but I'm going to stay close to the one that makes me feel safe.”

In the same way, the fruit of the Spirit should just exude out of us. We should be kind. We should show love. We should show joy. We should show peace, patience, gentleness, longsuffering, all of those—kindness, gentleness, and self-control. But you need to stay close to the One who keeps you safe.

With teenagers . . . I've had a few teenagers. (laughter) Teenagers make you realize that those children have some imperfections. (laughter) But you know what teenagers have done for me? They've allowed me to see how much grace God has for me.

And then you have adult children, and they show you how you treat God. Like you think you know what's best. Sometimes they make decisions, and the decisions are devastating. But adult children have taught me how to stay on my knees.

Children teach you how to call on the name of God. Like when you call their whole name, “Rachael Elyse McKelvy! Renee Angelique McKelvy! Reagan Antoinette McKelvy! Raven Elizabeth McKelvy! Reesa Elana McKelvy! Rylan Alexander McKelvy! Listen to me.” (laughter)

Sometimes we have . . . And that's not all; I’ve got more . . . four more. (laughter) But anyway, this is the thing: Sometimes we need to call on the name of God, and we need to call more than one name.

“Jehovah Rapha, I need Your healing.”

“Jehovah Jireh, if You don't provide, it ain't happening.”

“Jehovah Shalom, make me an instrument of Your peace right now, Lord, because I'm about to take one of those kids out.” (laughter)

There are times we need to know how to call on the name of the Lord. And then there are these things I just learned this past year called pot sticker prayers.

I took my two youngest to the store so that they could buy a snack because Daddy was having a long evening meeting. So we went to the store, and they picked out pot stickers. Well, I don't know a thing about pot stickers. I don't even like them. But I stayed up front and watched my daughter, Reesa, she’s fourteen, cook a few of them, and everything was fine. So I went back to the back to fold clothes. And then I hear all of this commotion, and I hear two words: “Mommy! Fire!”

I took off running up front to put out that fire. And I did. And my son, he’s ten, he took off running. I said, “I guess that means ‘Every man for himself.’” (laughter) But he came back later on with a fire extinguisher—after the fire was out. And he looked at me, and he fell into my chest, and he said. “I'm sorry, Mommy. I'm sorry, Mommy. I'm sorry, Mommy.”

We need pot sticker prayers when the fires of this crazy world begin to consume our life, and Satan takes those fiery darts, and he shoots them at you, and your children say, “I don't believe.” You need to say, “Father! Fire!”

When your children adapt the world's lies and start living like this is truth, you need to scream, “Father! Fire!”

And when the children that maybe you have mentored decide that their life is better without God, we need to learn how to have some pot sticker prayers. And do what? Scream what? “Father! Fire!” Okay?

Our goal in raising children should not be happy kids, safe kids, smart kids, or good citizens. Our goal in raising children is to raise them with a heart for God, to bring glory to Him. We need to show God off. And that's you as a child of the Father. You need to show God off.

Now, we are never too old to do this, and we're never too young.

I live in Franklin, Tennessee, and a girl from Brentwood, Tennessee, decided on her Christmas vacation that she was going to take three weeks of her four weeks and go serve someplace. So she sent out a bunch of emails and stuff trying to ask, “Who would have me come serve with you?” And one place responded.

It was an orphanage in Uganda. And so Katie took three weeks of her Christmas vacation and went and served in Uganda. And I’m going to let Katie tell the rest of her story. [shares video]

Man: Katie Davis Majors always dreamed of having a few kids and a house with a white picket fence. But when she moved to Uganda ten years ago, Katie fell in love with and adopted thirteen girls.

You are head of your class in high school. You could have picked any college in the nation. You were eighteen, and you said, “No, I'm not going to follow the American dream. I'm going to follow God's dream. I'm going to go to Uganda.”

Katie Davis Majors: I had been here for three weeks on Christmas break of my senior year and just really fell in love with the people and their grace and hospitality. I spent a lot of time wrestling and praying about whether or not I should come back after I finished high school and just really felt like God was leading me to come back here.

I didn't have any idea that I would make a home here, but I did decide to commit a year to teaching kindergarten at an orphanage.

As I started asking more questions, it became really apparent that a lot of the children that lived there weren't there because they were orphans, but they were there because their families couldn't pay for their food or couldn’t pay for their education. And so parents would send their kids to the orphanage just so that they would have their basic needs met. And I found that to be really devastating.

Child praying: Dear Jesus, thank You for this day. Thank You for the sunshine and the wind.

Katie: I really just wanted to come alongside these kids and also these families and see if they couldn't live together and still have their basic needs met. I asked a lot of local friends and did some research and found that actually for very little money you could pay for a child's schooling for the whole year.

Through hard things, through suffering God has shown us who He is. He has been present, and He has been near to us. He has been our hope. And He has brought joy in the midst of the most impossible circumstances.

Robyn: She is being fruitful, multiplying, filling the earth and subduing it, and that's what God asks for all of us to do. Whether you have biological children or not, you are not exempt from this. God wants you to be fruitful. Most of us are here because a lady who bore no biological children is being fruitful.

So right now I'm going to ask some of my fruit to come up and the husband of my fruit just to come up.

(laughter) As they’re coming up, I want you to see Katie did all of this in a matter of ten years. And then one day she followed a little boy home, and he went home to the slums of Uganda. And when he got there, he introduced her to his mom, and his mom was making these beads. Katie has another inroad to making fruit and bearing fruit because she’s selling these beads in America.

Guys, you can do this, too. It is not impossible. All of us need to bear fruit. It’s not an option because you don't want your creative purpose to be in vain. Amen?

I've asked Reesa, my fourteen year old, to just say a small prayer for . . I know most of the teens are in that other room, but I’d like Reesa to say a small prayer for the teenagers that they would be on fire for the Lord and bear fruit even if it means as a babysitter or as a nanny or whatever but to bear fruit. So if you have a teenager, would you stand with Reesa as she prays for them?

Reesa: Dear Lord Jesus, I pray for all the teenagers here. I pray that You would help us to bear fruit, and that You would reveal to us the fruit that’s already in our lives, Lord. I pray that we would be good examples to that fruit, and that they would recognize You in us, not just in our words, but through our actions. I pray this in Jesus' name, amen.

Robyn: Amen. Now, you keep standing, because I asked my twenty-two- year-old to say a thirty-second prayer, too. She’s going to pray for the twenty and thirty year olds. So if you have a twenty or thirty year old, or you are twenty or thirty, would you please stand up—with the ladies that are standing for teens, okay?

Daughter: Heavenly Father, I pray for the twenty-somethings, the thirty-somethings, Lord, that You would teach us to die to ourselves in a culture of compromise. I pray that You would teach us to depend on Your truth and Your righteousness in an age of self-justification. I pray that You would teach us the beauty of Your holiness in an aesthetically driven world.

God, I pray that You would raise up courageous women who are on their knees before Your glorious throne, Lord, and that we would boldly proclaim Your gospel because You are worthy, God. Teach us of Your worthiness. We are not our own. Remind us of that. In Jesus' powerful name I pray that, amen.

Robyn: Now, God is not going to call all of us to Uganda, but most of our fruit bearing is going to be right in our own homes. And so I'm just going to ask for Ray to pray.

Ray McKelvy: Would you pray with me?

We're so grateful that we can call You Father. You are great and mighty. You have shown us the way, and it is my prayer that, as Your children, we would follow You, that we wouldn't doubt You, that we would know that bearing fruit is something that You've called us to do.

May the fruit of Christ be ever in our lives and on our lips. Help us to represent You well in this world. And Father, we look forward to that time where we can be with You eternally, but until then, may we be the fruit that You have, that would remain and would stand strong for You. We pray in Jesus' name, amen.

Robyn: Amen.

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