These are notes on the sermon, Fresh Truths For Parenting Today, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, March 3, 2024, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!

This sermon will be available for free as a Gospel Partner episode on March 21, 2024. You can get access to this sermon now through a Gospel Partner subscription or simply purchase the sermon.

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Overview

1. God wants the best for our young ones
2. Get them saved and resurrected from the dead spiritually
3. Embrace your child with the gift of righteousness
4. Cultivate your child’s taste for the things of God
5. Put God first and be led by His rhythm of rest
6. Prioritize the Lord’s Day

God wants the best for our young ones

This sermon is a continuation of the first sermon of the year, Break The Cycle Of Misfortune.

In this Year of Living in the Upper Room, it’s important that we continue to study and be established in truths about the upper room. The upper room is a significant place for us believers because it was where our Lord Jesus, just before He went to the cross, shared many new covenant truths that continue to strengthen and guide us, especially in these last days.

Similarly, in another upper room in Troas, where Paul was visiting and fellowshiping with the believers there, we can learn several important truths. One of which is how we can reach out to and save our young people.

“Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight. There were many lamps in the upper room where they were gathered together. And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus (fortunate, prosperous), who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing him said, ‘Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him.’”
—Acts 20:7–10 NKJV

In this story, a young man named Eutychus fell to his death while Paul was preaching. Here, the upper room is a picture of the local church, the gathering of believers. And Eutychus, which means “fortunate” or “prosperous” in Greek, is a picture of our young generation today.

This story highlights the state of the church today. We’ve lost our good fortune (as compared to the days of the early church) because we’ve forgotten about the younger generation and strayed from Paul’s revelations and teachings, which we are to receive “not as the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which also effectively works in you who believe” (1 Thess. 2:13).

Even though youths today have greater access to technology and resources than any other generation, they are not as happy as we think they would be. In fact, more and more young people are feeling isolated and hopeless, and facing mental health issues such as depression to the point of wanting to take their own lives.

Many of them are searching for answers. Eutychus looking out of the window is a picture of the young generation looking out into the world for answers. Yet, the world, with all its advances and pleasures, cannot provide the answers they are searching for. Only our Lord Jesus can.

Whether you are a parent, a grandparent, a mentor to a young person, or a youth leader, the best way you can help the younger generation is to point them to our Lord Jesus and His Word. Once they are connected to the source of abundant life (John 10:10) and all that the Lord wants to do for and through them, then they will find their true purpose and destiny in life.

Our children are very dear to God’s heart. His desire is for them to flourish, to live strong, and to live healthy. And He has provided answers for us in His Word to address the troubles we see among the younger generation today.

“Now all these things happened to them as examples (tupos or types), and they were written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.”
—1 Corinthians 10:11 NKJV

The stories and events that have happened in the Bible were orchestrated by God for us to have types and examples to learn from today. In this sermon, Pastor Prince shared 3 different examples to draw out principles for parenting today. These are powerful truths that can resurrect the dead areas we see in our children’s lives and make them come alive to the things of God!

Get them saved and resurrected from the dead spiritually

First and foremost is the salvation of our children. We were all originally dead spiritually, but when we receive Christ, believe on Him and all that He has done for us at the cross, we are resurrected from being spiritually dead. Now, there is no salvation by proxy. We all, children included, must make this decision to receive Christ and be born again.

As parents, more than just providing the best for our children materially, praying for and leading our children to salvation is our most important responsibility and greatest privilege. The Bible tells us that it is pointless to gain everything but lose our souls (Matt. 16:26). So even if a child becomes the greatest athlete, tops the Mensa test, or aces all his exams, but is not born again, then ultimately, he is still lost and will miss out on God’s best for him. The true abundant life is one with Christ in it!

Embrace your child with the gift of righteousness

“And in a window sat a certain young man named Eutychus (fortunate, prosperous), who was sinking into a deep sleep. He was overcome by sleep; and as Paul continued speaking, he fell down from the third story and was taken up dead. But Paul went down, fell on him, and embracing him said, ‘Do not trouble yourselves, for his life is in him.’ Now when he had come up, had broken bread and eaten, and talked a long while, even till daybreak, he departed. And they brought the young man in alive, and they were not a little comforted.”
—Acts 20:9–12 NKJV

Back in Acts 20, after Eutychus fell 3 stories to his death, Paul’s first response was to embrace him, followed by partaking of the holy Communion. And with that embrace and covenant meal to remember the Lord’s finished work on the cross, Eutychus was resurrected.

In the same way, if there are any dead areas we see in our children’s lives today, whether it’s in the area of their mental health, a bondage, or even in their relationship with us, we can experience resurrection and restoration in these areas when we embrace them with Paul’s revelations and teachings that are grounded in the Lord’s finished work.

In a world where they are constantly bombarded by very divergent views, opinions, and identity politics, our children are desperate to know who they really are and where they really stand. And as parents, we can embrace and remind them of their true identities in Christ—that they are the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21).

“For if by one man's offense death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.”
—Romans 5:17 KJV

Our children need to know that they are already righteous in Christ and that this righteousness is a gift freely given to them by God. The more they are established in their identities in Christ and receive the abundance of grace, the more they will reign in life! This includes reigning over sickness, depression, bad habits, or any area of defeat.

While this story of Paul resurrecting Eutychus shows us the spiritual importance of embracing our children with grace, there are also other benefits to us physically embracing our children! Pastor Prince encourages us to find time to hug our children every day.

Parents, your hug means so much to your children! It might not come naturally to you or seem like much, but more than what we can teach them with our words, our embrace shows them that they are loved regardless of what they are going through. It could even lift them up from their doldrums. In fact, research has shown that hugging our loved ones releases oxytocin, a hormone that can help repair the heart and also heal negative feelings such as loneliness and anger. So, make it a point to hug them regularly!

Cultivate your child’s taste for the things of God

“Now it happened after these things that the son of the woman who owned the house became sick. And his sickness was so serious that there was no breath left in him. So she said to Elijah, ‘What have I to do with you, O man of God? Have you come to me to bring my sin to remembrance, and to kill my son?’ And he said to her, ‘Give me your son.’ So he took him out of her arms and carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his own bed. . . . And he stretched himself out on the child three times, and cried out to the LORD and said, ‘O LORD my God, I pray, let this child’s soul come back to him.’ Then the LORD heard the voice of Elijah; and the soul of the child came back to him, and he revived. And Elijah took the child and brought him down from the upper room into the house, and gave him to his mother. And Elijah said, ‘See, your son lives!’”
—1 Kings 17:17–19, 21–23 NKJV

In this story, Elijah resurrected a young boy who had died from sickness. Notice what the prophet did before the boy was raised from the dead. He first laid the boy on his own (Elijah’s) bed. Then he stretched himself out on the child. What raised the boy from the dead was the anointing of God that was upon Elijah and his bed.

The principle here is for us to sandwich our children with the anointing of God and surround them with grace. This could mean playing sermons or worship/praise songs when you pick them up from school, praying together with them, or surrounding them with the Word of God. Pastor Prince shared a personal example of how he would ask his son, Justin, to pray in tongues together with him when he picked Justin up from school and taught Justin to pray in tongues whenever he feels stressed or anxious in school.

“But my child doesn’t like to come to church . . .”

Beloved, exercise your leadership and authority as a parent! As long as your children are under your care and provision, you have a voice in their lives. Make it a point to bring them to church! Create habits that will give them a taste of our Lord Jesus and trust the Lord to work in their lives!

Don’t be afraid that you will upset them by going against their likes and dislikes. On the contrary, our children want their parents to parent them. They desire to see us lead them. In the future, they will appreciate the firm decisions you make now regarding their walk with the Lord.

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.”
—Proverbs 22:6 NKJV

in the way he should go”—The Hebrew word peh, which means “mouth,” occurs here. The mouth speaks of taste. The things that we let our children taste from a young age will not depart from them. Be intentional to cultivate their taste for the things of God! Do not take it for granted that they will receive Christ with time just because they were born into a Christian family. Even if some of our children might not seem interested now, years down the road, they will remember and return to the things of God.

Put God first and be led by His rhythm of rest

“‘Please, let us make a small upper room on the wall; and let us put a bed for him there, and a table and a chair and a lampstand; so it will be, whenever he comes to us, he can turn in there.’ And it happened one day that he came there, and he turned in to the upper room and lay down there. . . . So he said, ‘Call her.’ When he had called her, she stood in the doorway. Then he said, ‘About this time next year you shall embrace a son.’ And she said, ‘No, my lord. Man of God, do not lie to your maidservant!’ But the woman conceived, and bore a son when the appointed time had come, of which Elisha had told her. . . . And he [the child] said to his father, ‘My head, my head!’ So he said to a servant, ‘Carry him to his mother.’ When he had taken him and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. And she went up and laid him on the bed of the man of God, shut the door upon him, and went out. . . . When Elisha came into the house, there was the child, lying dead on his bed. He went in therefore, shut the door behind the two of them, and prayed to the LORD. And he went up and lay on the child, and put his mouth on his mouth, his eyes on his eyes, and his hands on his hands; and he stretched himself out on the child, and the flesh of the child became warm. He returned and walked back and forth in the house, and again went up and stretched himself out on him; then the child sneezed seven times, and the child opened his eyes.”
—2 Kings 4:10–11, 15–17, 19–21, 32–35 NKJV

In this third example, the miracle child that Elisha had prophesied for a couple who had been barren for many years died unexpectedly in his mother’s arms. Even though the mother was devastated, she did something interesting: she carried her child up to the upper room that she had prepared for Elisha, laid him on Elisha’s bed, and rushed to where Elisha was at Mount Carmel, a 5- to 6-hour donkey ride (20-mile journey) from Shunem.

The mother laying her son on the prophet’s bed is a picture of her putting him in a place of rest while she went to entreat Elisha to save her son. Today, the Lord wants us to parent our children with a posture of rest.

Many a time, we, as parents subconsciously make our children the center of our lives. Out of love for them, we become overprotective and overly worried for their well-being. But this might just work against us and our children by opening up an area in our lives for the devil to attack.

Pastor Prince shared how when his daughter, Jessica, was young, he used to worry all the time about her falling ill. As she was his first child, his life just subconsciously revolved around her. In his moment of helplessness and worry, the Lord revealed to Pastor Prince how his overprotectiveness and fearful concern for Jessica was “squeezing” or “choking” God’s supply of protection and healing into her life. Pastor Prince realized that the best way to love his daughter was to refocus on Jesus as the center of his life and let the Lord look after Jessica.

This does not mean that we do not love our children or are irresponsible; we do what we need to for them but we do not let them take center stage in our lives, because that place rightfully belongs to the Lord. Whatever concerns we might have about our children, the Lord wants us to let them go into His hands. The more we let go, the more we will see His supply flow!

Prioritize the Lord’s Day

In all three examples discussed so far, we see the resurrection of a young person in an upper room. These examples show us God’s heart for the young generation and how resurrection happens in the upper room, a picture of the church! Beloved, be expectant for a resurrection of dead things in your and your children’s lives as you prioritize going to church this year!

In addition to seeing the Lord’s resurrection power work in our lives, there are also many other blessings we will get to enjoy as we gather together with other fellow believers! Let’s take a look at these verses:

“But my horn You have exalted like a wild ox; I have been anointed with fresh oil. The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing.”
—Psalm 92:10, 12–14 NKJV

Psalm 92 is a psalm for the Sabbath, a day of rest for the Jews, which today corresponds to the Lord’s Day for new covenant believers. Our week begins on Sunday, a day of rest, before we step into the work week on Monday. This verse tells us that when we gather together on the Lord’s Day, we receive fresh anointing for the week. When we have the Lord’s anointing within and upon us, it makes everything we do smooth and easy. We find that there is an effortless ease, whether it’s in the area of our parenting, business, work, or family.

Not only that, when we are planted in the house of God, we will flourish, live strong and healthy, and even be fruitful when we are advanced in years. These are blessings that we all want, not just for ourselves, but also for our children. So help them to be planted in church! Help them prioritize the Lord’s Day and the Lord’s house.

One way we can do that is by helping them see the practical benefits of being planted in a godly community. The world might paint them a picture that says Christians tend to “lose out,” but we can paint a new vision for them to see that the church is a place where they can expect great things to happen to and for them.

In Daniel 1, though Daniel and his friends were captives in a foreign land, we see how they had ten times more wisdom than everyone else because they prioritized and honored the Lord. The world might offer a lot of knowledge, but it takes wisdom to know how to apply the knowledge we have access to. And wisdom is something that we can find only in God’s Word and in the house of God!

So beloved, the more we embrace our children with grace, surround them with God’s Word, and help them see the practical benefits of being planted in church, the more they will come alive to the things of God and walk in the abundant life that our Lord Jesus has prepared for them!

We hope these sermon notes blessed you! If they did, we encourage you to get the sermon and allow the Lord to speak to you personally as you watch or listen to it.

© Copyright JosephPrince.com 2024
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.

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