I’m at the stage of life where I am resisting listening to Radio 4 and have made the – what some may call – terrible decision of having Classic FM on in the car. Middle age is cruel. It’s the growing realisation that you are becoming your father. One of the great frustrations in life is commercial radio adverts, there can’t be a human being on earth that enjoys them.
Having said that, last week I was driving and heard an advert for Life Insurance. It was so good I stopped the car and wrote it down. “What do you want for your children?’ Health, Happiness and Security.” Middle aged parents all over the country can relate to it and buy into it.
It perfectly analyses the culture for people at my stage of life.Yet for the Christian, we’ve got better hopes, better aspirations, better dreams. The reality is no life insurance policy can guarantee your children Health, Happiness and Security. What the world is so wanting for it’s children – the gospel of Jesus Christ provides.
True health and true prosperity is given to us in the gospel. Ultimately for those who trust in the Lord Jesus Chris they will be well, there will be healing. According to Psalm 1 – “Blessed is the man, who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers.” The health that your children and you are looking for is found in loving and embracing the word of God.
We believe ultimately in a true and eternal prosperity gospel and ultimately “the dwelling placeof God will be with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people ,and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.” (Revelation 21)
When it comes to happiness we know as Christians that “solid joys and lasting treasures, none but Zion’s children know“. The Psalmist can write, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.” The world dazzles us and the devil tempts us, our own flesh wants us to believe the lie that happiness can be found away from God, other than God. Moses saw that there was pleasure in sin but it was fleeting. By Faith he recognised that true joy and reward was found in living for Christ. It meant being mistreated with the people of God but it was there that there was true reward and joy. The Christian life is to be one of “serving the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100:2). Our churches need to be characterised by joy; to scream to our children ‘the happiest life is a life of living for Jesus’.
As for security, it is the utter madness and control freakery of our age that thinks we can stay secure and somehow transfer that to our children. The gospel takes us out of ourselves and our efforts and places us in Christ where there is total security. “For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:38-39). There can be no security in a world which is so uncertain ,where I can’t even control what happens today let alone the future. In Christ I can live because I am secure in his hand and no one can snatch me from his hand. As we bring up our children we can encourage them: give yourself away for the Lord Jesus and that is where true security lies. Or as Jesus put it, “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.” (Matt 16:25)
Health, happiness, and security for you and your children can only be found in Jesus.