Thursday, July 19, 2012
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If the flight attendant were ever to become incapacitated on a flight I'm on while she's giving those safety instructions, I think I'd be able to step right up and take over! I mean, I know the routine by heart after hearing it so many times over the years.
Of course those flight instructions are more interesting with the video they supply. I like the part where the little yellow oxygen mask drops down and they show you what to do if the cabin pressure suddenly goes down. I've noticed in the dramatization that the people are wonderfully calm. Have you ever noticed that? No one is screaming, no one's yelling, "We're going to crash!"
But no problem; they're calm as they quietly put on their masks. But that's good. And the video shows a mother putting the mask on herself first, and then reaching over and giving it to her little girl and affixing it to her mouth. Well, the instructions go like this, "If the cabin pressure drops, put the oxygen on your face first, and then even though you might want to take care of your child first, take care of yourself so you're strong enough to help them." To give a child breath, you first have to take a breath of your own.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "First, Breathe It Yourself."
I hear from a lot of parents something like this, "My son or daughter is having a serious problem, Ron. Could you help my child?" In essence they're saying, "Could you help me get the mask on them? They need some oxygen; they need some help, and I need to get that mask on them." You know, many times the child's weakness or problem turns out to be a mirror of the parents' weakness or problem.
Our word for today from the Word of God talks about family sins that are these ugly hand-me-downs that grandfathers have, then the father learns to have it, and then his son learns to act that way. Then there's hope. Listen, 1 Peter 1:18 - "You were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers with the precious blood of Christ."
Empty ways of life have been passed from generation to generation. Every family has them, and those family sins continue from generation to generation. Maybe you see a harsh, critical tongue or spirit developing in them, and you hate it because you look in the mirror and you know you've got it. Maybe they've got an addictive personality or they've got a tendency to cheat on the truth, and it's the problem that frustrates you in yourself. And now it's mirrored in them.
The good news in this verse is the words, "You were redeemed." You can break that cycle; it doesn't have to be the way it's always been. But you've got to take the oxygen for yourself first. You've got to be redeemed from that empty way of life. You can't help your child with that problem until you have breathed the oxygen.
You need to turn Jesus Christ loose on that besetting sin; that family sin. Begin to win some daily victories. And if you lose one day, then just let it be one day. Make a daily rebound. And try acknowledging your struggle with that weakness to your family; ask for their prayers; let them know that you know you shouldn't be that way. Ask for their help. And then you can say, "You know, I think you may be struggling and having a hard time breathing in the same area I am, and it's probably because you learned it from me. Here, breathe what I'm breathing - the redeeming power of Jesus Christ."
Have you ever unleashed that power in your life? Jesus has the power to break the hold of every sin you've ever struggled with. Because it took His cross to break that power. And when He died on the cross, He paid the penalty for your sin, and He broke the power of that sin. And those who have experienced what the blood of Christ was shed to do, know what it is to experience this truth from Jesus: "If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed."
And then, liberated by Him, you can pass that freedom on to your son or daughter. Our website is all about beginning this redeeming relationship with Jesus. I hope you'll check it out today - YoursForLife.net.
The biggest single answer for your child's weakness is to let Christ transform that weakness in you. He has redeeming grace for your son, for your daughter. But first, breathe it yourself.