I have parented / am parenting four children. There have been exhausting seasons like when they were 8, 3, 1, and newborn. I was tired, I have very few memories of that time. There have been chaotic seasons like when they were 13, 8, 5, and 3. Going to small group with out my kids saved my life. My children all got saved at early ages, the average between them was 5 years old. I was tickled, we celebrated that life choice, and then tried to guide them through what that meant. I am now in a season of prayer for my older kids that they will see that choice they made so long ago….it does come with strings, it is a surrendering of a life to Christ. When your children are little… that seems simple, bible school and camp , songs about the power in the blood, and it feels like it is all still in your hands as the parent.. It is not a one and done my little babies. A life of surrender breaks down into daily surrender, and the good news is there will be evidence. God is so scientific ! He created science, he would not leave us with out proof of life in him. That , to me is an AHA moment. The proof is in the fruit you bear. So child like and simple. In this season , I am reminded of these things, because now that they are 21, 16, 14, and 12…the fruit that is growing on my tree isn’t always fruit of the spirit, sometimes its less than patient, and less than kind. And so , this too is an exhausting season, but for different reasons. They think they know everything, literally. I will end this sermon with this thought…Some of today’s youth are blinded by the message of GRACE ( I love grace, it is a gift and that is my love language, so thankful for God’s Grace) But hear this, IF YOU DON’T KNOW HIM,( JESUS CHRIST), GRACE and all its loveliness , isn’t yours. If you know him, you will bear fruit that is sweet and good, you will exhibit self control, and patience…or at least try to. The job of parenting never ends, as far as I can tell. And I would be doing my kids a disservice if I pretended that at 5 years old they could fully understand what a life surrendered to Christ meant. But at 21, 16, 14, and 12 they should have a pretty good idea what it looks like. I should apologize for the preachiness of this post, but I won’t because it has been weighing so heavily on me, and we have had numerous conversations about it at home, some things have to be said. If you want all that Jesus is offering, grace and mercy….KINGDOME LIFE, you have to KNOW him. When the wind blows, and the storms of life rage, what kind of fruit falls off your tree?