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If we want our children to be passionate for God then we must be on fire for God. If we want our youth to be flowing in the revival, then it's important that Mom and Dad flow in the revival and that you attend a church that is flowing in revival.

I believe that the church and home are the most powerful influences in the lives of our children; if their parents and their church are on fire for God, then they will be too.

A Tale Of My Own
This was true in my own family. My father was a good, hardworking man, but he was married and divorced three times. Yet I'm a believer today because my dad got saved when I was 16 years old.

I was a junior in high school, I had hair down past my shoulders, and I was very much involved in the drug scene of the seventies.

My junior year in high school was the worst year of my life.

In the fall of that year (1975), I was arrested for selling drugs. My friend and I were handcuffed, read our rights, and taken to the police station. They gave me a phone to call my parents. On the telephone where the phone number was supposed to be it said, "Good-bye, suckers."

My father came to pick me up, and he was not very happy.

A few months later, my friends and I were skipping classes and getting drunk. I was driving my car in front of our high school, trying to show off. I took a turn pretty fast and lost control of my car and hit a tree—which snapped when the car hit it.

My friend and I both went through the windshield and almost killed ourselves. The security guard, who watched the high school parking lot, said to me, "You're a very lucky young man. If the tree had not snapped, you would have been dead."

The Day My Father Changed
It was during this time, in the spring of 1976, that my brothers and I came home from school and found my dad home early from work. (I had three brothers who were just like me.) My dad said to us, "Boys, I want to talk to you."

We all sat down in the living room wondering what was up. Immediately, I thought my dad hand found some of my drugs or something. But instead of chewing us out, Dad began to read from John chapter nine about the man who was born blind.

This was strange. I couldn't remember my dad ever reading from the Bible. After telling us the story of how Jesus healed the blind man, he closed his Bible and said, "Boys, I want to tell you something. I believe that Jesus still heals today, and I want you to know that God has healed my back." (My dad had had a bad back for years.)

My brothers and I looked at one another. We thought, "Our dad has flipped his lid!" My father went on to tell us his testimony.

My dad was a stockbroker. He was at his office and a total stranger came in and said, "God told me to come in here and sell my stock." At the end of their conversation, she asked my dad, "Is there anything I can pray with you about?" My father replied, "I've had a bad back for years." She prayed for my dad's back and left.

Shortly after she left, my father felt this warm glow in his back. The heat became so intense that he could not concentrate anymore, so he left work and came home.

To make a long story short, God healed my dad's back and my dad got saved.

One Thing Led To Another
He began to go to church every Sunday. One Sunday he asked me to come along with him. It was wild! People were clapping and shouting. They would lift their hands during worship, speak in tongues and prophesy.

There has been a lot of emphasis recently about being "seeker-sensitive" in churches and not offending the unbeliever, but what got my attention was that this church was weird.

I had never seen anything like it and even though I was uncomfortable, I could tell that these people were sincere and that they loved God.

I Had A New Dad
It took a while, but six months later, I followed my dad into revival. I was born again on September 12, 1976. The thing that got my attention more than anything else was that I watched my Dad change right before my very eyes. I had a new dad.

My father was not the perfect father. He did a lot of things right and a lot of things wrong, but he did do the one thing right that really mattered. He got saved and filled with the Holy Ghost, and he fell in love with Jesus Christ.

More than anything else I serve God today because of my father.

I heard it said to men that the best thing you can do for your children is to love your wife. I almost agree with that statement; however, I believe that the best things you can do for your children is to be passionately in love with Jesus Christ and express that love in a way that is visible to your kids.

This is why I believe that it is so important that families worship together at church and at home.

My point is this, Mom and Dad, you don't have to be perfect. Your kids, especially if they are teenagers, know that you aren't perfect, but if you are in love with Jesus, they will be in love with Jesus. If you are excited about church, they will be excited about church. If you are on fire for God, they will be on fire for God.

Source: Children And The Holy Spirit by Mark Harper
Excerpt permission granted by Living Word Christian Center

Author Biography

Mark Harper
Web site: Mark Harper Ministries
Pastor and Leadership Coach, Mark Harper has 35 years of experience in the local church. He is the creator of the Super Church 2.0 Curriculum, which is used in over 5,000 churches worldwide. The focus of Mark's ministry is helping leaders build strong churches and helping parents build strong families. Not only has Mark served in the local church as pastor, associate pastor, and family ministry pastor but he is also a certified coach with the John Maxwell Team. He also recently released the Amazon Best Selling book The Red Book: The Lifeblood of Children's Ministry.

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