A woodcutter obtained a very old tree that had been removed from a nearby farm. Before stripping the bark, he noticed, high up on the trunk, curious marks on the bark that resembled the letters J L, along with an unusual design. Curious, the woodcutter cut into the wood and was surprised to find the initials J.L. and a ship anchor clearly carved near the core. Based on the number of rings between the original carving and the outer bark, the woodcutter estimated that the letters were originally carved approximately one hundred and ten years earlier.
After making inquiries, he discovered that a sailor named John Leland had visited the very farm from which the tree was cut in the year 1853. Little did Mr. Leland realize that his “art work” would still be visible over a century later!
This incident conveys a valuable message for all Christian parents. While our children are still young and impressionable, it is vital that we take time to acquaint them with the Bible, Jesus Christ, salvation and the Lord’s church. Although this will not guarantee that they will eventually obey the gospel and remain faithful to Christ, it will impact their lives as they grow and mature. More often than not, these early "carvings on the soul" will remain visible for as long as they live.
In a society that is teeming with temptation, immorality, dishonesty and materialism, our children need all the spiritual training possible. Never assume that an hour or two in Bible class each week will suffice. Teach them something about Jesus or the Bible EVERY DAY. It will make a difference for a long time to come!
"From a child you have known the holy scriptures, which are able to make you wise toward salvation through faith which is in Jesus Christ." (2 Tim. 3:15)
Jesus, always Jesus!