Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” Luke 10:20
Our Lord called his disciples away from rejoicing in that which was awful, to fix their joy upon an infinitely better object, their names written in heaven. The victory over the powers of hell was sufficient cause for joy, and Christ did not give an absolute prohibition for it, but we may call it a cautionary limitation. Success in duty is too apt to puff up and cause the danger of spiritual pride. We should not terminate our affections in these things when there is a nobler object for our joy to rest upon. The victory over spirits could be your snare. While they are subject to you in one way, spiritual pride may subject you to them in another, and though you conquer, they will overcome. This can be true of all things below that we may look upon as a matter of joy. If you have all the comfort and prosperity in the world, do not rejoice in this. You may yet die comfortless. If you possess all the comforts in this world, do not rejoice in this, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. Joy in these mercies is not absolutely prohibited, but a higher you is preferred. All of our spiritual blessings come because our names are written in heaven. We have an interest in the electing love of God, and are partakers of the redeeming love of Christ. The Spirit of grace has changed and sanctified us and given us a right to eternal life. We are certainly and distinctly known to God: ‘You only have I known of all the families of the earth’ (Amos 3:2). We are decreed to this by the eternal love of God before the foundation of the world. We are called to it by the preaching of the gospel, and actually enter into it when we are renewed and sanctified by the Holy Spirit. The greatest ground of joy imaginable is to have our names written in heaven.
Many young parents today are beside themselves with anxieties about their children, and, sadly, confusion too about how to nurture them. The ongoing addiction of our times to the heresy of modernity and its proud rejection and ignorance of the tested and tried wisdom of the past, inevitably leads to dysfunction in home and family life. Sadly, the older, wiser counsel of God’s Word, and especially of the book of Proverbs, is unknown or neglected. Yet Proverbs was composed specifically as a manual for home and family instruction, and to prepare us for life in the world. It is a divinely given handbook to help parents.
Proverbs and Ken Wingate following them shows us the way to possess the jewel of all jewels in a well-adorned life: wisdom that is rooted in the knowledge of, and reverential love for, God. Here is true wisdom that will prove to be worth its weight in gold in every age and culture. Ken Wingate now brings it into our needy culture, and I for one am grateful to him for sharing his gift as a father with other fathers and mothers, and sons and daughters too.
Here then is a book for parents to read on their own; for teenagers to read on their own; for parents and teenagers, who are willing to take the family challenge, to read round the table after dinner or on other occasions. It points us to Gods way. It promises us God’s grace. What could be better for us than that?