Uncategorized

30th July

IMG_3255

Christian parenting has eternal weight. Give them Jesus or else the world will grasp them firm. Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

Throughout scripture, God is pretty clear about the responsibility He places in the hands of parents. None is more clear than Deuteronomy 6:6-7 “And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

We have a responsibility as parents to teach our children what matters to God. It doesn’t mean forcing them into a certain set of beliefs or rituals; rather, it means demonstrating real faith-one that puts the focus on loving God and loving others. There is no greater purpose we can have in life than reflecting God’s image for our children to see.

Our children are going to learn about the world around them and their role in it. If they don’t learn from us, they will learn from someone else. It’s our responsibility to use our time with our kids wisely.

When writing to the Ephesians, Paul encourages the church to be “followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.” Ephesians 5:1-2. That encourages me and reminds me of how I’m supposed to live and love. But, it also reminds me that my children are in my care and looking for my example. Our children imitate us. They learn how to act by seeing how we act. They’ll only know love by seeing how we love.

It’s not likely that Proverbs 22:6 is a guarantee of success for committed, Christ-following parents. But, it is important to recognize the truth the verse contains. God has given us an incredible responsibility by placing children in our care. The family is a primary mechanism God uses to grow His kingdom and grow His people. As a result, it’s our duty to teach our children about God. We are in an influential position, and what we do today will matter in our kids’ lives tomorrow.

Uncategorized

24th July

IMG_3159

When Tragedy Strikes. A few days ago, a young man who graduated in the same high school class as my son, passed away suddenly. The unimaginably to all who knew him and loved him. My heart aches for his grieving parents and brother especially. He was such a great kid with a whole future in front of him.

When this type of pain and tragedy happens many of us ask the question, “Why did God allow this?” There are no words to describe the anguish that many suffer over tragedies, and answers to important questions like the one above seem difficult to find.

We do not have an answer since we do not know God’s mind, or see things through His eyes. We are told in 1 Corinthians 13:12 “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” that all we know is “partial and incomplete,” with the promise that, as Believers, we will one day know everything completely.

God is merciful and loving. And even when He allows tragedy to enter our lives or the lives of those we care about and love, we should always find comfort in knowing that God is also grieving in our pain.

In times of tragedy, one of the most comforting verses of the Bible is the very shortest verse. It simply says in John 11:35 “Jesus wept.” Those two words remind us that our Savior isn’t a cold-hearted cosmic judge disconnected from our pain. He’s a loving Father and Friend who is walking with us and even carrying us through life’s most difficult pain. Jesus also said in Hebrews 13:5, “I will never leave thee, or forsake thee.”

If you’re going through a time of tragedy, please don’t lose hope. God is with you, He is for you and He will never leave your side. The arms of the universe are embracing you. He will carry you through.

Psalm 40:1 “I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.”

 

Uncategorized

June 24th

IMG_2705

Leave Behind The Past. Philippians 3:13-14 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

Spiritual bumps and bruises, inner aches and pains that just don’t seem to go away. Most all of us know what it’s like to suffer from them but too few of us know just what to do about them.

We limp along, hoping somehow those hidden wounds will magically stop hurting, thinking that maybe (with a little extra sleep or an extra helping of dessert) that nagging sense of depression will finally disappear.

But does it ever happen that way? No! The healing of a bruised and beaten spirit, however, doesn’t come that easily. In fact, the passing of time often worsens this condition. The reason is this: instead of putting painful failures behind us, we often dwell on them until those failures become more real to us than the promises of God. We focus on them until we become bogged down in depression, frozen in our tracts by the fear that if we go on, we’ll only fall again.

Purposely meditate on the Word of God. Replace thoughts of the past with scriptural promises about your future and be diligent about it. Then, instead of being a wounded soldier, you’ll become the conquering warrior God made you to be. (K Copeland)

Uncategorized

June 21st

IMG_2692

What about the small stuff? Zechariah 4:10 “For who hath despised the day of small things?  for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet of the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth.”

What small things have you seen God use?

Small numbers. Jonathon told his armor-bearer, 1 Samuel 14:6 “And Jonathon said to the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised: it may be that the Lord will work for us: for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few.” , that is makes little difference to God whether He saves by the few or the many. Good reminder. You and I know small churches that feel they can’t do anything because their members are few in number. Not so.

Small people. The Apostle Paul suggested in 1 Corinthians 1:26 “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called” , that the members of the church look around. They would see not many celebrities, not many people the world acclaims as great or mighty or rich or gifted. God chose to use the nobodies of the world.

Small gifts. No one illustrates this better than the boy who gave his lunch to Jesus and ended up feeding five thousand John 6:9 “There is a lad here, which hath five barley loaves, and two small fishes: but what are they among so many?” or the widow who dropped her two coins into the offering and went on her way Mark 12:42 “And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing.”  Neither had any way of knowing what this meant to the Lord or that we would still be talking about them 2,000 years later.

Small moments. You prayed a prayer of commitment. You said “I do” at the altar. You decided to start reading your Bible. You went next door and invited your neighbor to church.

God loves to use small things. The thrust of what follows, however, is the implication of that for us. Mark it down in big letters and underscore it, the fact that God delights in using nothings and nobodies means a great deal to his children.

When Gabriel told the teenage Mary of God’s plan for her, he had to strengthen her faith. He said, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” Luke 1:37 We all need that reminder from time to time.

Uncategorized

June 15th

IMG_2517

God is My Spinach. “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM That sent me unto you.” Exodus 3:14

Psalm 139:13-14 “For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.”

When Popeye was confronted with difficult situations he would state “I yam what I yam?” gulp down his spinach and defend right!

We are not all Popeyes and we are expected to conform, often to standards below those of our Christian faith and may face difficulties if we do not. It is necessary to understand who we are, what we are and keep the Lord in our daily lives. We need our “spinach”.

If there was a right way to be, how would some of the prophets or John the Baptist fit in with the rest of their society? Probably not too well at times. The truth is you are you. You are who God created you to be. He wants you to know who you are and understand your unique characteristics. You were created by God and then the mold was broken. No one else is exactly like you.

You are unique. You are special and it is all right to be you. Don’t let others shape you. That is God’s task He started with you, he will finish with you and he will be with you. He is our spinach.

Let us search for the person that God wants us to be so that we may serve him better.

Heavenly Father, as we travel through our weekly chores, we need to see a way to help You. We often lose track of your plan. Sometimes we are too busy and do not understand it. Today we pray that each of us may find a better way to serve You. (pickering)