Monthly Archives: July 2013

38 posts

The unholy trinity of sensual desire

You remember Jonadab. He was the opportunistic enabler of Amnon’s sensual cravings for Tamar. Today, Jonadab would have earned a rich living on Madison Avenue. He was intimately familiar with the unholy trinity of youthful passions: You can have it. You deserve it. Do what it takes to get it now. This is the formula of TV commercials aimed at youth. They offer fast food, beer, cars, clothing, and safe sex all all nicely packaged in the self-serving phrase of drink responsibly. Paul was also aware of this unholy trinity when he warned a young Timothy to flee youthful passions. Sin’s deceitfulness particularly targets teenagers  and young people. Jonadab, in 2 Samuel 13, addressed the youthful lusts of Amnon. Amnon’s […]

Beware of Snapshots

No, this post is not a warning against taking pictures. But if you understand the dynamics of still a photograph, a snapshot, you will learn a valuable life lesson. A snapshot records a moment in time. You don’t know what came before the photo and you don’t know what happened after the photo was taken. You also are not aware of what the photographer chose not to show you in the picture. With a snapshot all you have is a frozen moment in time that may appear to have a meaning that is radically different from the actual situation. What about the life lesson? Well, if you just met someone, you may be able to say a lot about that […]

Christ and your children’s world

Your children will live in a very different world than the one that greeted you when you were twenty-one. It is a world that views public opinion as its moral compass. The media  interprets the changing winds of the public polls. Personal fulfillment (read lust) is the engine that drives the culture you children will inhabit. Biblical Christianity is equated with hatred in this world. While God the Father, God the Holy Spirit, the Bible, and church are easily dismissed, Jesus Christ, the Savior, is a real problem in your children’s world. The very person of Christ means that redemption is necessary and yet, it beyond our reach. Some embrace the theme of the Linkin Park hit, “What I’ve done.” […]

Thought for the Lord’s Day

Worship – it is not your idea If God did not command us to worship him we would not worship him. But it goes deeper than that. Mankind was designed to worship. From the beginning man was to subdue the earth and occupy it for God’s glory. Worship is built into us as creatures. We can’t help but worship. So, there really is no way worship can be credited to us. Since the fall, we must be careful what we worship. Sin deceives us and entices us to worship anyone or anything but God. Worship is all around us. People, worship false gods, idols, other people, musicians, sports starts, prized possessions, even themselves. Some go so far as to worship […]

Introducing your children’s world

Children growing into adulthood encounter a seductive yet hostile world. They will enter a world which has written off the bible.  And any God who would be connected with the Bible is immediately viewed as a hateful bigot. The Bible itself has been ruled irrelevant, largely because of its teaching on sexual activity and marriage. Modern culture has unceremoniously moved on from the Bible and its views of morality. Three “modern” replacements have been found to succeed the supposed outdated structure of biblical Christianity. Here are the replacements: Public opinion has assumed the role of Scripture and the Holy Spirit. The media has replaced the preacher / pastor as the one who interprets and then instructs us about how to […]

Worry, Panic, Scheming

When you are led by fleshly desires instead of spiritual ones, peace does not follow. Your son eats some of the cookies that were just baked for dessert. His momentary enjoyment is quickly replaced by the fear out of being found out. The scheming begins. Since he took the shortcut of instant gratification, now he must look for a scheme to avoid the consequences of acting on his desires rather than obeying Mom and loving God. So, the flesh hatches a plan. He puts the cookie plate on the floor, calls the dog in from outside and shows him the plate. Then he runs to tell Mom that the dog knocked the plate off the counter and ate the cookies. When […]

The tyranny of the immediate – part 2

Immediate gratification comes with a built in set of blinders as standard equipment. If what we want is what we want and we must have it now then there is little or no thought given to the impact of the pursuit of immediate gratification. David gave no thought to what would happen after he had Bathsheba. Amnon could focus only on Tamar and never stopped to think that his lust would cost him his life. Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, thought only of the acclamation they would receive from people and thought nothing of lying to the Holy Spirit. These individuals thought only of their immediate cravings. But the desire for instant gratification also comes with a set of blinders […]

The tyranny of the immediate

Immediate gratification is one of Satan’s most effective weapons. This desire for the immediate is based on two lies. The first is that having what I want will be satisfying and the second is nothing bad will happen if I get what I want. This is one way sin works in the lives of your children. If your children believe the lie that getting instant relief from their discomfort or discontent is ultimate, then they are bound by the power of sin. This pattern, if not stopped, will result in a life dominated by the desire for immediate gratification. When you hear your child whine, you are hearing a child who has been deceived into thinking that life will be […]

Tedd Tripp on Manipulation

The following brief excerpt is from Instructing a Child’s Heart, by Tedd & Margy Tripp. Parents I urge you to carefully consider the wisdom of these words! In a biblical vision, the basis for ethical decisions is the being, existence and glory of God. Biblical ethics reasons, “There is a God who has made me and all things. He tells me what to do for my good and his glory.” The basis for ethical choices in behaviorism is pragmatic. Parents want a certain outcome of behavior, and children learn to choose their behavior based on punishment or reward. When God responds to his children’s behavior, he too is concerned about their actions. But more than that, God is concerned with […]