Monthly Archives: September 2015

22 posts

Obedience is your reward

Obedience is not something I use to gain a reward – obedience itself is my reward. Just as I cannot make myself more acceptable to God by my obedience, neither do I want my children to think that I will be more accepting of them because of their obedience. When children disobey, the solution should not be to do better next time. The solution is to to trust Christ for the strength to do what cannot be done in one’s own strength. Training your children to be obedient is not about getting them to do what you want them to do. It is about teaching them to honor God from their hearts. Biblical obedience acknowledges the weakness of the flesh […]

Confronting and controlling your fears

Whatever fears you struggle with, consider them in the light of Romans 8. There is no fear that you have that cannot be conquered by God’s power at work in you!  The greatest fear anyone can have is the condemnation of God. But in Christ, there is no condemnation. Confront your fear with this truth. You do not have to be controlled by fear. Apply the teaching of this wonderful chapter to help you be controlled by the Spirit of God and his word. Here is a brief application from Romans 8 that encourages you not to be controlled by fear. Christians need not fear condemnation. verse 1 Christians are not controlled by the flesh but by the Holy Spirit. […]

Worship is a heart issue

God is not interested in sharing heart space with anyone or anything other than himself. A heart where the splendor of God shares space with the worries of life is a divided heart. God commands that his music is to play in your heart. Colossians 3:16 is not a suggestion, it is a command.  Ignoring this command is just as destructive as ignoring the command not to steal. When you engage in corporate worship, when you engage in day-to-day worship the word of Christ is to dominate your heart. His music is to lead you to gratitude for his constant mercy. So, if you find that God is distant to you, in whatever the circumstance, ask yourself this question. Whose […]

The gospel matters for your eleven-year-old

Your eleven-year-old hears things. Your daughter sees the constant allure of commercials.  She hears the taunts and the temptations of the schoolyard. She feels an inner dread growing out of her many fears. She knows the darkness personally from the fears and brokenness caused by her own sin. She also knows of the darkness from the ugliness of the world around her.  Whatever the source, she has seen and experienced the attacks of the kingdom of darkness. She was born a slave to this darkness. The good news is that Jesus is able to rescue her from darkness. Your daughter needs the comfort of knowing the grace of the gospel matters for her! The world offers alternatives to the gospel. […]

Emotions and your children

In the wisdom literature of the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit has provided you with a guide book for understanding emotions. Biblically, emotions can be thought of as the first responders of the heart. If the heart is good and well-guarded emotions can work for us, not against us. If the heart is not guarded then emotions can bring much damage. This is why Solomon is adamant that the heart be guarded above all else (Proverbs 4:23). The book of Job tells us right away the value of emotions. We read that Job feared the Lord and shunned evil. His strong emotional fear of God protected him from evil. This is the same emotional response that protected Joseph when he […]

Fall, your children and the God of colors

God provides constant evidence of his greatness and power. For example, today is the first full day of fall, the beginning of another season. God has promised that these seasons will continue as long as the earth remains. If you live in Australia, today means that warmer weather is on the way. If you live in North America, it is time to get ready for winter. The Lord announces the change of seasons with spectacular outbursts of color. Spring arrives with fresh greens and stunning pastels. Fall is announced by splashes of bold yellows, reds and golds. It is obvious that the Lord delights in color. He specifically designed your brain to recognize the visual beauty that accompanies the Sun’s […]

One People, One Language, One God

Before the fall, man had a glorious and exciting destiny to pursue. One people speaking the same language gaining dominion over all the earth for the glory of the one true God. However, after the fall, the ugliness of pride supplanted the glory of God in the hearts of men. The evil spread from generation to generation, even to the animals. Only the cleansing waters of the flood would push back the scourge of pride. But the damage was done. Pride had woven its way into the hearts of men. On the plains of what is now Iraq man was again united with one language and one purpose. Only now the goal was not the glory of God, but the […]

God doesn’t take coffee-breaks

Much of our behavior is centered around self-protection. When someone sins against us we often act like God was looking the other way or perhaps he was on coffee-break and missed the wrong done to us. For example: A young child has his toy taken by an older sibling. He cries out to his parents. A teenager lies to her mother. The mother informs her daughter that she can’t be trusted. A friend says something really stupid. You react with shock and awe. A co-worker takes credit for something you did. You look for a way to get even. Your spouse is insensitive and hurtful. You withdraw and become discouraged. You have a car accident the same day you learn […]

Praying for a lost turtle

The young daughter of a family friend realized that her pet turtle had gone missing while getting some sun in the backyard. This little girl had cared for this turtle for over a year. Understandably, the missing turtle brought sadness and hurt. I encouraged prayer for the return of the hard cased reptile. It might seem to be a stretch to ask for the turtle to be found. Perhaps some would say that this prayer might offer false hope to the daughter. But let’s think this through. This provides a great opportunity to teach about prayer. Anytime we pray we seek the face and care of the Lord of the Universe. We know that he is powerful and gracious and […]

Marijuana and the presidential debate

Last night a leading presidential candidate dismissed marijuana as a serious health threat. A couple of other candidates challenged this view. Just to clarify I have reposted an article by Dr. Charles Hodges, author of Good Mood Bad Mood. Dr. Hodges posts a clear warning about the dangers of this drug. It is worth your time. Here is his article: I have written often about the perils of the recreational use of marijuana and I cannot resist writing again. The cause for my writing is that the New York Times that has stumbled into the reality that smoking pot does little if any good for those who smoke it. And it has the potential for great harm.[i] In an October […]