Yearly Archives: 2016

231 posts

Power and Wisdom

In the context of our various trials we need wisdom to know how to function in those trials and circumstances; it is available from a giving God, and we are to ask for it (James 1:5). Our need is no different from Israel’s. We need not only the power of God to overwhelm our obvious enemies but also the wisdom of God to detect our subtle enemies. Unfortunately, the church too often craves God’s power while it ignores God’s wisdom. Dale Ralph Davis    

The Manipulation Game

Jesus delivers a subtle warning in the Sermon on the Mount about the danger of manipulation. Look at Luke 6:32-33: “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.  And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that…” If you do good to get something good you are involved in manipulation. So, if your parental discipline is primarily designed to make things at home go more smoothly, you are doing good to get good. The rich young man in Matthew 19 had outwardly kept the commandments because he saw the value of being good. Most likely, […]

Parents, open your hearts!

Parents, God calls you to have an open love affair with his word. The open overflow of your love for God and his word is to be talked about all through the day in all kinds of situations. This is described in Deuteronomy 6:5-7. Here are four principles to draw from these verses: First – God is to be loved with every fiber of your inner being and with every thought of your heart. Second – The commands of God are to dominate your inner man, your heart. Third – It is these thoughts that flow from your passionate love for God that are to be given to children, so that you can’t help but repeat them constantly. Fourth – […]

The birthmark

Several years ago I had the privilege to respond to a mom whose daughter was mocked by another child on a school bus. Here is the comment from the little girl’s mom: “The girl on the bus pointed at her birthmark–the one just below her left eye–and told her she looked stupid. The soft confession came from my little girl, who was staring at the floor. A groan escaped me and I grabbed my daughter close. And I did exactly what I shouldn’t have: I cried. Will it get easier to be strong? Will it get easier to say the right thing in response to pain?” Below is what I wrote to encourage this mom. A birthmark, curly hair, freckles, […]

Worship is not for spectators!

Worship is not for spectators. Worship is for combatants. Christian combat is not like the combat of the world; our weapons are spiritual.  Apathy in worship leads to destruction. The fiery darts of the evil one are always aimed and ready to fire. Being in corporate worship in no way lessens the danger. There are no pacifists in worship, only winners and losers. Are you a spectator or a combatant? You must be skilled at wisely and lovingly using the sword of the Spirit in the battles of worship. You must depend wholly on the power of Christ. Human sarcasm, manipulation, anger, hurt feelings, apathy and pride have no place in Christian worship. Do these things at your own spiritual […]

Flat Tires

Flat tires appear to offer little evidence of God’s love and care. But that is just unbelief spinning events in way that seeks to discredit God’s providential care. Yes, a flat tire is an inconvenient addition to an already busy day. But that is just from your perspective. Suppose you knew that having a flat tire would mean that you avoided a situation that would have resulted in harm to you or your family that otherwise would have occurred if you had been on schedule. From this vantage point the flat tire that was a curse now becomes a blessing! The point is that we don’t know what would have happened if…  We are just left to believe that God […]

Being defensive is stupid!

I don’t like correction. There I said it. I like to be right. More importantly, I like it even more when you think I am right. By openly admitting these things I have also shown a propensity for stupidity. This is but another reminder of the danger of being wise in my own eyes. If I care most about being right, I care most about myself. This is not wisdom but stupidity. If I am to learn, I must first love discipline and rebuke. When I recoil at the correction and rebuke of those closest to me, I make myself weak. Instead of trying to find a way to challenge a rebuke, God wants me to first learn from that […]

How did life begin?

A conversation between a mom and her 12 year old daughter. “Hey, Mom.” “Yes, Erin.” “You have a minute?” “Sure, what’s up?’ “I watched another program on the Science Channel that was talking about how life began on earth. I’m good with what you and dad have told me, but I just want to make sure I have it down. Can you help me by going over things again?” “No problem, glad you asked! You remember that there are really only a few ways that modern science thinks how life could have begun?” “Yeah, uh, one is that over a long time, like billions of years, stuff that was all organic…” “Erin, I think you mean inorganic.” “Right, inorganic, that […]

Schoolwork and the gospel

What is there about schoolwork that should point to the gospel? Their schoolwork is sent to them by God! Schoolwork is a wonderful opportunity to teach your kids how God is involved in the most intimate details of life. Therefore, schoolwork becomes an opportunity to call your children to faith in Christ. So, when your children are not motivated to do schoolwork, your first step is to encourage them to trust God. He didn’t make a mistake. He actually ordained that they would have this work to do at this time. Encourage your children to trust God’s wisdom in providing their work for them. God has not made a mistake in giving the assignment, even if the human teacher did! Encourage your […]

Worry messes with your mind

The human mind is not compatible with worry! Worry messes with your mind. Worry is anxiety about things that you cannot control. This comes, in part, from believing you are alone in life. In response to this, Jesus tells you not to worry about even the most basic needs of life. He even tells you how to pray so that you will not worry. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus instructs you to ask God for your daily bread. By reading the verses that come after the Lord’s prayer in Matthew 6, we see that Christ was talking about more than just asking God for bread. Three times, (in verses 25, 28, and 31), Jesus commands that you not worry about […]