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Teach your kids the difference between condemnation and conviction

Your children, like you, have a problem with sin. Sin has an immediate negative impact, but even more destructive is sin’s aftermath. Like radiation fallout after a nuclear blast, sin’s fallout can spread and last for years.    Condemnation follows sin:   First, and most importantly, sin brings the condemnation of God.    Then, as others become aware of our sins human condemnation occurs.    Finally, a heart burdened by sin begins the ritual of self-condemnation.    There is no person on the planet that can escape the consequences of defying God. No one can escape condemnation and the toll it extracts. Its impact may be felt in minutes or it may take years to play out.   Condemnation is […]

Wisdom & Your Emotions

The pursuit of wisdom must be a passionate pursuit.  I admit that passion and wisdom are not thoughts that are often put together. But this comparison is made with great force in Proverbs: Wisdom is more precious than rubies;     nothing you desire can compare with her. Proverbs 3:15   Additionally, acquiring wisdom means that wisdom is be loved:   Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;     love her, and she will watch over you. Proverbs 4:6   The love of wisdom is what will protect your heart. Notice the emotional connection with wisdom in these two Proverbs. Wisdom pursued with  heartfelt desire and deep love offers protection for your heart. This is how you guard your heart (Proverbs […]

Thought for the Lord’s Day

Christ secured freedom that can never be lost.  Those without Christ will never experience true freedom. No matter how hard one works to secure freedom from things on earth, the ultimate freedom is to be free of the sins of the heart. We all have craved and compromised for significance apart from Christ. We all have been found wanting. We all know the most oppressive condemnation is that which entangles the heart with the burden of unrighteous sinful thoughts, words, and deeds. Without Christ there is no freedom of worship, no relief from condemnation. Because of Christ’s sacrifice we have been set free. There was no war that we could win, no declaration we could make, no payment that could […]

Jesus Christ on being free:

and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,because he has anointed meto proclaim good news to the poor.He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisonersand recovery of sight for the blind,to set the oppressed free,to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”Luke 4:17-19

God’s idea of freedom:

But for you who fear my name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in his wings. And you will go free, leaping with joy like calves let out to pasture. 3 On the day when I act, you will tread upon the wicked as if they were dust under your feet,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.Malachi 4:2-3  

Is America Independent from God?

On July 4th, two hundred thirty-eight years ago, Americans declared their independence from England and her King. Unfortunately, such matters are seldom settled by simply signing a piece of paper. England was not pleased with this declaration and went to war. But in the end, America had her desire—she was independent of the English. But in what sense are people and countries ever independent? It is an enticing idea that a person or a country can independently forge their own destiny,  write their own history. However, this idea is just as deadly as it is enticing. Reality is this: no country is free from the rule of the Great Sovereign of the Universe. Each person owes his next breath, and […]

Wise words from James regarding your teenagers

Be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.    Jesus tells the story of a father and his two sons. The father asks his first son to go work in the vineyard. The first son responds with a defiant no. So, the father asks his other son the same question.  This son, in sharp contrast, respectfully says that he will do what his father asked.   So, on the surface of things, it appears one son is rebellious and one is obedient. This much is true, but not in the way it appears. In the story Jesus quickly adds that the first son changed his mind and actually did as he was asked. The other son never went […]

Do you have an angry child?

Anger is a difficult sin. Like an ice-breaker pushing huge chunks of ice in all directions, anger leaves a trail of broken pieces in its wake. Broken chunks of ice are good thing. Broken pieces of life – not so much.  Anger is often a response to injustice. With God this is good. His motives and reasons for anger are always pure and right. Your child’s anger is also often a response to injustice. But his motives and reasons are seldom pure and right.  A young child thinks he has been wronged because someone else has his toy. A middle-schooler is angry because others are not kind to her. A teenager struggles with anger because of guilt as a result […]

That was close!

God  provides many opportunities to speak of Christ.  For example, when someone says, “thank God, that was close!” Take this opportunity to talk about what really happened. Perhaps something like this: “Hey Paul, that really was a close call.” “Yep, the man upstairs was looking after me.” “You really think so?” “Absolutely, how else do you think I got out of that mess!?!” “Paul, I think you are exactly right.” “Of course I am, that was too close for comfort!” “Paul, you and I have been friends for years, right?”  “Of course, you have seen me dodge the bullet many times.” “Well, as your friend let me ask you a question. You just said God bailed you out. Why wouldn’t […]

Thought for the Lord’s Day

What is safety?   The answer depends upon how you define safe. If safety means protection from the evil and devastation of this world, then the answer is no, you are not safe. If safety means you are always in God’s care and that whatever the circumstance, he is working all things together for his glory and your good, then yes, you are safe.    This world is not our home. The ugliness of sin and death mark this world. The enemy wishes to distract us from these realities by fleeting, temporal pleasures. The reality is that we live in a world at war. Sometimes, we are reminded of this war by our own war with sin or the sins […]