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Archive for the 'Gospel' Category

The Heart: Impossible to Control

Posted on March 2nd, 2019 · Posted in Authority, Gospel, Parenting

It may be possible to control behavior.  However, control of the heart is another matter.  As Tedd Tripp teaches, you can shepherd your child’s heart. But you cannot control his heart. So the purpose of your authority as a parent is to shepherd your children, to build them up, to strengthen them.  But attempts as controlling children without shepherding them will lead to frustration. Over time attempts at control through rules will lead your children away from Christ (Colossians 2:23).  Controlling your children in this way will weaken them and.. read more

Your kids and heaven

Posted on March 1st, 2019 · Posted in Gospel, Parenting

Are my children going to heaven? This is the major concern for every Christian parent. If you look to human confirmation for the answer, life will quickly become a roller-coaster ride of ups and downs. The eternal destiny of our children is tied to the faithfulness of God. God alone does what is right and good. God alone, is the savior of people, including our children. As much as we may want to, we cannot force our children to know God. Ultimately the hearts of our children can only be.. read more

God’s answer to conflict

Posted on February 21st, 2019 · Posted in Anger, Authority, Gospel, Parenting, Wisdom

Gentleness is God’s answer to conflict. Gentleness is the quality you need to present God’s truth fairly, accurately and effectively to your children. Gentleness is part of the Holy Spirit’s fruit which stands in direct contrast to the works of the flesh. In Proverbs, gentleness turns aside wrath. Paul tells Timothy to instruct his opponents with gentleness. James describes gentleness as displaying wisdom from above. Jesus describes himself as gentle and humble of heart. These are five robust examples of the power of gentleness: Gentleness stands against the deeds of.. read more

Mercy or fairness

Posted on January 14th, 2019 · Posted in Gospel

Fairness is a cruel master. To desire fairness is to live like a fool, to live has if there were no God. Wait! What? Think about it! Where would you and I be if God treated us fairly? Does God ever have a reason to be fair with me? In pride, I want to say yes. I don’t deserve unfair treatment. But such thinking is harmful. In light of what God has done for me and how I act in return for his mercy, any demand for fairness is stupid.. read more

What Child Is This?

Posted on December 25th, 2018 · Posted in Gospel, Holidays

Verse two of the Christmas Hymn, “What Child is This?” provides much to ponder this Christmas. Read these words slowly and carefully: Why lies he in such mean estate, where ox and ass are feeding? Good Christian, fear, for sinners here the silent Word is pleading Nails, spear, shall pierce him through, the cross be borne for me, for you Hail, hail the Word made flesh, the babe, the son of Mary. Why does the hymn writer include this line in a song celebrating the birth of Christ? Nails, spear,.. read more

Christmas Light

Posted on December 19th, 2018 · Posted in Gospel, Holidays

Christmas is all about the joy of true light. John’s gospel teaches us that Jesus is the light for all of humanity.  Any goodness in people is a reflection of the true light of Christ.   In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. There is no authentic light in this world but the light of Christ. Anything else that appears to be light is but a reflection of the light of Christ… read more

Thirty-Three Years

Posted on December 13th, 2018 · Posted in Gospel, Holidays

The thirty-three years of the life of Jesus Christ on earth held little expectation that this man’s life would be the most significant life in all of history.  His life ended in public disgrace and shame. His birth was that of a peasant and his death was that of a criminal. He was born in the company of animals in a stable. He died in the company of thieves on a cross stained with his blood. The political leaders of his country tried to murder him as a baby. But.. read more

Discipline is About Compassion, Not Retribution

Posted on December 5th, 2018 · Posted in Discipline, Gospel, Parenting

This is part two of a series of posts contrasting discipline with retribution. In the first post of the series, I highlighted this consideration: Biblical discipline must not be seen as payment for the sins for which the discipline was administered. Retribution is not the goal of biblical discipline! In response, the question many of you raised was, “How does this work itself out in everyday family life?” This post will begin to address that question. In the first post, we saw how Psalm 103 provides direction on how to address.. read more

Talking to Your Children About the California Fires

Posted on November 14th, 2018 · Posted in Current Events, Gospel

It would not be surprising for your children to ask, “Why is God allowing these terrible fires to hurt so many people and destroy their homes?” You may even be asking yourself that same question!  Here are three possible attempts to understand these catastrophic fires ravaging California and God’s involvement in them. 1. The Fires are random circumstance The first way is to attribute the fires to a random collection of circumstances that sparked these fires and led to the awful results. In this construct, God had nothing to do.. read more

Words that protect and adorn

Posted on August 21st, 2018 · Posted in Gospel, Proverbs, Wisdom

The process of parental instruction is complete when the truth that is learned begins to protect, build up and encourage the children who receive it.  Merely delivering instruction is not what is honoring to God or helpful to children. Biblical instruction always has the goal blessing the one who receives it. This instruction is not primarily for the benefit of parents.  Rather, the instruction parents give to children is to adorn them. In Proverbs 1:8-9, the Holy Spirit says how your words of direction should impact your children: My child, listen.. read more

The performance trap

Posted on August 15th, 2018 · Posted in Authority, Gospel, Parenting

The gospel is about grace; School is about performance. The gospel is about receiving compassion; School is about earning grades. The gospel is about resting in the power of Christ in failure; School is about trying to avoid the shame of failure. The gospel is about acceptance in Christ regardless of performance; School is about gaining acceptance because of performance. Skilled and caring teachers and parents will work hard to bridge the gap illustrated by these contrasts. However, it is important to grasp that children can easily think that performance.. read more

What’s really important in life?

Posted on July 26th, 2018 · Posted in Culture, Gospel, Wisdom

What are the goals you set for yourself, for your children? Do these goals center on things like grades, good jobs, a sound financial position, a comfortable house, personal accomplishments, a secure retirement? These all have their upside and they are important!  But are they the most important things in life. Paul had a discussion once with the some of the greatest intellectual minds in Athens. Paul told these great thinkers about the reality of God’s control in the lives of humans.  He told them that this God, whom they.. read more

Three heart attitudes of a faithful parent

Posted on July 25th, 2018 · Posted in Discipline, Gospel

Parents, if your desire is to see your children’s hearts become responsive to the gospel, the place to start is with your own heart. There are 3 core heart-attitudes to cultivate that will help mold your heart to be God’s  instrument for presenting Christ to your children.  The first attitude is humility.  Humility is the source of the power that you need to represent Christ well to your children.  Humility means that you trust God and follow him. Pride means that you trust yourself and refuse to rely on God’s.. read more

Authority and the gospel

Posted on July 14th, 2018 · Posted in Authority, Gospel

Parents, your authority is established by what you honor. What you honor, what you value is a window into who you are. And the people who are looking the most closely through that window are your children. What you value the most is shown most clearly by your actions and not your words. The thoughts of what you value most are more transparent than you realize. These hidden thoughts are a huge factor in establishing your authority as a parent. Why? Because being driven by what God says is good.. read more

Complain or praise

Posted on June 11th, 2018 · Posted in Godward Orientation, Gospel, Parenting

If your children frequently praise God for the events that happen each day, you can know that a good foundation for life is being built in their hearts. However, If you hear your children frequently complain or grumble,  they are becoming a slave to their own desires. This means there is trouble ahead. Sin feeds on the demand for immediate happiness and gratification. That is why a child can go from seeming bliss to outrage in an eye blink. One moment everything is fine. Then he sees his brother with.. read more

The human side of the gospel

Posted on June 2nd, 2018 · Posted in Gospel, Parenting, Sanctification, Shaping Influences

God has a role for you to play in illustrating the atoning power of the gospel. No, you have nothing do to with the sacrifice that Christ made for your sin. But, yes, you have an important part to play in defeating the impact of sin here on earth.  Proverbs 16:6 demonstrates how you can show the beauty of the atonement: Through love and faithfulness sin is atoned for; through the fear of the Lord a man avoids evil. With these words Solomon reminds us of how important it is.. read more

What about God

Posted on May 4th, 2018 · Posted in Culture, Gospel

The character of God is the one subject that is limitless.  Because God is infinite he can be contemplated, adored, worshiped and loved without limit.  But, still, the Holy Spirit wants you talk to your kids about God’s character, about who he is.  For example, Moses describes God with many expressions of awe and fascination. In Deuteronomy 10 he speaks of God in comparison to the false gods of the surrounding cultures.  This is a huge consideration.  Throughout human history there have always been pretenders to the rule of God.. read more

Is God mad at me?

Posted on April 13th, 2018 · Posted in Communication, Gospel, Parenting, Wisdom

Do your kids think that God is only pleased with them if they obey? Do your kids think that the gospel means that they must be good so God will love them? Do your kids think that they must be good for you to like them, for you to love and delight in them? To answer these questions listen to the way your children talk about the gospel. You may be thinking that children seldom talk about the gospel. But actually, they do. Listen to your children talk. Listen to.. read more

Video: Brian G. Hedges — How does the doctrine of union with Christ help us?

Posted on April 6th, 2018 · Posted in Gospel, Sanctification

In this video, author Brian G. Hedges talks about how the doctrine of union with Christ helps us as believers. With Jesus takes us on a tour through Jesus’ life to show us how we can find our place in the story of Christ. Christianity is not a only a faith founded on facts, but also a deeply personal experience of God’s transforming grace in Christ. While our hope is rooted in history—the events of Jesus’ life, death, resurrection, and ascension—the Scriptures also teach that every believer is included in.. read more

Guest Post: The Resurrection Assures Us of God’s Forgiveness — Brian G. Hedges

Posted on April 4th, 2018 · Posted in Gospel

Try to imagine being Mary Magdalene before she witnessed Jesus’ resurrection (Matt. 28:1). Luke tells us that she had once been in the grip of evil and Jesus delivered her, casting out seven demons (Luke 8:2). Who knows what the horrors of her life had been? Often identified as a prostitute forgiven by Jesus, though the New Testament never identifies her as such, she was certainly an outcast whose life Jesus had changed. Now she believed that Jesus was dead. She had seen his crucifixion and had now come to.. read more