350 posts

Blessings and Obedience

I want to thank Michelle for her thoughtful comment on the post, Heart of Obedience. Her comment is long so I will link to it here if you haven’t had the opportunity to read it. This type of interaction is greatly appreciated and encouraged. The relationship between blessing and obedience is one that must be carefully defined. It is easy to miss the mark. Starting with the gospel places the issue in proper perspective. The gospel teaches that there is nothing I can do to make myself good enough to know the blessings of God. There is no way that I can earn any level of acceptance with God by my own merit. This is the key to making the […]

The Heart of Obedience

There is a certain joy in obedience. This joy does not flow from obedience that seeks to earn acceptance, favor or status. Such “obedience” is self-serving and will not result in true joy. Neither can this joy flow from obedience that seeks to appease. Appeasement is always an elusive goal and can never bring satisfaction. One will always wonder if one has done enough to make things right.

Don’t Let Your Love Slip Away

Deuteronomy 4:9 presents a challenge to God’s people. Moses says to take special care that the mercies and goodness of God do not move away from your heart, your inner person. Here are two translations of this verse. “Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.” NIV “But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren.” […]

Christ the Light of Men

John begins his gospel with two striking descriptions of Jesus. John says Jesus is the word and then he says Jesus is the light of men. This interwoven imagery describing Christ as Word and Light permeates the Bible. This imagery of Word and Light is unique to the Bible. Moses says over and over to the Israelites that the Word of God is life itself. The psalms frequently refer to the Word as light ("Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path," Psalm 119:105). In Psalm 19:8, the Holy Spirit was not just employing nice sounding metaphors:  "The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes."  He was anticipating the person […]

Light to the Eyes

How important is the Bible to you? I don’t mean how important would you like it to be to you or to your children. What I mean is—how important is the Bible to you and the way you live?  You want your children to follow the ways of Scripture. You want them to know its content.   You want them to know its Author. You know that what the Holy Spirit has written in his Word is essential for life.  But allow me to ask again, how important is the Bible to you? Is there a chance that you love what the Bible will do for you, but you struggle with actually loving it? "Okay," someone is asking, "where are you […]

May it be to me…

But the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid, Mary, you have found favor with God. You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end."  "How will this be," Mary asked the angel, "since I am a virgin?"  Luke 1:30-34 Hebrews 11 says that faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.  Our culture pushes us in a […]

Gospel Expectations

"What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, 'Son, go and work today in the vineyard.' " 'I will not,' he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. "Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, 'I will, sir,' but he did not go. "Which of the two did what his father wanted?"       "The first," they answered. Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but […]

It’s Not Natural – part 2

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Ephesians 6:1 It seems that there is actually one more post in this series of communicating the Gospel to your children. Heather, one of our readers, raised an important question about the last post. Here is her comment: You mention that "Heather has been given only one option." Is it ever appropriate to offer a choice? For instance, "Honey, you can either give the train to your brother and find another toy, or you can play with the train with him." Or should these options be explained at a point when there is “not” a squabble going on (i.e. "here are some ways you can share and act kindly […]

It’s Not Natural

For wisdom will enter your heart,   and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. Proverbs 2:10 The wise in heart are called discerning,   and pleasant words promote instruction. Proverbs 16:21 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Honor your father and mother—which is the first commandment with a promise— that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth. Ephesians 6:1-3 This is the final post in this series about pleasant words and communicating the Gospel. I am also responding to comments left by Shannon and Ann. Thank you both for sending them. In the last post I focused on the futility of attempting to reason with […]

Communicating the Gospel: God’s goodness to your young children

The wise in heart are called discerning, and pleasant words promote instruction.  — Proverbs 16:21 For wisdom will enter your heart,  and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul. —Proverbs 2:10 If you have been following this series of posts on communicating the Gospel to your children, you will recall that we started the practical application by looking at teenagers and then working backwards. Now we are at the age of young children and toddlers, ages 0 to 5. How do you communicate the goodness of God to these little ones? While there are several biblical themes that could be used I am focusing on two Proverbs, the ones listed at the beginning of this post. Remember the premise for […]