Sanctification

137 posts

The Painful Path of a Prodigal: Responding to the Judgment of Others

As parents, we cannot assure the outcome of our children—for good or bad. This does not mean we should abandon instructing our children. We must teach, both in word and by example. We have a responsibility before God to do our very best. The uncertainty of the outcome for any specific child does not reduce or remove this responsibility. How then should we respond when the painful judgment of others falls upon us? First, we should allow it to humble us. We must realize our sovereign God puts critics in our lives for our good. If the Lord uses the wrongful judgment of others to strike a blow to my pride, I should rejoice as this “enemy within” is losing […]

Comfort One Another This Christmas

The authors of 31 Ways to be A “One-Another” Christian have a simple yet life-changing message for you this Christmas: Comfort one another! Instead of frustration or irritation with people think of how you can bring comfort to them. That is radical!  This excerpt from the book is truly a special gift for you and those whom you love: True comfort comes not from limited human wisdom or a quickly dispensed phrase but rather from the ministry of the very words of God—that is, the Word carefully and compassionately unfolded within a sufferer’s difficult, fearful, or sorrowful context. Romans 15:4 states, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement […]

To Be a Christian is To Be With One Another

Life is about relationships. This simple, profound statement is the theme of a new book from Shepherd Press: 31 Ways to be A One-Another Christian: Loving Others With the Love of Jesus Authors Dr. Stuart Scott and S. Andrew Jin will take you a journey to discover the wonder of the power of relationships. The three Persons of the Trinity exist in eternity in a perfect relationship. Jesus says in John 17 that eternal life is knowing God and his Son. So we can readily see how the authors conclude that “People, created in the image God, are made for relationship.” We are made to “One-Another.” This is especially true for believers in Christ. To be in Christ is to […]

Patient Love 

Patience is often referred to as something that can be lost – as in “you are really causing me to lose my patience.” But how would it sound if you were to say “you are really causing me to lose my love for you?” Those words would be devastating to hear.  You see, love is intimately defined as patient by the Holy Spirit. So if love is patient, then “losing” patience can be equated to losing love. In other words, it is impossible to truly love without being patient. Said this way the idea of losing patience is not a pretty one.  A working definition of patience is living in the expectation of God’s care. This means living each day […]

Good Tears, Bad Tears

Children quickly learn that tears are powerful motivators. Tears bring sympathy and comfort. However, tears also bring the opportunity for manipulation and deceit. Learning to discern the difference is a huge challenge for parents.  For example, a young child wants to play with a toy that his brother has. He feels sorry for himself and tries to grab the toy. When his attempt fails, he begins to cry. Amazingly, the tears allow him to possess the coveted toy. This little boy has just learned a lesson he will not forget. “Tears can bring me what I want.” Then he learns that tears will get him out of responsibilities that are unpleasant to him. Finally, he completes the trifecta by learning […]

Your Hurt and Your Hope

Paul Tripp comments on Psalm 51 about what brings us our greatest hurt.  While we look to blame people and situations, the one greater reality that we must face when looking to sort out the true source of our hurt is our own heart. Paul says is it this way: It is your fault! Sin is a matter of the heart before it’s ever an issue of behavior. Sin is a matter of what lurks in us before it’s ever an issue of what happens to us. It’s the evil inside me that connects me to the evil outside me. So we must confess again today that we are our biggest and greatest problem in life. You and I don’t […]

Manipulation: The Subtle, Enslaving Sin

Those who manipulate often masquerade as lovers. Apparent care and concern are a tempting lure for those who are hurting and vulnerable. But the heart of a manipulator is really the heart of an abuser. Once someone commits to the masquerade, the care that appeared to be love morphs into the servitude of enslavement. The changes begin subtly. But the reality is that they were always present. Biblical love cannot be duplicated, only mimicked. Learn the true characteristics of love so that you can recognize the true intent of masquerading manipulators. Biblical love that is genuine will not be diminished by your failures. A manipulator will at first appear to tolerate or dismiss your shortcomings. He or she may even […]

A Prayer for Exhausted Parents

Parenting is exhausting. When the day is done, parents are weary not only because of the trials of the day just finished, but also weary because tomorrow is just a few hours away. In this in-between time, the exhaustion reaches its peak. Well-meaning advice and stress-reducing plans offer little consolation. Even Bible verses may seem disconnected from the pressures of getting ready for tomorrow. Perhaps the most discouraging realization is knowing that in the morning you will wake up as wiped out as you are now. Isaiah 55:8 reminds us that God’s thoughts are not our thoughts and that his ways are not our ways. Weariness tends to overtake us when we see life’s responsibilities and burdens in isolation from […]

Faith + Courage = Gentleness

Gentleness requires at least two things: faith and courage. Faith Authentic gentleness is part of the Spirit’s fruit. Thus, faith is the only way to access the power of gentleness and show the wonder of gentleness.   Courage To do anything that is possible only by the power of God’s Spirit requires courage. Why? Because to follow God in any area means to deny the desires of our flesh. Being biblically gentle is not natural.  Now if you think being gentle is weak and non-confrontational, then you might not see why courage is needed. However, the Spirit’s idea of gentleness is all about confrontation and strength. Let me repeat that. Gentleness is about confrontation and strength! When a harsh or […]

The Unexpected Blessing of Criticism

Proverbs has some profound things to say about receiving criticism.  Solomon warns against living for the praise of others. Learning to wisely receive criticism is a life skill that will serve you and your children well. This skill offers protection from everything to falling prey to sexual temptations or from making poor business decisions. For example, a little boy who craves praise may well grow into a husband who will be angry and disappointed when he is not constantly praised. He can easily be prone to self-pity. This can lead to a man who will be withdrawn, sullen, or even abusive.  Similarly, a young woman who lives for the praise of others becomes a target for those who would take […]