Sanctification

146 posts

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 […]

Don’t Let Truth Slip Away

It was time for Israel to grow up!  For forty years Israel had known God’s special protection very much like what you provide for your children before they leave home. Manna was provided for them every day. The lived under the safety of the giant cloud that provided shade during the day and light at night. Their clothing and sandals did not wear out. Once the people crossed the Jordan River things would be different.  The Israelites had experienced the direct hand of God in their lives in ways that would never be repeated. Their children would only know about these things if their parents taught them. Here is what the Holy Spirit directed Moses to tell his people as […]

The Devastation of a Wandering Heart

Solomon warned about the destruction of an unguarded, wandering heart in Proverbs 4:20-27. Verse 23 gets most of the attention in this passage: Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. However it is important not to miss the warning that follows to keep your feet and eyes, that is, your heart and your body, from wandering away from what is right: Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways. Do not turn to the right or the left; keep your foot from evil. Solomon is retelling the hard lessons he learned from his father, […]

Which Question Will Your Teenager Answer?

An unexpected temptation arises in the life of your teenager.  She was not planning to make a life-altering decision, but the moment arrived nonetheless.  When this moment occurs, your teenager will ask one of two questions: “What do I want to do?” “What does God want me to do?” Joseph was confronted by a passionate and powerful woman demanding to have sex.  He was alone in a pagan land.  Rejecting the advances of this woman would surely bring both pleasant and unpleasant consequences. Yet he had just one question on his mind: How could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God? So, Joseph literally ran from the temptation before him. He was more motivated by what would […]